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News in brief

FCB granted audience with Pope Francis

FC Bayern have been granted the great honour of a private audience with Pope Francis during the club’s Champions League trip to Rome next week. Prior to the return flight to Munich on Wednesday morning Pep Guardiola and his players will make a short excursion to the Vatican. The head of the Catholic church is known as a passionate football fan and is a long-standing member of multiple Argentine championship-winning club Atletico San Lorenzo de Almagro.

Schedule for Matchdays 18 to 21 finalised

The German Football League (DFL) has announced the final schedule for the first four matches of the second half of the 2014/15 Bundesliga season. FC Bayern will contest the official post-Christmas restart fixture away to VfL Wolfsburg at 8.30 pm CET on Friday 30 January. FCB are then at home to Schalke 04 on Tuesday 3 February (kick-off 8 pm CET), before the Bavarians visit VfB Stuttgart at 3.30 pm on Saturday 7 February. The home meeting with Hamburger SV takes place exactly a week later on Saturday 14 February.