Sat, Aug 25, 2007 - Page 18 News List

Schweinsteiger and Lucio to return for undefeated Bayern

AFP, BERLIN

Bayern Munich, the Bundesliga's undefeated leaders, will be glad to welcome back key midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger and defender Lucio for Hanover's visit today.

Schweinsteiger, 23, missed Germany's 2-1 win over England at Wembley on Wednesday night, but trained with Bayern on Thursday after shaking off a back injury.

Alongside French midfielder Franck Ribery, Schweinsteiger has been in superb form this season as Bayern, who splashed out 69 million euros (US$94 million) last summer, have inflicted heavy defeats on Hansa Rostock (3-0) and Werder Bremen (4-0).

With five key players still missing, including German internationals striker Miroslav Klose and defender Marcell Jansen, the return of Schweinsteiger and Brazilian Lucio, back after a calf strain, is a boost for coach Ottmar Hitzfeld.

"The team is almost picking itself at the moment," Hitzfeld said. "So it is important all the players return healthy from the international matches. We do not need any more losses on the injury front."

And after a run out with Bayern's reserves, German striker Lukas Podolski, voted the best young player at last year's World Cup, is in contention for a place despite suffering with flu this week.

In contrast, Hanover have lost injured striker Thomas Brdaric with a knee injury for the trip to Bayern as they look to build on their 2-1 win over Karlsruhe last weekend.

Bundesliga champions VfB Stuttgart are hoping to unleash Germany's Footballer of the Year, Mario Gomez, today against Duisburg as they bounce back from last weekend's shock 3-1 defeat at Hertha Berlin.

Borussia Dortmund will be without goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller at home to Energie Cottbus as he begins a three-match ban and was fined 10,000 euros after an alleged racist incident made during last weekend's 4-1 defeat at Schalke 04.

Schalke will want to follow up last weekend's win when they travel to VfL Wolfsburg tomorrow with defender Christian Pander back in the side after the left-back hit the winning goal on his international debut at Wembley on Wednesday.

Arminia Bielefeld are at home to Hertha Berlin and Bayer Leverkusen host Karlsruhe today, while tomorrow Hansa Rostock travel to Eintracht Frankfurt looking for their first win.

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