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Under no pressure

FCB stars fired up for Dortmund

Wednesday evening’s Manchester United clash took its toll in terms of mental and physical energy, so it was good that Pep Guardiola gave his team the morning off following their success in reaching the Champions League semi-finals. The players came in to the Säbener Strasse facility in the course of the afternoon, some for treatment from the physios, others for a shakedown by way of regeneration, and a third group including Bastian Schweinsteiger and Javi Martínez for an intense workout on the training ground, keeping a good-sized crowd happy and entertained.

The Champions League quarter-finals are history, but the next footballing treats are already on the horizon. The draw for the semi-finals in Europe’s elite club competition takes place in Nyon on Friday. And on Saturday, the Bundesliga’s second-placed club Borussia Dortmund visit the champions in the league. “Obviously we want to win, no question about it. And we’re looking forward to it,” Matthias Sammer informed on Thursday, “we have to keep our rhythm.”

“There’s a lot of prestige attached to the fixture,” added Thomas Müller. Philipp Lahm said: “It’s an absolutely massive match because it’s a meeting between two top teams who’ve always staged fantastic clashes in the past.“ Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is just as much looking forward to a game “with an edge. We should see plenty of action on the pitch.“

However, continued the chairman, no-one should forget that when it comes to Bayern and the Bundesliga, “it’s all over. We’re champions, regardless of the outcome on Saturday.” Just four days prior to the crucial DFB Cup semi-final at home to FC Kaiserslautern, that fact could play into Bayern’s hands, Toni Kroos thinks: “We can be relatively relaxed and play our football because we’re under no pressure.”