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BAYERN

Schweinsteiger poised for Bayern return

Germany captain Bastian Schweinsteiger is set to make his first Bundesliga appearance since the World Cup final on Saturday, Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola said.

Schweinsteiger poised for Bayern return
Photo: Andreas Gerbert/DPA

Schweinsteiger, who last played in Germany's extra-time win over Argentina at Rio de Janeiro's Maracana stadium, should play at least part of the home game against Hoffenheim.

"Bastian is the squad and he is fit," said Guardiola.

"It's good news, he is back and it's one more player for the squad." 

Schweinsteiger, 30, has been out for 132 days after an ankle injury, then a strained knee ligament.

Saturday's match at the Allianz Arena is Bayern's last before facing Manchester City away on Tuesday in the Champions League with the Germans already in the last 16.

Guardiola warned that Schweinsteiger is "not 100 percent fit and will need time to find his old form".

"I don't know if he will play from the beginning, we have had a lot of injuries, especially in the midfield."

Schweinsteiger's return is welcome news after Bayern lost captain Philipp Lahm on Wednesday for the next three months with a fractured ankle.

Guardiola is having to use his full squad with defender David Alaba joining the long-term injury list alongside Javi Martinez, Thiago Alcantara and Holger Badstuber.

"This is hard for us, but we have a super squad, so there can be no excuses," said Guardiola with Bayern four points clear in the league.

Guardiola will include Manuel Neuer, who missed Germany's 1-0 friendly win over Spain on Tuesday, while Thomas Mueller and Jerome Boateng are also fit. 

Meanwhile, Guardiola has paved the way for midfielders Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Xherdan Shaqiri to leave the Bavarian giants during the January's transfer window.

The 19-year-old Hojbjerg said this week he is ready to leave Bayern after just a handful of starts for the German champions, while Swiss winger Shaqiri has only started three games this season.

"I want players at Bayern who want to play here. If a player doesn't want to stay, he has to go to another club," said Guardiola.

"We have eight important games between now and Christmas, we can talk about it in the winter break," he said.

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FOOTBALL

Frankfurt shock Bayern in German Cup final and ruin Heynckes farewell

Ante Rebic ruined Jupp Heynckes' farewell as Bayern Munich coach on Saturday with the Croatia striker scoring twice as Eintracht Frankfurt claimed an upset 3-1 win in the German Cup final.

Frankfurt shock Bayern in German Cup final and ruin Heynckes farewell
Frankfurt's players celebrate after the German Cup DFB Pokal final football match in Berlin on Saturday. Photo: Tobias Schwarz/AFP
The victory gave Eintracht boss Niko Kovac his first trophy as a coach in his final match before leaving to take over from Heynckes at Bayern. 
 
After Rebic's opening goal, Robert Lewandowski equalised for Munich early in the second half. However, Rebic added his late second before substitute Mijat Gacinovic tapped into an empty net just before the whistle to delight Frankfurt fans and break Bayern's hearts.
 
“Everyone said that we'd be beaten out of the stadium,” said Frankfurt's Ghana midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng. “But we showed heart and it was Bayern who were beaten.”
 
This was supposed to be Heynckes' farewell party with Bayern sending their 73-year-old head coach into retirement with the German cup and league double having wrapped up a sixth straight Bundesliga title.
 
“It was an avoidable defeat and sometimes defeat belongs to sport,” said Heynckes graciously. “We made a serious mistake before they went 1-0 up. If you don't exploit your chances, then you can't win a cup match like that.”
 
It is exactly 30 years since Eintracht last won the German Cup as they lifted the trophy for the fifth time.
 
“I am happy that we have won the cup after 30 years,” said Rebic. “The team deserves it, Bayern are always the favourites, but at the end it was us who won the cup.”