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Chance for Franck

Match practice on offer against Ingolstadt

The Bayern squad scattered on Monday, to Munich, Stuttgart, Marseille and Lisbon. Louis van Gaal, accompanied by Ivica Olic and Anatoliy Tymoshchuk, headed to the Portuguese capital as members of a World team for a fund-raiser in aid of Haiti. Franck Ribéry had a private appointment in Marseille. Mario Gomez, Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Miroslav Klose and Thomas Müller reported for a Germany squad get-together in Stuttgart, where Hermann Gerland attended a DFB coaching seminar.

A total of eight players plus head coach Van Gaal and his number two Gerland were thus absent from the Säbener Strasse, where assistant boss Andries Jonker supervised training. The squad did not include promoted reserves Diego Contento, David Alaba and Mehmet Ekici, who all appeared for FCB II in the third division meeting with Unterhaching the previous day, and completed a regeneration programme instead. All in all, Jonker took charge of 13 out of the 24-strong first-team party.

A game for Ribéry

Monday’s workout was also a final pre-match training session for the rump squad, as Bayern face Ingolstadt in a friendly on Tuesday (kick-off 2 pm at the Säbener Strasse). Van Gaal has announced his intention to field “all the players who didn’t feature in Bremen.” In effect, that means the second string players plus Ribéry. “It’s a good game for Franck, as he can play the 90 minutes,” the coach said.

Ribéry returned from a 112-day lay-off in Saturday’s 3-2 win over Bremen, making a 22-minute second-half comeback which contained both glimpses of his prodigious skill, but also evidence that he is some way off match fitness. “I was thrilled,” the player commented, “it was important to get out there again after so long away.”