Bayern see chance to go top in title-race thrillerMay 11th, 2009 - 6:49 pm ICT by IANS
Hamburg, May 11 (DPA) Bayern Munich will be aiming to go top of the Bundesliga for the first time this season when the title race in German football goes into the final straight this week.
Bayern drew level on points with leaders Wolfsburg Saturday, and take on Bayer Leverkusen at home Tuesday hoping Wolfsburg will slip against Borussia Dortmund who have won their last seven games.
Meanwhile third-placed Hertha Berlin - a point behind - travel to Cologne Tuesday as they seek a first German league title since 1931.
Confidence is also high at VfB Stuttgart - a further point behind - following a 4-1 thrashing of Wolfsburg and ahead of a tricky visit to Schalke 04 Wednesday.
The title race is effectively a four-team affair after SV Hamburg’s 2-0 defeat at Werder Bremen Sunday, but with only two points separating the quartet it is the tightest for some time.
“I don’t think the Bundesliga title race has ever been this close,” said Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge after Bayern defeated Energie Cottbus 3-1 away Saturday.
Bayern have won both their matches since Jupp Heynckes replaced the sacked Juergen Klinsmann and now face visiting midtable Leverkusen before a trip to Hoffenheim on Saturday and a final home
match against Stuttgart the following week.
Rummenigge said it was important the players “take each game as it comes” as Bayern seek to defend their title, or at least make sure of finishing second to qualify for the Champions League.
“We’d be well advised not to get carried away,” he said. “Anything could happen. We could win the league, but we could also slip to fourth.”
Wolfsburg have a question mark over key midfielder Zvjezdan Misimovic (bruised foot) against Dortmund as they seek to recover from their 4-1 humbling at Stuttgart.
Wolfsburg can point to an almost unblemished home record - one point dropped in 15 games - but are facing a Dortmund side that has risen to fifth place, just five points behind, on the back of a club-record seven straight wins.
“We are still league leaders and we want to rehabilitate ourselves by beating Dortmund. We still have every chance,” midfielder Christian Gentner said.
Surprise side Hertha are also in the reckoning, with club manager Dieter Hoeness forecasting the team that now wins all of their last three games will win the title.
Hertha have a doubt over striker Marko Pantelic (bruised thigh) for the trip to Cologne which will be followed by a home match against Schalke and a visit to bottom club Karlsruhe.
“Everything is possible,” said Hoeness who believes that both Wolfsburg and Bayern will still drop points.
But he warned: “Please let’s not talk about three wins, let’s just talk about the next match. Three points in Cologne, and then we can dream.”
Stuttgart stayed in the race with their victory over Wolfsburg, to take their unbeaten run to seven games including six wins.
But Markus Babbel’s side are not yet even assured of a Europa Cup place for next season and will need to win at Schalke before a home game against Energie Cottbus and a finale at Bayern Munich.
Sixth-placed Hamburg are now battling for a place in Europe, with relegation-threatened Bochum the visitors Wednesday.
Cottbus take on Borussia Moenchengladbach in a relegation fight, while Arminia Bielefeld face Hoffenheim badly needing points to lift them out of the relegation zone.
Bottom club Karlsruhe could be relegated if they lose at home to Hanover Wednesday, depending on other results, while Eintracht Frankfurt take on Werder Bremen in the evening’s other game.
- Cologne relegated, Dortmund break Bundesliga record - May 06, 2012
- Bayern on top with unconvincing victory over Wolfsburg - Jan 29, 2012
- Borussia Dortmund edge out Bayern Munich in Bundesliga - Nov 20, 2011
- Dortmund close in on Bundesgila title - Apr 15, 2012
- German Bundesliga kicks off August 27 - Jun 27, 2012
- Bayern Munich on revenge mission in Wolfsburg - Feb 04, 2010
- Bayern Munich badly need a turnaround - Mar 06, 2009
- Three-goal Leverkusen go top; more woe for Wolfsburg - Jan 25, 2010
- Bayern Munich aim to improve in Bundesliga - Dec 03, 2009
- Bremen go top as Hanover and Bundesliga remember Enke - Nov 22, 2009
- Bayern Munich reduces Dortmund's lead - Apr 01, 2012
- Mertesacker saves Bremen as Hamburg and Schalke stumble - Nov 29, 2009
- Loew calls up Hunt and Mueller for friendlies - Nov 06, 2009
- Schalke defeat Berlin for second place of German Bundesliga - Dec 10, 2011
- German coach Loew drops Cacau from Euro 2012 squad - May 29, 2012
Tags: bayer leverkusen, bayern munich, borussia dortmund, bundesliga, energie cottbus, five points, german football, german league, hertha berlin, home match, jupp heynckes, karl heinz rummenigge, klinsmann, last seven games, midfielder, question mark, schalke 04, sv hamburg, vfb stuttgart, werder bremen