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Podolski doubtful

Green light for Lahm and Schweinsteiger

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Some 400 Bayern fans were amply rewarded for braving the teeming rain and watching the squad training session on Wednesday. The die-hards were treated to a double dose of the professional playing staff, as Jürgen Klinsmann personally supervised an internal practice match between the first team and the reserves. The senior side, comprising players who did not cover the full 90 minutes in Schalke on Sunday plus guest Landon Donovan, fell a goal behind to the second string but eventually ran out 6-1 winners.

“It was very positive,” Klinsmann reported to afterwards. The head coach had given his men specific tactical instructions beforehand. “In contrast to the Schalke match, we wanted to push up quickly as far as the halfway line, and also play an intensive pressing game up front,” he explained.

Lahm set for inclusion

The main objective was to seize a greater share of the possession. “We let Schalke have too much of the ball. We need to regain possession quicker, safely retain the ball ourselves, and play the right passes at the right time to score goals.“ The plan worked well on the practice ground, Klinsmann reported. “It looked good, and the pace was nice and high.“

Tuesday’s game had other purposes too. Philipp Lahm, who resumed the squad programme last Friday after a foot injury, “needed to get a feel for the rhythm of a match. We’re planning for him to start on Saturday,” Klinsmann said. Bayern travel to 14th-placed Mönchengladbach this weekend.

Podolski jogging

Furthermore, Bastian Schweinsteiger required “competitive conditions” for a fitness test on his injured shin. “It’s still heavily bandaged, and I need to make sure I don’t take another knock to the shin. But it should be enough for Saturday,” the 24-year-old reported. Klinsmann also reckons Schweinsteiger’s fitness for the Mönchengladbach clash will be “no problem.“

On a less positive note, Lukas Podolski remains doubtful for Saturday. The striker has yet to shake off a back problem and was restricted to jogging on Wednesday. “We’ll have to take each day as it comes,” Klinsmann stated.