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Pass, shoot and laugh

Bayern’s preparations well on track

Three days prior to the showdown with Stuttgart, the sun beamed down and the pros were bathed in sweat, as Bayern’s preparations for the make-or-break game went into full swing. “We’re very focused and working very hard,” caretaker boss Jupp Heynckes told The coach described the mood in the dressing room as “relaxed and good”.

The training sessions in Heynckes' last week as stand-in Bayern supremo are centred on defence. There’s a good reason for that too: the Stuttgart side for the Allianz Arena clash on Saturday will in all probability include Mario Gomez, the league’s third-top scorer on 23 goals. However, Wednesday’s workout at the Säbener Strasse also saw the FCB stars fine-tune their own goalscoring abilities.

Precautionary Podolski

Watched by a crowd of around 300 die-hard fans, Heynckes set his men a series of passing, positioning, crossing and shooting exercises. The folk with their noses pressed to the fence saw not only goals aplenty and a raft of spectacular saves from the goalkeepers, but also the worrying sight of Lukas Podolski heading for the dressing room before the end of the session. “A purely precautionary measure,” Heynckes reassured afterwards. Poldi had a minor problem after turning a knee and opted not to take part in the shooting practice. However, he is not rated doubtful for Saturday’s match.

Elsewhere on the practice ground, recovery coach Thomas Wilhelmi worked with Zé Roberto on Wednesday. The Brazilian is close to full fitness after a muscular problem and will resume the full squad programme on Thursday. The same applies to Hamit Altintop (ruptured muscle), who should be able to join Zé in the squad for Stuttgart. “I’m hoping both will be fit for Saturday,” Heynckes confirmed.