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Last international break

Ten Bayern men in action for national teams

Training at the Säbener Strasse on Monday was a relatively quiet affair, as assistant coaches Andries Jonker and Hermann Gerland supervised just four outfield players and two goalkeepers. A day after the derby victory over Nürnberg, the rest of the players either spent the session in the performance centre on regeneration work, or were already travelling to join up with their national squads for the final international round of the calendar year.

Just three Munich stars - Bastian Schweinsteiger, Mario Gomez and Toni Kroos - are on duty for Germany in an away friendly against Sweden in Gothenburg. Philipp Lahm and Thomas Müller are rested after a punishing schedule over the last 12 months, with Miroslav Klose and Holger Badstuber currently injured.

FCB duel in Amsterdam

“If you’re doing well for your club, it might be easier to deliver for the national team,” commented Gomez, who has eleven goals to his name in the last eight matches. “I’m full of energy and in the groove,” the striker confirmed.

A Bayern head-to-head is on the cards in Amsterdam, where World Cup runners-up the Netherlands entertain Turkey. FCB skipper Mark van Bommel returns to the Elftal squad after injury, with Hamit Altintop set to feature for the Turks. The match is an important one for Van Bommel, who has been out of action for almost six weeks. “He needs the match practice he’s not getting with me at present,” Munich boss Louis van Gaal remarked.

A half for Mark

“We agreed he should go because he didn’t feature against Nürnberg,” explained chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. “What he needs now is match practice, so the best thing is for him to play a half and come back to us on Thursday.” Van Bommel himself regards the international friendly in a positive light. “It’ll be good for me to play 45 minutes. The national team will help me return to form for Bayern.”

Other friendlies in Europe involve Anatoliy Tymoshchuk, travelling with Ukraine to face Switzerland in Geneva, Daniel van Buyten, on the road with Belgium against Russia in Voronezh, and David Alaba, who returns to his home town of Vienna for Austria’s meeting with Greece.

Points at stake for Pranjic

A prestige clash takes place in Qatar, where South American giants Argentina and Brazil face off in Doha. Albiceleste caretaker coach Sergio Batista is in charge for the first time, and has called Martin Demichelis into his squad.