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Make or break for Bayern

Published: Friday 7 May 2004, 8.06CET
SV Werder Bremen can clinch the Bundersliga title while AFC Ajax try again to finish the job in the Netherlands. features

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Published: Friday 7 May 2004, 8.06CET

Make or break for Bayern

SV Werder Bremen can clinch the Bundersliga title while AFC Ajax try again to finish the job in the Netherlands.
SV Werder Bremen can clinch the Bundesliga title on Saturday if they beat championship rivals FC Bayern München in their crunch match at the Olympiastadion.

Bayern must win
A draw would leave second-placed Bayern in contention, but realistically they must beat Bremen and close the gap at the top to three points - with two matches still to play - if they are to have a realistic chance of stealing their 19th Bundesliga title.

'We need a win'
Bayern coach Ottmar Hitzfeld, whose team may be bereft of injured midfield player Michael Ballack, said: "We need a win and that's what we'll be out to get." Bremen coach Thomas Schaaf, who is without the suspended Ümit Davala, replied: "We have got nothing to worry about. Even if we do lose, which won't happen, we will still be three points clear."

Ajax eye title
For the fourth week in a row, AFC Ajax can secure the Dutch championship - their 29th - if they avoid defeat against NAC Breda at the Amsterdam ArenA. With two rounds to go, the Eredivisie leaders are six points clear of PSV Eindhoven who can secure second place, and a place in the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round, if they beat ADO Den Haag at home.

Silverware to win
Two rounds also remain in Turkey and Fenerbahçe SK can take the title on Sunday if they win at Denizlispor and Trabzonspor, who are two points behind, fail to take maximum points at home against Galatasaray SK on the same day. There is also silverware to be won in Serbia and Montenegro, where FK Crvena Zvezda can clinch the title with a point against FK Vojvodina, and Greece, where the top two, Panathinaikos FC and Olympiacos CFP, meet in Hellenic Cup final.

Finalists meet
The Louis II stadium will host a meeting of France's two European finalists, when second-placed AC Monaco FC play Olympique de Marseille. Didier Deschamps' Champions League finalists are just two points behind leaders Olympique Lyonnais with four rounds remaining, but will be without Patrice Evra and Croatia striker Dado Pršo for the game on Sunday evening. Lyon could welcome Sidney Govou back for their game at FC Metz.

Valencia on verge
In Spain, leaders Valencia CF, who like Marseille sealed a place in the UEFA Cup final this week, need just four points from their remaining three games to claim their sixth league title. They face Sevilla FC on Sunday, without top scorer Mista who is suspended. Second-placed Real Madrid CF play RCD Mallorca at the Santiago Bernabéu without the suspended Zinedine Zidane, while FC Barcelona, now just a point behind Madrid, travel to relegation-threatened RC Celta de Vigo.

Fight for fourth
In Italy, AC Milan captured the Italian title last Saturday so attention turns to the fight for fourth, and a spot in the Champions League third qualifying round next season. AC Parma currently occupy the position, two points ahead of S.S. Lazio and Internazionale FC. The Nerazzurri play host to Parma on Sunday, when Inter striker Adriano will face the team he began the season with. Lazio, meanwhile, visit mid-table Brescia Calcio.

Scramble for safety
The fight to avoid relegation is also close, with the four teams between 13th and 16th all within one point of each other. Empoli FC, who are 16th, visit relegated Ancona Calcio, while Modena FC (15th) and AC Siena (13th) play each other. Reggina Calcio (14th) take on Milan.

Second is key
In England, finally, Chelsea FC can clinch second spot with a point against Manchester United FC at Old Trafford. However, with Arsenal FC crowned champions and the relegation places decided, the main question to resolve is who will finish fourth. Liverpool FC, who are fourth at present, visit Birmingham City FC, Aston Villa FC are at Southampton FC and Newcastle United FC are at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers FC.

Last updated: 08/05/04 17.07CET

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