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No Robben for Telekom Cup

Final test before season resumes

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The winter break is drawing to an end and FC Bayern have one final set of friendly matches before resuming their Bundesliga campaign at SC Freiburg in one week. The German record champions are competing in the 2017 Telekom Cup and will look to win their first silverware of the new year.

The Reds open the tournament on Saturday with the first semi-final against hosts Fortuna Düsseldorf at 15:00CET. “We want to show good football because it’s an important test for us,” stressed coach Carlo Ancelotti, who has the chance to experiment for one final time in the two games of 45 minutes.

A win over the second-division team would see FCB contest the final at the ESPRIT Arena against the winner of the second semi-final (Borussia Mönchengladbach vs. 1. FSV Mainz 05) at 18:45. Should the Reds lose the first game, they will compete for third place at 17:30.

Robben ill

As well as the injured Thiago and Jerome Boateng, Ancelotti will also be without Kingsley Coman (not match fit), Sven Ulreich and Arjen Robben (cold). The rest of the team can look forward to perfect conditions in Düsseldorf, where a new pitch has just been laid at the ESPRIT Arena. The roof will also remain closed all day so the fans can enjoy the spectacle despite the icy temperatures outside.

The 2017 Telekom Cup is the eighth edition of the tournament and FC Bayern are joint-record holders alongside Hamburger SV with two titles. A win again this year would also make FCB the record champions in this tournament.

However, the main aim of the mid-season tournament is for the Bundesliga leaders to play well and gain confidence ahead of the first competitive fixture of the new year at Freiburg.