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Too early for Italian

Luca Toni ruled out of Bielefeld clash

Luca Toni will again be missing when Bayern entertain Arminia Bielefeld in the Bundesliga on Saturday afternoon. “The bruising’s gone, his breathing is fine again, and he’s basically fit enough to train as normal, but Bielefeld is just a little early for him to be playing,” FCB boss Jürgen Klinsmann reported on Thursday.

Klinsmann is hoping the Italian goal-getter will be able to return in next Wednesday’s Champions League trip to Toni’s former club Fiorentina. The striker missed Bayern’s league wins over Wolfsburg and Frankfurt with painful bruising to the ribs, sustained in an earlier league visit to Karlsruhe. The striker gritted his teeth and managed an hour of the home meeting with Fiorentina, having a hand in the build-up to Bayern’s first two goals.

Latest chance for Lukas

Lukas Podolski will now receive another opportunity to state his case for a regular berth when the champions meet lowly Arminia, although Uli Hoeneß warned the Germany international he had “failed to take” the chances on offer against Wolfsburg and Frankfurt. The Bayern general manager feels Podolski has been negatively affected by a chorus of media praise following goalscoring outings with the German national team.

“It’s hard to judge what goes on with the national team. 80 percent of these matches are really average. Liechtenstein, San Marino, Moldova, Estonia, these aren’t great teams. Everyone seems to think scoring twice against Liechtenstein is great, but I’d just say this: I reckon our reserves would do OK against Liechtenstein. You have to be critical and say the only goals that count are in the Bundesliga and the Champions League.“

Bastian Schweinsteiger, Philipp Lahm and Miroslav Klose had all become “absolute key players” for both club and country, Hoeneß continued. “The best thing is that these players really make a difference. It’s a cause for concern when we have three players who play extremely well for their country and for us, and one who just can’t make that transition at the moment.“