Bayern close in on title as relegation battle heats up
April 28 2016 10:30 PM
Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola looks on during Wednesday night's UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg clash against Atletico de Madrid in Madrid. While Bayern lost 1-0 in Madrid, they have been in complete control of the German domestic league throughout. With a seven-point lead over second-placed Borussia Dortmund, Bayern can wrap up the championship with two games remaining by defeating Borussia Moenchengladbach at home tomorrow. (AFP)


Bayern Munich can clinch a record fourth consecutive Bundesliga title tomorrow but at the other end of the table several clubs continue to fight for their top-flight lives.
While Bayern stumbled in the Champions League semi-final first leg at Atletico Madrid on Wednesday, they have been in complete control of the domestic league throughout the campaign.
And with a seven-point lead over second-placed Borussia Dortmund, Bayern can wrap up the championship with two games remaining by defeating Borussia Moenchengladbach at home tomorrow.
“Now it is up to us,” coach Pep Guardiola said of the position after defeating Hertha Berlin last week. “We need one more victory.”
Dortmund will hope to maintain the pressure by defeating midtable Wolfsburg at home and build momentum for the May 21 German Cup final against Bayern.
“I know that people are already pretty certain about where the title will go,” coach Thomas Tuchel said. “We can only influence how we perform as a team, and we gladly do that in our own special way.
“We must keep wanting more, we must maintain this consistency and fervour, we must keep wanting to perform. If you do that, everything else just falls into place.”
There is a crucial showdown in the race for the Champions League spots as third-placed Bayer Leverkusen seek a seventh straight league win when they welcome Hertha Berlin, who are fourth, in tomorrow’s late game.
“It was good against Bayern, even if the result didn’t work out,” forward Sami Allagui told the Hertha homepage. “And I think it will be better against Bayer.”
Mainz and Schalke are currently in the remaining Europa League places but are only four points behind Hertha. Should the Berliners lose in Leverkusen, they could reignite their Champions League dreams at home to midtable SV Hamburg and away to relegated Hanover respectively.
A crunch relegation fixture on Monday sees 16th Werder Bremen host 15th VfB Stuttgart as famous names fret over their future.
“We’re fully aware of how crucial this game is,” Werder defender Papy Djilobodji said. “We’re going to do all we can to claim the points, I can guarantee that.”
Werder and Stuttgart’s precarious situation could be even worse by kick-off should second-bottom Eintracht Frankfurt win a regional derby at Darmstadt tomorrow, with a three-goal victory enough to take Eintracht to 15th on goal difference.
“We will need all our playing and fighting qualities in Darmstadt,” coach Niko Kovac said. “We know that Darmstadt is a team which works through spirit and effective fighting.”
Frankfurt travel without supporters as punishment for previous fan misdemeanours while Darmstadt, four points above the relegation play-off place, can effectively secure safety with a victory.
The survival battle begins tonight when Augsburg, who have motored up to 12th on the back of three successive wins, host Cologne.
And in the other weekend game, Hoffenheim look to extend a five-game unbeaten streak at home when they welcome Ingolstadt.
Hoffenheim are not yet secure in 14th but have played impressively under the guidance of young coach Julian Nagelsmann and can take another step towards safety with a victory.

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