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FCB turn focus to Schalke clash

The Bayern pros had just 48 hours to rest their legs and minds before it was time to fully focus on the next challenge. Pep Guardiola reunited his troops for training at the Säbener Strasse on Wednesday afternoon in preparation for the Bundesliga fixture at home to Schalke 04 on Saturday (kick-off 6.30 pm CET).

In glorious sunshine and spring temperatures, Guardiola had nearly his whole squad available for the start of the run-in to the Schalke game. Injured trio Franck Ribéry, Xherdan Shaqiri and Holger Badstuber, who completed individual fitness work, were unable to take part in full training. Thomas Müller was also absent following the injury he suffered at Hannover on Sunday. He was being treated by the medical section.

Around 500 fans looked on as Guardiola put his players through their paces. Passing drills, shuttle runs and finishing were covered in a range of intensive and complex exercises as the FCB coaching staff worked the players hard. One thing was crystal clear on Wednesday: after 19 home wins unbeaten, Bayern will be looking to make it 20 with another win, clocking up three more important points in the race for the title.

“We’re strong at home and we want to keep our run going,” declared Jérôme Boateng. At the same time, Boateng knows Schalke have “started the second half of the season very well,” and that FCB will face ”a good and evenly-fought encounter.” One possible advantage for Bayern is the fact they have not had a midweek game while Schalke face Real Madrid on Wednesday night in the Champions League Round of 16.

The man with the best information about that game is Bayern striker Claudio Pizarro, who was in contact with his fellow Peruvian and Schalke pro Jefferson Farfan at the start of the week. “I wished him luck for the Champions League game against Real Madrid,” said the 35-year-old striker on He also made his position clear: “There’s nothing in it for him on Saturday.”