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Champing at the bit

Schweinsteiger keen to reprise flying start

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Bastian Schweinsteiger ought to be happy enough with his appearance record so far this term. The midfielder has missed only three of Bayern’s 25 competitive fixtures to date, and made the starting line-up on 15 occasions. Schweini can justifiably consider himself a regular in Munich’s star-studded line-up.

However, the Germany international’s scoring statistics could certainly do with a polish. Bastian has just one goal to his name, the winner in FCB’s 2-1 victory over Bochum. The man capped 47 times by his country has also provided two assists, but is in danger of failing to match the scorer points total he achieved last season: in 2006-7 he scored four times and provided six assists in 27 Bundesliga outings.

Good chance of regular starts

In common with the rest of the team, the 23-year-old went off the boil in late autumn after excelling in Bayern’s fulminating start to the campaign. The loss of form was largely due to the recurrence of an old knee injury which kept him out of the 2006-7 run-in and forced him to delay taking up the full training burden until some weeks into the summer pre-season period.

However, Schweini has looked in increasingly good nick during the demanding mid-season phase. “I feel fit, which is what really matters. I’m in good shape, and I’ve basically been able to cope with everything on the programme so far. That’s done me a lot of good,” he told reporters after Thursday training at the Säbener Strasse. Most observers reckon the Bavaria-born player has his nose in front in the three-way battle for the right midfield berth.

Aiming for the shield

Schweinsteiger now hopes he and his team-mates “can return to playing the way we did at the start of the season and really enjoy ourselves again. I hope we recover the utter determination to win we had back then.“

The player is confident Bayern can rediscover their scintillating form and march to the German league title. “Nothing can go astray if we’re winning. We simply need to play to the potential in the team, and in normal circumstances, we’ll win the title.“