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Abu Dhabi - Jeddah - Munich

First friendly and Donovan’s debut

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After eleven mainly gruelling fitness sessions at the Sheikh’s private sports facility, Bayern’s winter training camp in Dubai is drawing to a close. The Munich party will transfer to the neighbouring emirate of Abu Dhabi on Saturday morning, ready for the first warm-up match of the new year against Al Jazira at 5 pm local time.

“We’re now approaching the phase of putting things into practice. We’re all looking forward to it, and we’re hoping it goes well,” commented Tim Borowski. Jürgen Klinsmann is expecting to discover “how much rhythm the team has acquired,” and also ascertain a number of useful pointers from a match against strong opponents: Al Jazira lead the UAE top flight and are contenders for the Asian Champions League. “Every friendly is interesting, and will be analysed and discussed accordingly,” the coach said.

Maiden outing for Donovan

The match will have special significance for Landon Donovan, on loan at Bayern from L.A. Galaxy until mid-March. The US superstar is set for a first run-out in FCB colours in Abu Dhabi. “We’re curious about Landon, how he settles in his new environment and how he fits within the team structure,” commented Klinsmann, announcing his intention to start with the 26-year-old newcomer: “We’ll try and give him plenty of match practice and help him pick up the rhythm. He has to prove himself. He’s hoping to stay at Bayern for the long term.”