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Week of friendlies

Sixteen FCB stars on international duty

Following the emphatic 5-1 win against Schalke, 16 Bayern players will be away from the FCB coaching staff and their team-mates for a few days. The international players at the treble winners are set to make their first appearances for their countries in 2014 on Wednesday. There are some interesting encounters in prospect for the FCB pros as the World Cup draws ever closer.

The largest group of Bayern players travelled to Stuttgart on Sunday to join up with the rest of Joachim Löw’s 21-man squad. Six Bayern players are in the Germany squad for Wednesday’s friendly against Chile (kick-off 20.45 CET, live on ARD): captain Philipp Lahm, Manuel Neuer, Jérôme Boateng, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Mario Götze and Toni Kroos. “I’m planning to play Lahm in midfield,” announced Löw who has to make do without Thomas Müller and Holger Badstuber (both in rehab training).

Four Bayern players might face a team-mate on Wednesday. The two FCB wingers Franck Ribéry and Arjen Robben could meet in Paris when France entertain the Netherlands (21.00 CET). And Switzerland with Xherdan Shaqiri take on Croatia with Mario Mandzukic in St. Gallen (20.30 CET). However, as Ribéry and Shaqiri have recently been sidelined through injury there is a question mark over the FCB duo playing.

Dante and Rafinha are more than likely to be in action. The defenders are in the Brazil squad travelling to play 2010 World Cup hosts South Africa. Rafinha has received his first call-up to the Seleção since his debut in March 2008. And Austria provides the stage for more Latin American flair in with the visit of Uruguay to face David Alaba and co.(20.30 CET). Daniel van Buyten with his Belgian compatriots take on the Ivory Coast. And, last but not least, Spain face a stern test when Javi Martínez, Thiago and Co entertain Italy in Madrid (22.00 CET).

Pep Guardiola will have his players back on the training ground on Thursday afternoon as Bayern start the run-in to this weekend’s Bundesliga away game at VfL Wolfsburg (Saturday, 15.30 CET).