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Eight sidelined

Toni loses race to be fit for Cup clash

The players, coaches and officials all looked smarter than smart in their new Hugo Boss outfits on Thursday. This year’s formal collection will get its first public showing when Bayern travel to face Erfurt in the Cup on Sunday, but one or two of the men modelling the gear may be slightly unfamiliar to all but truly die-hard fans.

Jürgen Klinsmann saw the total of stars unavailable for the first competitive fixture of the new term rise to eight on Thursday. “It’s too early for Luca,” the head coach announced, as the Italian conceded defeat in his battle to recover from a calf problem. The other definite non-starters are Franck Ribéry (ankle ligaments), Martin Demichelis (calf), Willy Sagnol (Achilles), Hans Jörg Butt (sprain), Tim Borowski (knee), Jose Sosa and Breno (both at the Olympics).

Determined to win

Klinsmann refused to be ruffled despite the long injury list ahead of the meeting with the third division side. “The large number of injuries is uncomfortable,” the Bayern boss acknowledged, “but we’re not under pressure and we’ll make the best of the situation. We’re still looking to get the result we want.“

The Cup holders are clearly determined to win in Erfurt, although the injury roster means the coach lacks options in terms of his formation. “I can’t play 3-5-2 without Demichelis,” advised Klinsmann. The coach has experimented with the formation in pre-season as an alternative to the preferred 4-4-2.

Help from the reserves

Klinsmann is in no danger of not fielding a full squad, however, as talented reserves Thomas Müller, Holger Badstuber and Deniz Yilmaz are poised to help out in Erfurt. Furthermore, Bastian Schweinsteiger played a full part in Thursday training after shaking off a dose of the flu.