Created on 17-11-2008 at 00:00 AM
Bayern's Säbener Strasse HQ in Munich was all but deserted on Monday morning. With the first team squad awarded a day off, Hamit Altintop was the solitary senior player to be found working out at the training facility. Although the Turkey international is rapidly closing in on a comeback from a long-term foot injury, he is not yet fit enough to join his Turkey team-mates for a midweek friendly in Austria. By contrast, a sizeable proportion of his FCB colleagues are once again away from the Bavarian capital on international duty.
Bastian Schweinsteiger, Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski have assembled with the rest of their Germany team-mates for Wednesday evening's prestige friendly meeting with England in Berlin. A day earlier, Toni Kroos and the Germany U-21 side take on their Italian counterparts in Osnabrück, as they begin preparations for next summer's U-21 European championship.
Maradona debut in Glasgow
Bayern club captain Mark van Bommel and the Netherlands national team also enjoy home advantage in a meeting with Sweden in Amsterdam. Elsewhere, resurgent striker Luca Toni will be looking to maintain his current free-scoring form as Italy travel to Athens, where the World Cup holders meet former European champions Greece. And Daniel van Buyten is also on the road with his Belgian team-mates, although the journey is a short one to diminutive neighbours Luxembourg.
The venerable surroundings of Hampden Park in Glasgow host a premiere on Wednesday evening when Diego Armando Maradona takes charge of Argentina for the first time, at the same stadium where he scored his first goal for the Albiceleste some three decades ago. Bayern twosome Martin Demichelis and José Ernesto Sosa feature in Maradona's first squad.
Lucio doubtful for Cottbus
By contrast, Lucio has withdrawn from the Brazil party to face Portugal in Brasilia. The FCB centre-half returned to Munich from the Bundesliga trip to Mönchengladbach complaining of stiff muscles and back pain, deciding to refrain from the long trip to South America as a result. The player is currently rated doubtful for his club's home Bundesliga meeting with Energie Cottbus on Saturday.