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Big match build-up

Müller returns, trio still sidelined

Autumn has arrived in Munich. Previously blue sunny skies turned overcast on Monday morning in the Bavarian capital, as the FC Bayern players began their preparations for this Wednesday’s game against Hertha BSC (20:00 CEST kick-off) in cold and wet conditions.

There was good news for coach Carlo Ancelotti and fans of the champions: Thomas Müller was back. The World Cup winner has overcome his stomach bug and returned to training. Captain Philipp Lahm, David Alaba and Mats Hummels are not yet fit though. The trio, who missed Saturday‘s home game against FC Ingolstadt, were also absent for the first training session of the week.

That leaves Ancelotti with 20 fit players, including three goalkeepers and three youngsters. Of the other 14, Arjen Robben and Jérôme Boateng, who made his comeback from a two-month lay-off against Ingolstadt, both completed the session. With Douglas Costa sidelined and no definite return for the ill players, both are set to be in the squad again against Hertha BSC.

Special match for Jérôme

For Boateng in particular, the top-of-the-table clash with Hertha, who are also yet to drop points, will be a special occasion. “I follow Hertha very closely because I used to play for them and it’s the club where I grew up. On Wednesday I’d like them to lose, but after that they can start winning again,” said the centre-back in an FCBayern.tv interview. “They’ve assembled a good team and made good signings in the summer.”

After his ten-minute comeback against Ingolstadt, Boateng is hoping to be involved again against his former club, perhaps even from the start. “I have to see how training goes in the next day or two,” said the defender, who does not want to rush things. “I doubt I’ll be able to play 90 minutes yet.”

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