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Champions League Round of 16

Workout precedes flight to London

At around quarter to three local time on Tuesday afternoon, some 29 hours prior to Wednesday evening’s Champions League Round of 16 first leg away to Arsenal, the Bayern players, coaching staff and officials took off for London on board a Lufthansa charter jet. “We’ll see two very interesting matches,” commented Karl-Heinz Rummenigge at Munich airport, “we’ll be trying for a good result in London and a good position for the return leg. Our team is equipped to do this.“

On arrival at London Gatwick the Bayern party will transfer directly to the team hotel, where coach Pep Guardiola, goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and former English Premier League star Arjen Robben will face the press at the obligatory pre-match news conference. The team will not train on Tuesday in the English capital, as Pep Guardiola wanted to avoid long and wearying battles through the London rush-hour traffic and supervised his men in a morning workout in Munich instead.

“It’s a sensible and good solution,” commented club captain Philipp Lahm. Practically the entire squad is familiar with the Emirates Stadium from last year’s clash at the same stage of the competition. Lahm’s team-mate Jérome Boateng admitted he would have been happy for a shakedown at Arsenal’s home ground “to get a feel for the pitch.” However, the defender continued, “it’s not worth it if we have to sit in a traffic jam for two or three hours.”

The morning session at the Säbener Strasse facility lasted around 90 minutes. The whole squad was involved apart from injured trio Franck Ribéry, Xherdan Shaqiri and Holger Badstuber. After the warm-up the players completed pace-building drills and worked on set plays. The mood was focused and determined, and the stars look all set for Arsenal.