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September 15, 2010

Bayern aim to bounce back against Roma


September 15, 2010


MUNICH: Champions League finalists Bayern Munich take on AS Roma in Wednesday’s (today’s) opening group game with both sides looking to get their season back on track after a poor run of form.
Ahead of Wednesday’s Group E tie, Bayern are mid-table in the Bundesliga and were held to a goalless draw by Werder Bremen on Saturday while Roma were hammered 5-1 at Cagliari in Serie A.
Munich coach Louis van Gaal has virtually a full-strength side to choose from with only injured duo Arjen Robben and Breno definitely out. French midfielder Franck Ribery is still banned for the red card he picked up after being sent off in last season’s Champions League semifinal win over Lyon.
Thomas Mueller, a revelation for Germany at the World Cup, said the team has known for a long time that Ribery would be missing and is prepared to make up for his absence.
“The guys from the bench are all hot to play,” Mueller said.
Roma are looking to bounce back from their crushing defeat in Cagliari.
“That was certainly a heavy defeat, but I’m not worried,” said Roma’s captain Francesco Totti in relation to the Champions League duel in Munich.
“We have a point less than at this stage last year,” Totti said.
“The season is very tight and the players aren’t yet ready to play two matches a week, but they will have to get used to it.”
“We have to start over with determination and look each other in the eyes to find some positives,” Roma coach Claudio Ranieri told reporters.
Bayern lost the Champions League final 2-0 to Inter Milan in Madrid last season and defender Philipp Lahm said the side are not yet showing last season’s form.
“It was a long season and a short preparation. We are still lacking some rhythm,” said Lahm.
“It was tough not only mentally, but physically.
“We have seen in previous games, that we are not yet at 100 percent.
“We made life hard for ourselves in the first half, because we had many

turnovers, which we don’t normally give away,” added Lahm.
In the other group match, Cluj host Basel in Romania only two days after coach Sorin Cartu was appointed.




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