Munich, Germany (SportsNetwork.com) – Bayern Munich can wrap up the Bundesliga
title this weekend and complete the first part of a potential treble as the
club entertains Hertha Berlin on Saturday.
Bayern enters the weekend 12 points clear of second-place Wolfsburg with five
matches to play, meaning that the Bavarians would all but lock up the title
with a win over Hertha on Saturday.
Pep Guardiola’s team could be celebrating the trophy as early as Sunday if
Bayern wins and Wolfsburg fails to win at fourth-place Monchengladbach.
Because of Bayern’s vastly superior goal difference, a win on Saturday would
seal the title for all practical purposes, and the club will have plenty of
momentum after rallying from a 3-1 first-leg deficit against FC Porto in the
Champions League to claim a 7-4 aggregate win after a 6-1 pounding of the
Portuguese side in Munich in the second leg on Tuesday.
Making that win even more impressive is the lengthy injury list that Bayern
has at the moment, with Franck Ribery, David Alaba, Arjen Robben, Javi
Martinez and Medhi Benatia each out with injury, while another blow was
received on Thursday as defender Holger Badstuber has been ruled out for up to
four months with a thigh problem.
Bayern has won the last seven meetings between the teams and will be a heavy
favorite, but Hertha is riding a seven-game unbeaten streak that has lifted
the club seven points above the relegation zone with five matches to play.
Wolfsburg’s title hopes may have all but faded, but the club would still love
to secure a top-three place to get an automatic berth into the Champions
League next season.
A win at Monchengladbach would be a big step, while a loss would close the gap
between the sides to four points.
Bayer Leverkusen is also chasing a top-three finish and the club enters the
weekend level on points with Monchengladbach ahead of a trip to Cologne on
Augsburg visits last-place Hamburg with hopes of keeping hold of a Europa
League spot, while Borussia Dortmund continues to chase European play as well
and entertains Eintracht, which is level on points with Jurgen Klopp’s side.
Stuttgart hosts Freiburg in a game filled with relegation implications,
Paderborn is two points from safety and entertains Werder Bremen, and
Hoffenheim hits the road to meet up with Hannover.
On Friday, Schalke’s European hopes took a hit as the club lost 2-0 at Mainz
with Stefan Bell scoring twice in the span of three first-half minutes.