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Injury crisis eases

Schweinsteiger, Olic, Van Buyten set to play

Ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League meeting at home to CFR Cluj, Bayern’s selection problems have begun to show signs of easing. Louis van Gaal is all but certain to name a fit-again Bastian Schweinsteiger in his team, with Ivica Olic and Daniel van Buyten now regarded as probables rather than possibles for the clash against the Romanian double winners.

Schweinsteiger, sidelined last week with a foot injury, came on as a substitute 25 minutes from the end of Saturday’s 3-0 win over Hannover. Munich’s defensive and build-up play immediately took on a more authoritative air following the Germany international’s introduction. “Schweinsteiger bossed the play,” van Gaal enthused. The player had not trained for almost two weeks, and chief medical officer Hans-Wilhelm Müller-Wohlfahrt strongly advised against him starting the Hannover fixture.

Tymo preferred to Micho

Olic broke his nose playing for Croatia a week ago, but should be fit to face Cluj, Van Gaal reported. The striker resumed the team training programme on Sunday. Van Buyten is also expected back after a back injury. On Saturday, it was not recognised centre-half Martin Demichelis who stood in for the Belgian, but rather midfielder Anatoliy Tymoshchuk. The Ukrainian gave a near-flawless display in the unaccustomed role.

The injury roster at the club remains long, with Arjen Robben, Franck Ribéry, Breno, Diego Contento, Mark van Bommel, Miroslav Klose and David Alaba still sidelined. Bayern were without a total of ten first-team players against Hannover. The bench comprised just Schweinsteiger, number two keeper Thomas Kraft, Demichelis, and young reserves Christoph Knasmüllner and Nicolas Jüllich.

After opening their European campaign with wins over AS Roma and FC Basel, Bayern now face underdogs Cluj with their sights firmly set on the Champions League knockout stages. The Romanian champions were beaten 5-3 by FC Vaslui in a domestic league fixture on Friday night.