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Sanches making progress

Neuer: We start again from scratch

There is growing excitement as FC Bayern prepare to take on Werder Bremen in the Bundesliga restart at the Allianz Arena on Friday at 20.30 CET. On Carlo Ancelotti's instructions the FCB training ground was shielded from the eyes of curious spectators on Wednesday. "The anticipation is great, you can see that in the training sessions," commented David Alaba: "We're preparing well for the match."

"I'm looking forward to the upcoming challenges," said an eager Manuel Neuer before the first Bundesliga contest at home. As usual, the World's Best Goalkeeper dived energetically after shots fired at hime from all angles in training. Following the session he stressed that last season's successes do not count any longer. "We start again from scratch, we have to do it all over again. There will be no presents," warned Neuer.

"Bremen will hit the gas, particularly after their cup disappointment," said Alaba, certain that the men from the north are determined to make up for the 2-1 DFB Cup defeat against third-tier outfit SF Lotte. Besides, "they're at the Allianz Arena and want to step up their game against us. We have to be prepared for it. We have to put up a fight."

Praise for Hummels

The Munich men have high hopes of new signing Mats Hummels, especially in the light of the injury-enforced absence of Jérôme Boateng. "Mats gives it everyhting, he's crucial for our discipline. He'll assume a leading role at FC Bayern," predicted Neuer, who is "glad we have this world-class centre-back. Besides, the whole Bayern family hope that Jérome will return soon."

Renato Sanches is one step further on. The Portuguese newcomer completed the full squad programme for the first time on Wednesday, but Friday's encounter probably comes too early for the youngster. "I'm feeling very good again," Sanches told FC Bayern.tv News, "but I'm still in rehab and of course not at 100 percent." The coach and the medical unit will decide if he will be in the squad, according to Sanches. "If I'm in the squad I'll do my best to help us win the match."