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Near full strength - 06.03.2014 16:45

Focus on Wolfsburg as internationals return

As always at this stage of the season, there is no let-up for the stars. The club’s internationals returned to the Säbener Strasse facility on Thursday afternoon - and immediately took up preparations for Saturday’s Bundesliga trip to face VfL Wolfsburg (kick-off 3.30 pm). Pep Guardiola split his men into three groups for the late afternoon workout: one group completed a full-on session, others stuck to regeneration with a few gentle laps of the training ground. The third group reported to the performance centre and appointments with the club’s physios.

In terms of injuries and team selection the news was overwhelmingly positive. Thomas Müller resumed the full team programme on Thursday after shaking off a strain. Franck Ribéry and Xherdan Shaqiri, who both made brief appearances for their national teams the previous evening, are definitely in contention for the squad to face Wolfsburg. “I felt good. It was good to get a few minutes against the Netherlands. It’s got me back into match rhythm. I’m ready to play,” Ribéry declared.

Sammer: We’ll need answers

Arjen Robben was also back on the practice ground after recovering from the thigh bruising that kept him out of the Netherlands’ defeat away to the French. “It’s all OK. I think I can turn out on Saturday,” the 30-year-old reported. Dante and Rafinha were not present for the afternoon session, as they are only expected back in the Bavarian capital from their Brazil team duties in South Africa in the evening.

Speaking to fcbayern.de, Matthias Sammer was already looking ahead to the Wolfsburg clash. “[Sporting director] Klaus Alllofs and [head coach] Dieter Hecking are implementing a strategy of continuity at Wolfsburg. They’re aiming at the highest imaginable targets. I’m impressed,” the Bayern board director for sport said admiringly. The Wolves crashed to a 6-2 defeat away to Hoffenheim last weekend, “and that was a setback for them,” continued Sammer. “They’ll be determined to bounce back and react. We’ll need answers.“

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