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France's Ribery eager to face Bayern team-mates

Published: 06 Feb 2013 08:00 GMT+01:00

Ribery is set to start on the left wing, meaning he is likely to be in direct opposition to his club colleagues Thomas Müller and Bayern captain Philipp Lahm in the friendly at the Stade de France.

"It'll be a tremendous duel with the pair of them," the 29-year-old, who joined Bayern in 2007, told FCBayern.de. "We'll set aside our friendship for the 90 minutes.

"I'm very familiar with how they play, but they know all about my game. And that also goes for all six Bayern players likely to represent Germany in Paris on Wednesday."

Germany are looking for revenge over the French after Olivier Giroud and Florent Malouda scored in a 2-1 victory for Les Bleus in Bremen last February, when Ribery played the first half.

While Ribery has admitted he has a soft spot for Germany, that will be the last thing on his mind come Wednesday.

"I'm still French and France is my home, but obviously I've developed different feelings for Germany compared to any other country in the world," he said.

"I can speak German nowadays and understand the mentality. I'm delighted when Germany win games - but not on Wednesday."

In Tuesday's press conference in Paris, Germany coach Joachim Löw confirmed Lahm will start at right-back -- setting up a mouth-watering clash against Ribery -- with Bayern's Jerome Boateng likely to be on the left.

"I plan to have Philipp on the right, which will be a permanent solution," said Löw, who has toyed with playing Lahm at left-back. "This is where he has played most over the years.

"I know that he can play on both sides, but we will find another solution."

With another Bayern player, Holger Badstuber, currently injured, Arsenal's Per Mertesacker is likely to partner Mats Hummels at centre-back.

Ribery's Bayern team-mate, striker Mario Gomez, is set to start up front and first-choice goalkeeper Manuel Neuer will start on the bench with Hamburg's Rene Adler winning his first cap for more than two years.

Arsenal forward Lukas Podolski, who used to play with Ribery at Bayern, is likely to make his 107th appearance and come in as cover for Dortmund's injured Marco Reus, which pleases the Frenchman.

"We text from time to time. I like him, he's funny," said Ribery about Podolski. "I'm delighted it's going well for him at Arsenal."

AFP/mry

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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