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Ribéry return imminent

‘We’ll be even more dangerous with him’

It was pure coincidence that Arjen Robben and Philipp Lahm were assigned to address Wednesday’s news conferences, Markus Hörwick explained. The FCB media director had already published his schedule on Monday morning before the pair’s altercation on the training ground. Robben took exception to a clumsy sliding tackle by Lahm, exchanging words and a shove with the full-back before Thomas Müller and Ivica Olic calmed things down.

“We were really going for it in a training five-a-side, and these things often happen. But we talked it through afterwards and moved on,” explained Lahm. “It’s not a problem any more. We shook hands afterwards and embraced. Philipp is a team-mate and friend,” confirmed Robben, who patrols the right flank for FCB along with Lahm, the Dutchman up front and the full-back in support.

The minor incident on the practice ground will have done nothing whatsoever to dent the harmony in the Bayern dressing room at the present time. “The mood’s always good when things are going well,” said Robben. Bayern have won their last five league fixtures, and are looking for a result in Bremen this Saturday, Lahm announced: “And when I say we want points, I do mean it in the plural. We want to extend our winning run for as long as possible.”

Enormous potential

Against a typically fired-up Werder team, that will require a degree of aggression and bite in the tackle. “Not as extreme, but something similar,” observed Lahm, recalling the training ground collision with Robben. “If we continue to work hard in training and keep our concentration levels high, we can call ourselves a good team with plenty of quality,” the Dutch wide man remarked. “In terms of potential, we’re the strongest team in Germany,” noted striker Mario Gomez.

The Bayern line-up is poised to be handed yet another shot of quality. As things stand, Franck Ribéry should be named in the matchday squad on Saturday for the first time in more than three months. “He can win you a game all on his own, and he’ll always pull opponents out of position. He takes us up to another level,” said Lahm. “I’m delighted he’s on the way back,” commented Robben: “He’s world-class, and I reckon we’ll be even more dangerous with him in the side.”