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Claudio Pizarro to miss Munich return; Bremen duo fined for intentional yellow cards

Claudio Pizarro is set to miss his Munich return, he and Bartels not traveling to Munich. Meanwhile, Clemens Fritz and Zlatko Junuzovic each made off with just a fine for their intentional yellow cards.

Bundesliga veteran Claudio Pizarro will not be in Munich to play against his former Bayern Munich on Saturday due to muscle problems, Bremen announced on Friday.

Pizarro had to stop training early on Thursday because of the injury. He has 13 goals in 25 matches this season since returning to Bremen in September, including five goals in his last three games.

"Of course this is bad news," Viktor Skripnik said in a club statement. "For one thing Claudio was looking forward to his return to Munich and another we are now without three important players in the squad."

The 37-year-old striker is currently sitting on 100 goals for Bremen, one shy of the all-time Bremen record set by Marco Bode. Pizarro was on a roll, scoring nine times since the winter break and four in his last two Bundesliga matches.

Speaking in a press conference on Friday, Bayern coach Pep Guardiola had nothing but praise for the Peruvian forward. "He is insane," he said. "He is one of the best strikers that I ever came to know."

Fußball Bundesliga 21. Spieltag Werder Bremen - TSG Hoffenheim

Zlatko Junuzovic got off easy after admitting to purposefully picking up a yellow card against Hannover last week

No extra suspensions for Fritz, Junuzovic

In a decision from the German Football Association (DFB), Clemens Fritz and Zlatko Junuzovic will not see additional suspensions. The two will only have to pay a 20,000 Euro ($22,200) fine each for deliberately picking up yellow cards in the previous match against Hannover. As a result, they will still miss Saturday's match against Bayern and be eligible for Bremen's home match against Mainz on March 19.

Fritz saw his tenth yellow card of the season and Junuzovic his fifth in the 4-1 victory over Hannover last Saturday, leading to their respective suspensions for Saturday's match. In a post-Hannover match interview with Sky in Germany, Junuzovic admitted to purposefully picking up the yellow card, leading the DFB to launch an investigation on Monday.

"I'm sorry if I acted unsportmanlike," said Junuzovic during the 30 minute hearing with the DFB court in Frankfurt on Friday.

Judge Hans Eberhard Lorenz said the two Bremen players who were on trial got a lighter sentence due to their honesty in Friday's proceedings. "The penalty should be used as a deterrent, and we hope this has a rippling effect. With their confession today both players will only get a slap on the wrist."

Bremen was not the only club that saw their players pick up yellow card suspensions before visiting Bayern Munich. On February 13, 2016, six Darmstadt players picked up yellow cards against Bayer Leverkusen in a 1-2 loss. Four of those cards came within the last 5 minutes of the match. A DFB investigation found no wrongdoing, and five players served a one-match ban for card accumulation in Bayern the following week.

kd/dv (dpa, SID)