Created on 12-03-2010 at 00:00 AM
Confidence is high in the Bayern camp following the midweek Champions League success, but the Bundesliga leaders have selection problems going into Saturday’s meeting with SC Freiburg. Due to injuries, illness and suspension, coach Louis van Gaal is without six men for the clash with the relegation-threatened team from the Breisgau region.
Franck Ribéry came away from Tuesday’s energy-sapping clash with Fiorentina at Stadio Artemio Franchi with an ankle injury. “But we’d already decided he’d play in Florence and not against Freiburg,” Van Gaal revealed on Friday after the final pre-match training session. “He needs a rest now,” the coach advised.
Tailored programme for Ribéry
Ribéry will report to the Säbener Strasse for an individual sports rehab programme instead. “We need to bring him back up to speed,” said Van Gaal, praising Ribéry’s determination in the European tie: “It’s unbelievable what he manages despite not being fully fit.” Ribéry will take on a gradually increasing training load over the coming week, and could return to the squad for the trip to Frankfurt.
Turkey international Hamit Altintop is also out of Saturday’s match after missing training with a bout of flu. Mario Gomez is sidelined with a ruptured calf muscle picked up in the Fiorentina clash, and Martin Demichelis is still resting after a triple facial fracture sustained while appearing for Argentina against Germany ten days ago. Both players will be out for at least the next two weeks.
Question-mark over Van Bommel
Defender Christian Lell is still occupied with a sports rehab training programme. “He’s a long way off yet,” reported Van Gaal, who is also without the suspended Bastian Schweinsteiger. A question-mark hangs over captain Mark van Bommel, who has blocked sinuses. However, the Netherlands international completed the final training workout and is determined to play at the Allianz Arena.
On the plus side, Diego Contento has returned to contention. The left-back sustained a deep cut to the knee in last weekend’s 1-1 draw with Köln and sat out the midweek match in Florence. The lead candidates for the vacant slots in the line-up are Danijel Pranjic, Anatoliy Tymoshchuk, Ivica Olic and Miroslav Klose, with rookie pro Mehmet Ekici set to be named among the subs.