bayern: Soccer: Bayern hoping for Dortmund slip-up to clinch title with game to spare


Bayern Munich could be crowned Bundesliga champions on Sunday without kicking a ball in what would be an anticlimactic finale to the tightest league race in years.

The Bavarians, chasing an 11th straight league title, have been less dominant than in the past but go into the last two matches a point ahead of second-placed Borussia Dortmund.

Bayern host RB Leipzig, in third, on Saturday and with a win would be four points clear of Dortmund, who visit lowly Augsburg a day later.

A Dortmund defeat at Augsburg would then seal the title for Bayern with a game to spare and salvage some pride at the end of a turbulent season that saw coach Julian Nagelsmann surprisingly sacked in March and replaced by Thomas Tuchel.

But Bayern have since crashed out of the German Cup and the Champions League in the last eight, leaving only the Bundesliga title as a possible prize, and with fans questioning club bosses’ decisions.

The Bavarians, however, remain unbeaten at home this season having won 11 and drawn five of their games in Munich and crowd favourite Thomas Mueller is expected to start again after speculation regarding his future following his recent benching.

He was a starter last week and scored the first goal in their 6-0 demolition of Schalke 04. The attacking midfielder returned to training on Wednesday after a rest earlier in the week but Tuchel will most likely still be without striker Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting, who has not yet trained with the team after recovering from injury.

Leipzig, who have never won in Munich, also have a lot riding on this game with a Champions League spot up for grabs. The have 60 points, one ahead of Union Berlin in fourth and four in front of fifth-placed Freiburg.

The top four teams qualify for next season’s lucrative Champions League group stage.

If Bayern win on Saturday, the pressure will all be on Dortmund to match them a day later and carry the title drama into the final day on May 27.

Bottom club Hertha Berlin must win their relegation derby against 15th-placed VfL Bochum to avoid going down.

Schalke 04, in the relegation playoff spot in 16th, will look to do the same against out-of-form Eintracht Frankfurt and move into the safety zone ahead of the final matchday.

In the second division, leaders Darmstadt 98 and Heidenheim could secure promotion with Hamburg SV, who are in third place which leads to the playoffs, also in the mix.

(Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Ken Ferris)


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