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Final winter friendly

Salzburg clash ‘will be a good test’

The performance center with its state-of-the-art equipment is spotlessly clean, and the training pitches have been mown with the utmost precision so that every blade of grass is the right length: just a few days after the winter training camp in Doha, Bayern’s Säbener Strasse facility in the south of Munich is all set for the final week of preparation prior to the second half of the 2013/14 campaign.

“We had great conditions in Qatar but it’s good to be back home,” remarked David Alaba, despite the training burden ordered up by boss Pep Guardiola, who scheduled two workouts for his troops on Friday. The morning session was conducted with such intensity that two of the training balls burst and failed to survive the 90 or so minutes.

The club world champions will be just as energetic and fired up on Saturday afternoon when they cross the Austrian border for the trip to Europa League hopefuls Red Bull Salzburg. The match at 4 pm CET is Bayern’s final friendly prior to next Friday’s official Bundesliga restart fixture away to Borussia Mönchengladbach, where the game will be played under the floodlights at 8.30 pm.

Alaba: Salzburg are good

The final warm-up in Salzburg “will be a real highlight for everyone there,” enthused Alaba as he contemplated the brief visit to his home country. “It’ll be a special game in front of a full house,” the defender continued. The match should certainly provide a clue or two as to Munich’s form coming out of the traditional mid-season break.

Alaba knows the Bulls could stretch FCB on a good day. “Salzburg are having a great season, in the league and in Europe too,” he warned. The Austria side cruised through their Europa League group with six wins in six games and now meet Amsterdam giants Ajax in the first knockout round. “It’ll be a very good test for us,” concluded the Austrian Player of the Year.