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Robben sidelined

FCB primed for Champions League clash in Plzen

Bayern have set off for Plzen and their appointment with Czech champions Viktoria on Tuesday night with the same squad that contested Saturday’s Bundesliga meeting with Hoffenheim. Head coach Pep Guardiola has named 18 players for the Champions League clash on Matchday 4 of the group stage in Europe’s elite club competition. As on Saturday, Arjen Robben has been omitted from the party and will remain in Munich to continue working on an individual training programme.

However, even in the absence of the Dutch winger, the German champions are aiming for victory: “The only thing that matters to us in Plzen are the three points,” declared club captain Philipp Lahm. A fourth win in four matches would see the Champions League holders definitely through to the knockout stages. “We’re top of the group with nine points after three matches, and we’ll try and qualify with two games to spare so we can continue to focus a little more closely on the Bundesliga,” stated Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

The German champions beat their Czech counterparts 5-0 in the first meeting just short of two weeks ago, but the FCB chairman warned against underestimating Tuesday’s foes. “We should always show respect to our opponents and avoid arrogance. I hope the team does just as good a job as they have done in the three Champions League matches so far.”

Lufthansa charter jet LH 2570 took off from Munich airport for Prague on Monday morning after a half-hour delay to change a tyre on the aircraft. Following the one-hour flight, the Bayern party will make the 100 km bus transfer to Plzen, where the international press conference featuring Guardiola, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Mario Götze is scheduled for 1 pm local time. Bayern’s final pre-match training session takes place at 6 pm in Štruncovy Sady Stadión, set to host a sell-out 13,000 crowd on Tuesday evening.

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