Berlin: German league leaders Bayern Munich look set to welcome back star midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger for Friday's clash against Borussia Moenchengladbach as the Bundesliga resumes after the winter break.
Germany star Schweinsteiger has been out since breaking his collarbone in the Champions League win over Napoli at the start of November, but despite sitting out training on Tuesday with a knee injury he is hopeful of playing.
Bayern have a three-point lead at the top of the table, but suffered consecutive defeats in the wake of Schweinsteiger's injury last November and the star is eager to recapture the form he showed before injury struck.
"It looks good for 'Gladbach, I have no worries, but of course I want to get back to top form quickly," said the 27-year-old with 'Gladbach fourth in the league.
"I practised (on Wednesday). It was quite good. I'm not worried, but I want to be in my best shape when I start the match.
"I hope the knee will be getting better and better before Friday.
"I'm very excited. It's important for us to get a win and have a good start.
"On the pitch you can react and change something, in the stands you can't.
"We want to get back to the form we had before my injury and dominated the opposition.
"It's up to us whether we are under pressure or not.
"We have high expectations and it's important that we work as a team."
Schweinsteiger will be up against 'Gladbach's key midfielder Marco Reus, who will play for defending champions Borussia Dortmund next season, and is one of the best midfielders in Germany this season with 10 goals in 15 league games.
Having only avoided the drop after winning last season's relegation play-off, 'Gladbach have been a surprise package this term and Schweinsteiger insists Bayern will not take Lucien Favre's team lightly.
"It will not be an easy game. They have some high quality players, not just Reus," said Schweinsteiger.
"There's (Venezuela midfielder Juan) Arango and (Germany striker Mike) Hanke for instance, but it's clear the we have a lot more quality in the squad.
"We have a lot of options, so the opponent doesn't know what will come.
"If we show our quality on the pitch, then we will win."
Bayern have a score to settle against Favre's 'Gladbach who stunned the Bavarian giants in Munich with a 1-0 win at the Allianz Arena on the opening weekend of the season in August.
Both second-placed Borussia Dortmund and Schalke 04, who are third, are just three points behind Bayern, but a vastly superior goal difference mean Munich will finish the weekend on top regardless of results.
Dortmund have a tough game at resurgent Hamburg, who have climbed up to mid-table and are unbeaten since ex-Bayern midfielder Thorsten Fink took over in October.
The Royal Blues of Schalke 04, third in the table, are at home to VfB Stuttgart, who will be without ex-Germany striker Christian Gentner, out with a leg injury.
Borussia M'gladbach v Bayern Munich
Schalke 04 v VfB Stuttgart
Nuremberg v Hertha Berlin
Freiburg v Augsburg
Hoffenheim v Hanover 96
Wolfsburg v Cologne
Kaiserslautern v Werder Bremen
Hamburg v Borussia Dortmund
Bayer Leverkusen v Mainz 05