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First real test

FCB set to improvise for LIGA total! Cup

The Bundesliga restarts in three weeks’ time, but Bayern will face their first halfway competitive test of pre-season without a long list of players, including 11 World Cup participants, injury victims Franck Ribéry, Hamit Altintop and Breno, and father-to-be Daniel van Buyten. The double winners, plus Hamburg, Köln and hosts Schalke, contest the LIGA total! Cup in Gelsenkirchen this weekend, but almost two-thirds of the senior Munich squad are unavailable.

“This tournament was planned a year ago and we have to deliver on our commitment, although it’s obviously going to be difficult,” commented coach Louis van Gaal ahead of Friday training. At that point in time, the boss was still unsure of his line-up for the meeting with Köln on Saturday at 6.35 in the evening, especially as the FCB reserves are at home to Wacker Burghausen in the third division on the same day.