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Klose ruled out

Fired-up Bayern vow to hit the ground running

Philipp Lahm has “that tingling feeling,” Daniel van Buyten reckons FCB need to “hit the ground running”, and coach Louis van Gaal says it is “a crucial match”. The game in question kicks off at 6.30 pm CET on Saturday when Bayern visit last year’s surprise package TSG 1899 Hoffenheim. Lahm understands the huge sense of anticipation felt by fans and players alike: “Anyone who knows anything about football looks forward to the Bundesliga restart.”

By his own admission, Van Gaal would rather have opened the new league campaign at the Allianz Arena, “because we’d have a better chance of winning.” The Dutch supremo is well aware that Saturday’s away trip will be anything but easy, as he rates Ralf Rangnick’s men as one of the best-organised sides in the section.

Nevertheless, there is a positive side to a tough opening fixture, as Van Gaal acknowledged: “It’s a tricky start, but we’ll find out where we stand.” The coach specifically cautioned his men against TSG striker Vedad Ibisevic, who returns after six months out with cruciate ligament damage. “He’s fit and a very important player for them.” The Bosnian’s last Bundesliga goal came against Bayern, although his team ultimately lost 2-1 in Munich in the penultimate game before Christmas.