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Müller: We’re up for it

Schweinsteiger in squad for Hoffenheim clash

It was only a brief lapse in concentration, but the damage could not be undone: the bottle tipped over and water came pouring out, covering the entire table. Fortunately, Pep Guardiola did not get wet. A quiet “sorry”, and it was time to resume the press conference prior to Bayern’s home Bundesliga meeting with 1899 Hoffenheim on Saturday (Live in English from 15:30 / 3.30 pm CET on Twitter and Web Radio). Despite the mishap with the water and a tricky selection situation, the FCB coach came across as relaxed: “We mustn’t go looking for excuses, we need to keep going and find solutions, ways to compensate for the missing players,” he said.

Philipp Lahm, David Alaba, Thiago, Holger Badstuber, Javi Martínez, Claudio Pizarro, Tom Starke and Pepe Reina are all unlikely to feature again this year. “It’s obviously difficult for us,” Guardiola commented. Fortunately, all the club’s internationals returned from duty with their countries with nothing but minor knocks. “They’re all fit,” the coach confirmed.

Müller set to play

Thomas Müller has recovered from a dead leg and completed the final pre-match training session without undue difficulty. “There’s nothing to stop me playing,” the striker told The fans need have “no worries,” he continued: “We’re FC Bayern and we’ll always send out a competitive team. I don’t think it’s as dramatic as it’s being made out to be. We’re up for it!”

That is not least because Bastian Schweinsteiger will be part of the squad for the first time this season. The midfielder has been out of action with a persistent knee inflammation since the World Cup final back in July. “It’s good news. He’s fit and he can help us a lot,” enthused Guardiola. The FCB vice-captain resumed the team training programme a couple of weeks ago.

Schweinsteiger and Bayern face a potentially tough task on Saturday. Hoffenheim made an excellent start to the campaign and are currently fifth in the table, ten points off leaders FCB. “They have outstanding strikers,” warned Guardiola, thinking back to last season when 1899 claimed a 3-3 draw in Munich. “We had a lot of trouble with their pressing high up the field,” said the Spaniard. He is urging his team to do better this time: “We still have six Bundesliga and two Champions League matches before Christmas. It’s an important period and we can take another step forward.”

Latest news from Hoffenheim:

  • Doubtful: Eugen Polanski (thigh)
  • Coach Markus Gisdol: "Bayern will lose a home game again at some point. I don't know whether it'll be against us, but we'll try everything we can and not write off the points before it's started. However, our expectations are obviously not that high. It's normal to lose four, five or six-nil in Munich. Or do you reckon we're better than AS Roma?“