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Robben set to play

Ribéry aiming for comeback in Bremen

Franck Ribéry and Arjen Robben were reunited on the pitch on Wednesday, although they were on opposing sides in a training ground practice match. A day earlier, when the bulk of the Bayern squad travelled to Basel for the successful warm-up in advance of the Bundesliga restart fixture, “Rib” and “Rob” also joined forces for a gruelling fitness session at the Säbener Strasse, but the pair will be temporarily separated again this coming Friday.

Barring an unforeseen setback, Robben will be named in the squad for Friday’s home meeting with Hoffenheim. If the 25-year-old is deemed fully fit – and all the signs in midweek were that this should be the case – he will start the crucial game, coach Louis van Gaal has announced. By contrast, Ribéry still has another week to go before being considered for competitive action.

Fitness deficit

“Franck hasn’t trained for two months, and he still needs to build up his stamina. That’s what he’ll be doing this week,” explained Van Gaal: “I reckon he’ll be ready for the Bremen game." Should everything go according to plan, it would be the first time Robben and Ribéry have lined up together since the Champions League meeting with Juventus on 30 September last year.