presented by
Schweini rated doubtful

Bayern turn attention to Schalke challenge

Fewer than 15 hours after Bayern’s 1-1 Champions League draw away to Fiorentina, the three-day short break to Tuscany was already becoming a rapidly-fading memory. The Bayern squad had hardly touched down on Munich soil before switching focus to the next stiff task. The champions travel to face domestic title rivals Schalke 04 on Sunday, seeking to maintain their vastly improved Bundesliga form in a fixture which has proved a big ask down the years.

“We’re fired up and full of confidence regarding Sunday’s match,” commented Tim Borowski after Wednesday’s European tie, “although we’ve been in a hard-fought game that’s cost a lot of energy.“ After turning round at half-time a goal down for the fifth time in their last six matches, Bayern’s latest fightback owed a lot to the resurgent Borowski. The ex-Bremen midfielder played the full 90 minutes for the third time in a row, and notched his sixth goal of the season to boot.

Fully-fit Tim

“I’m feeling really fit, and that’s a decisive factor,” the 28-year-old commented. “I get into these penalty box situations because I’m in top physical shape. I seem to be in the right place at the right time at the moment.“ The Germany star’s excellent form has drawn recognition from boss Jürgen Klinsmann. “Tim is emerging as an increasingly important player for us.“

The player described his latest goal as “helpful” in his quest for established status at “this huge club that is Bayern Munich.“ Added Klinsmann: “He’s had to adapt to the fact that at Bayern we have any number of internationals, and two players for every position. He has to fight for his place here, he’s not an automatic choice like he was at Bremen.“

Three points worth weight in gold

Bastian Schweinsteiger rates as an established player these days, and has been in excellent form since the start of the campaign. The 24-year-old, whose contract in Munich expires this season, was less of an influence than normal in Florence after collecting an injury. A robust challenge early on in the game left Schweini with painful bruising on the shin, and he is now rated doubtful for Sunday’s trip to Gelsenkirchen.

“I don’t know how it looks for the weekend,” the player admitted before reporting to the medical unit for treatment, although he is determined to face the Royal Blues if humanly possible. “I want to play all the big games. I sense a pivotal moment in the league campaign,” he declared, “three points in Schalke would be worth their weight in gold.“