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Strength in depth

Van Gaal elated as squad players deliver

The battle for places in the Bayern team became even more competitive on Wednesday, as Martin Demichelis resumed the squad programme after seven weeks on the sidelines with ligament damage. “Everything’s fine again. I have to pick up the pace now,” the Argentine stopper told Once Mark van Bommel (rehab after surgery) returns, Louis van Gaal will pick his team of eleven men from a full squad of 26 players.

“The coach has an embarrassment of riches,” Karl-Heinz Rummenigge told a Bavarian TV audience on Monday. Daily training would provide the stage for an intense internal struggle, the chairman reasoned. “There’s a huge amount of quality in our training sessions. Every man’s trying to do his absolute best,” revealed Mario Gomez, “it’s a great situation for the coach.”