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Rode sidelined

Bayern arrive safely in Barcelona

Vamos! The FC Bayern squad and officials set off on Tuesday morning for the Champions League semi-final first leg against FC Barcelona. The flight with the players on board landed at a quarter to two in the afternoon local time, a day and a half before the showdown with the La Liga leaders at Camp Nou. "It's fifty-fifty and I'm approaching the clash with unconditionally positive feelings," said FCB president Karl Hopfner prior to take-off from Munich's Franz-Josef-Strauß airport.

Robert Lewandowski boarded the plan as hoped. The striker sustained severe facial injuries in the DFB Cup semi-final defeat to Borussia Dortmund but trained in a protective mask on Monday and could feature in the Camp Nou encounter. "It's all OK. We'll take a look tomorrow and see how it is, but I'm not afraid of anything," the Pole said on Tuesday.

"He's doing really well. He doesn't come across as injured to me," commented Thomas Müller. Bayern's top scorer in Europe's elite club competition is confident the Reds can secure a good result in advance of next Tuesday's return at the Allianz Arena. "We believe in ourselves, although we know it won't be easy. But it's the same in every Champions League match. There are no favourites.“

As in last Saturday's Bundesliga trip to Leverkusen, FCB are without Sebastian Rode, who has not made the trip to Barcelona with muscular problems. Long-term absentees Arjen Robben, Franck Ribéry, David Alaba and Holger Badstuber are also out, with Tom Starke not yet match fit. The Munich party will transer to the team hotel after arriving in Barcelona, before the pre-match training session at Camp Nou in the evening.