Bayern hope for Toni return

German Football
By German Football August 22, 2008 01:47

Bayern hope for Toni return

Bayern Munich hope last season’s Bundesliga top scorer Luca Toni will return from injury for Saturday’s match at Borussia Dortmund and inject some impetus into the German champions’ campaign.

The Bavarians could manage only a draw in their first match of the season last week at home to Hamburg SV and were clearly missing the Italy striker, who scored 24 goals in his debut season but has been sidelined by a calf muscle strain.

‘It’s looking very good for Luca,’ coach Juergen Klinsmann said on Bayern’s website.

‘We are hoping he’ll be back on board on Saturday and then things will look a bit different again.’

There was also some positive news about Bayern’s French international midfielder Franck Ribery, who was injured at Euro 2008 but should return to light training at the weekend, Klinsmann said.

The former Germany coach has had to cope with a raft of other injuries and midfielder Hamit Altintop and defender Martin Demichelis were also missing against Hamburg.

‘Of course we are lacking the presence on the pitch of these kinds of people, which in itself commands respect from opponents,’ Klinsmann said. ‘But that’s the way it is and we make the best of all situations.’

Bayern looked second best for much of last week’s match, Klinsmann’s first Bundesliga game in charge, and were lucky to claim a point as the visitors twice struck a post.

‘We weren’t pressing the opposition enough and we have to be more physical and prevent the crosses coming in,’ he said.

Promoted 1899 Hoffenheim pulled off a 3-0 away win over Energie Cottbus last weekend to finish their first day as a Bundesliga club on top of the league table.

Hoffenheim were joined by Schalke 04, who beat Hanover 96 by the same scoreline.

Schalke, third last term, travel to Bremen on Saturday to play Werder, who pipped them to second place last year and thumped them 5-1 in the process.

Schalke defender Marcelo Bordon said the significance of that match should not be exaggerated.

‘We were suffering a bit after a difficult Champions League tie against Barcelona and had a really bad day,’ Bordon said on Schalke’s website.

‘Apart from that one match, we have often looked really good against Bremen,’ he added.

German Football
By German Football August 22, 2008 01:47
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