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Bayern hopeful Toni will be fit for Champions League clash

Bayern Munich are hoping to have Luca Toni back for their Champions League clash at Sporting Lisbon on Wednesday as the Italian striker recovers from a heel injury.

Bayern hopeful Toni will be fit for Champions League clash
Photo: DPA

Bayern have lost three of their last four league games – including an embarrassing 2-1 reverse at home to strugglers Cologne on Saturday – and need Toni back for their trip to Lisbon’s Jose Alvalade stadium.

Toni limped off during the first-half of Bayern’s 2-1 defeat at Hertha Berlin ten days ago with an Achilles tendon injury, but Bayern coach Jürgen Klinsmann is optimistic the striker, top-scorer in the league here last season, will start.

“I am confident he will play,” said Klinsmann. “Toni has looked good in training and we are hoping he will play.”

In his absence, Lukas Podolski and Landon Donovan played a half each against Cologne, but Klinsmann said he was far from happy with the result.

“You could clearly see that his presence was missing against Cologne,” said Klinsmann. “He always takes up two markers which gives more space for our other striker Miroslav Klose.”

And Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said the German giants need to buck up their ideas if they are to have any chance of reaching the quarter-finals.

“We’ve lost two in a row in the league, and we need to get out of this rut very quickly, starting with Wednesday’s game in Lisbon,” said the Bayern boss.

Although Toni could have played against Cologne, Klinsmann opted to keep Toni and Brazilian defender Lucio back in reserve for the Lisbon game.

Recent results means Bayern are fourth in the Bundesliga while Sporting are third in the Portuguese league. They enjoyed a 3-2 win over Benfica on Saturday with two goals from Brazil-born forward Liedson, who has expressed an interest in playing for Portugal.

But despite Bayern’s poor recent run history is against Sporting, who are aiming to reach the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time. In 14 games against opponents from Germany Sporting have yet to book a victory.

Moreover, Bayern’s record in European club competition against teams from Portugal is equally daunting: in 20 games the Bundesliga champions have only tasted defeat on one occasion and that came in the 1987 European Champion Clubs’ Cup final.

MUNICH

Four injured as WWII bomb explodes near Munich train station

Four people were injured, one of them seriously, when a World War II bomb exploded at a building site near Munich's main train station on Wednesday, emergency services said.

Smoke rises after the WWII bomb exploded on a building site in Munich.
Smoke rises after the WWII bomb exploded on a building site in Munich. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Privat

Construction workers had been drilling into the ground when the bomb exploded, a spokesman for the fire department said in a statement.

The blast was heard several kilometres away and scattered debris hundreds of metres, according to local media reports.

Images showed a plume of smoke rising directly next to the train tracks.

Bavaria interior minister Joachim Herrmann told Bild that the whole area was being searched.

Deutsche Bahn suspended its services on the affected lines in the afternoon.

Although trains started up again from 3pm, the rail operator said there would still be delays and cancellations to long-distance and local travel in the Munich area until evening. 

According to the fire service, the explosion happened near a bridge that must be passed by all trains travelling to or from the station.

The exact cause of the explosion is unclear, police said. So far, there are no indications of a criminal act.

WWII bombs are common in Germany

Some 75 years after the war, Germany remains littered with unexploded ordnance, often uncovered during construction work.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about WWII bomb disposals in Germany

However, most bombs are defused by experts before they explode.

Last year, seven World War II bombs were found on the future location of Tesla’s first European factory, just outside Berlin.

Sizeable bombs were also defused in Cologne and Dortmund last year.

In 2017, the discovery of a 1.4-tonne bomb in Frankfurt prompted the evacuation of 65,000 people — the largest such operation since the end of the war in Europe in 1945.

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