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Poised for action

Shakedown paves way for rigours of Dubai

Some 21 days after the final match of the first half of the 2008-9 campaign, a 2-2 draw away to VfB Stuttgart back in mid-December, the Bayern senior squad augmented by on-loan arrival Landon Donovan is poised for an intense period of mid-season training. Jürgen Klinsmann's ensemble report back to the Säbener Strasse on Friday afternoon for the first drill of the new year, a gentle workout indoors at the Performance Centre aimed at dusting off the festive cobwebs.

Club captain Mark van Bommel and Co will not take to the practice ground until a day later – and that will be under the warm Dubai sunshine. Straight after the brief session on Friday, the Bayern party will proceed to Munich airport for a charter flight to the emirate on the Persian Gulf. South American quartet Zé Roberto, Lucio, José Sosa and Breno will fly direct to Dubai from their home countries.

The FCB party will spend until 10 January in Dubai, in the Munich club's fifth visit to the emirate for a winter training camp. Klinsmann and his stars will be hard at work on laying the foundations for a successful assault on three trophies in the second half of the season. "The coaching staff will spend the training camp analysing what we can improve compared to the first half of the season. We want to measure ourselves against the biggest and best in the Champions League, and maintain our position as the number one club in Germany," the head coach explained.

Cup clash in Stuttgart

The Bayern party will leave Dubai on 10 January for Abu Dhabi, capital city of the United Arab Emirates, where the German champions contest their first mid-season friendly against Al Jazeera. Following a stop-over in Saudi Arabian metropolis Jeddah for a friendly against Al Wheda, the party will set off for home in Munich on 12 January.

Ahead of the first competitive match in 2009, a DFB Cup Round of 16 trip to VfB Stuttgart on 27 January, Bayern will contest three further friendly matches. The Bundesliga champions travel to regional league outfit Bamberg on 17 January, and big-name second division clubs Kaiserslautern (19 January) and FSV Mainz 05 (22 January).