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No Van Bommel, Micho or Poldi

FCB line-up options shrink prior to big match

Christmas may be less than a month away, but there was no trace of festive calm or gaiety in the Bayern medical unit ahead of Saturday’s top-of-the-table clash away to Bayer 04 Leverkusen.

Martin Demichelis and Lukas Podolski were finally ruled out of contention on Friday. Micho has failed to shake off a calf problem, while Podolski continues to suffer from back trouble. Stemming from a slipped disc, the player is reporting pain radiating as far as his right leg. “He’s plagued by a painful and lingering situation,” explained Jürgen Klinsmann.

Van Bommel laid low

The Bayern head coach was unable to call on either player for the midweek clash with Steaua Bucharest, and he will also be without Mark van Bommel for the trip to Leverkusen, as the team captain is confined to bed with the flu. On the plus side, Franck Ribéry (ankle) and Luca Toni (shoulder) have been passed fit to play.

Klinsmann will lead a 17-strong squad to Leverkusen. Willy Sagnol (rehab after surgery) is still some way off recovering fitness, while Hamit Altintop only resumed training a week ago following a three-month lay-off. “It’s too early for him,” Klinsmann confirmed. The midfielder would need to “pick up the pace a little more in training next week“.