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Bayern focus on Bundesliga bid

Published: Friday 15 April 2005, 16.40CET
Having exited the UEFA Champions League, FC Bayern München go to Hannover 96 eyeing the Bundesliga title.

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Published: Friday 15 April 2005, 16.40CET

Bayern focus on Bundesliga bid

Having exited the UEFA Champions League, FC Bayern München go to Hannover 96 eyeing the Bundesliga title.
By Mark Bennett

Having had their UEFA Champions League challenge ended by Chelsea FC, FC Bayern München go to Hannover 96 on Saturday looking to move a step closer to the Bundesliga title.

Three-point advantage
Bayern lead FC Schalke 04 by three points and are now desperate to claim the championship. "The team played great football against Chelsea on Tuesday and I would like to see the players repeat that performance in Hannover," said coach Felix Magath, whose side also visit DSC Arminia Bielefeld in the German Cup semi-finals on Wednesday. "I want to win the double now our Champions League season is over. Maybe the fact we are no longer involved in Europe will work to our advantage in the Bundesliga."

Brazilians suspended
Schalke, whose 3-0 defeat at VfB Stuttgart last week allowed Bayern to move clear, welcome UEFA Cup-chasing Hamburger SV. Home coach Ralf Rangnick, without Lincoln and Marcelo Bordon through suspension, said: "We have had to replace players before and will most probably have to do it again before the season is over. It is something we cannot allow to affect us. Now the reserves can show their talent."

Stuttgart pressure
Third-placed Stuttgart, within two points of Schalke, travel to struggling FC Hansa Rostock in their attempt to up the pressure on the front two and keep Werder Bremen, currently fourth, at bay. However, Stuttgart coach Matthias Sammer has warned his players that "the match in Rostock will not be pretty or easy. We shouldn't underestimate Hansa."

Bremen welcome Hertha
Saturday's other fixtures see title-holders Bremen welcome fifth-placed Hertha BSC Berlin, Bayer 04 Leverkusen make the trip to bottom team SC Freiburg, and VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach entertain 1. FSV Mainz 05 with both sides looking to put distance between them and the relegation zone.

Spectator spectacle
BV Borussia Dortmund will play Arminia with the 1,000,000th spectator of the season set to visit the Westfalenstadion. The cash-strapped 1997 Champions League winners are just three points adrift of the sixth spot that would earn them a UEFA Cup place if Bayern, Bremen or Schalke win the German Cup and finish in the top five.

Sunday fixtures
On Sunday third-bottom VfL Bochum 1848 are at 1. FC Kaiserslautern hoping to keep their three-match unbeaten run alive. In the second game of the day VfL Wolfsburg welcome 1. FC Nürnberg.

Last updated: 15/04/05 14.15CET

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