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Snow business in Munich

Bayern begin preparations for Köln encounter

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Work started early at the Säbener Strase on Tuesday, as a 20-strong crew took up snow shovels and began the onerous task of clearing some 15 cm of snow from the training pitch directly behind the new ServiceCenter. The job took more than an hour, at which point the ground staff declared themselves satisfied. The playing surface was ready for Jürgen Klinsmann and his players.

However, once Klinsmann arrived at the Säbener Strasse around midday, he and his coaching team decided on the spur of the moment to hold the first squad session of the week indoors at the performance centre, partly to conserve the solitary snow-free practice pitch for the rest of the week. Goalkeepers Michael Rensing and Hans Jörg Butt were the only players to brave the severe winter conditions, completing their tailored shot-stopping routines on an adjacent, snow-bound field.

Race against time for Toni

Quite apart from bringing the traffic to a standstill in Munich on Tuesday, the steady snowfall took its toll elsewhere. Bayern have opted to amend this week’s schedule in the run-up to Saturday’s home Bundesliga meeting with FC Köln. To compensate for the lack of a public training session on Tuesday, the Wednesday morning workout at 11 am will now be open to supporters and the general public.

Luca Toni is unlikely to join his team-mates for the late morning session. The Italian hitman is struggling with an inflamed Achilles tendon and was restricted to light exercise on Tuesday. He remains doubtful for Saturday’s clash. “Even for Bayern, Luca Toni is basically irreplaceable, no matter who you have in reserve,” frowned chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, voicing hopes Toni might recover in time for the weekend match.