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Bayern aim to clinch title on 2nd attempt with help from Dortmund

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Berlin, May 6 (IANS) Borussia Dortmund can do rivals Bayern Munich a rare favour on Saturday by helping them clinch a ninth straight Bundesliga title before they take to the pitch.

Dortmund host second-placed RB Leipzig a few hours before Bayern play Borussia Moenchengladbach, and a Dortmund win would assure Bayern of the trophy, regardless of their own result.

Bayern are seven points ahead of Leipzig with three games left after failing to clinch the trophy on the last matchday when they suffered a surprise 2-1 defeat at Mainz.

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Dortmund in fifth need the points to make it into the next Champions League in the first of two key duels with Leipzig within five days, the second coming on May 13 in the German Cup final.

Bayern have a score to settle with Gladbach, having lost their first season date 3-2 in January after leading 2-0, and also having trouble against them in previous games.

“We know what we are facing,” said forward Thomas Mueller who however is confident that Bayern will wrap up matters with two games to spare.

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“We want to settle the championship as soon as possible,” Mueller said. “We have gathered the hunger again in the two weeks we didn’t have a game.”

Gladbach in seventh also need the points in their bid to reach the Europa League for which they need to make up four points on Bayer Leverkusen.

Dortmund are meanwhile just one point behind Eintracht Frankfurt and two behind third-placed Wolfsburg as they seek a top four finish for a Champions League berth.

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“If we want to play in the Champions League then we have to win every game. That’s the target we’ve set ourselves. Now we have Leipzig at the weekend. We’ll keep it up then,” captain Marco Reus said.

Dortmund have won their last three games, are unbeaten in their last six games against Leipzig, and hope to have star striker Erling Haaland back after the Norwegian missed last week’s 5-0 Cup win over Holstein Kiel.

Leipzig aim to finish the league season with a record number of points and to get the Cup title for a first-ever trophy with their outgoing coach Julian Nagelsmann who moves on to Munich in succession of Hansi Flick.

The third-last matchday starts Friday with VfB Stuttgart v Augsburg; the other Saturday games are Wolfsburg v Union Berlin, Hoffenheim v relegated Schalke and lowly Werder Bremen v Leverkusen; and the Sunday fixtures are Cologne v Freiburg, Frankfurt v Mainz, and a duel in the lowlands between Hertha Berlin and Arminia Bielefeld.

–IANS

rkm/bg

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