Excitement building ahead of Leverkusen
The shouts of the Bayern players reverberated around Säbener Straße and beyond on Wednesday morning. On the penultimate day of training before the start of the second half of the season, the Reds were full of energy again as they played a training game. "It'll be a very difficult game but we're very well prepared," commented Hasan Salihamidzic.
The FCB sporting director is pleased with what he's seen in training and in the 5-3 win in Tuesday's friendly against Großaspach. He also stressed that although they can obviously play better, he's confident they will. "It will get better, I'm sure of that."
Hummels and Lewandowski back
The optimism in the camp was further boosted by the return of Mats Hummels and Robert Lewandowski to full training. On Wednesday the pair were able to train fully alongside their teammates for the first time during this mid-season training. With Joshua Kimmich returning yesterday, the squad has a clean bill of health other than long-term absentees Manuel Neuer and Thiago.
"I think we're on the right track. Everyone's worked well and been committed," said Sandro Wagner. The new arrival is convinced the team aren't resting on their 11-point lead at the top of the table. "No one's thinking about the lead, so no one's holding back at all," he stated.
"Obviously it's nice to have a bit of a lead, but we need to go back on the attack straight away," declared Franck Ribéry ahead of Friday's opener. The Frenchman is not the only one whose excitement is palpable. "Under the floodlights, fired-up opponents -- it'll be a good game."