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Bayern Munich cannot afford another slip in German league

Bayern Munich cannot afford another slip in German league

Bayern Munich's bid to win a third straight Bundesliga title is faltering.
Six points behind leaders Werder Bremen and Schalke after losing its fifth match of the season on Friday, Bayern Munich needs a victory when it hosts No. 15 Bochum on Tuesday.
While Bayern lost 3-2 at Borussia Dortmund, Bremen beat Hannover 3-0 and Schalke won 3-1 at Eintracht Frankfurt in the first round of the German league since the winter break.
"We are convinced that we can still do it," Bayern coach Felix Magath said of his team's title hopes.
Bayern will be bolstered by the expected return of midfielder Owen Hargreaves after a four-month absence due to broken left shinbone.
"We've missed his up-tempo runs, his speed," Magath said. "He can also score from distance."
Bayern boss Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said the team needs to rediscover its fighting spirit.
"I expect a reaction against Bochum and that should be only the beginning," he said. "We need a good run to try to catch up with Bremen and Schalke."
Bremen and Schalke each have 39 points, but Bremen has a vastly superior goal difference. Bayern is third with 33, a point ahead of Stuttgart.
On Wednesday, Bremen faces a tricky trip to Bayer Leverkusen, which rallied from two goals down to win 3-2 at Alemannia Aachen at the weekend. Schalke hosts Aachen on Wednesday.
Schalke is not shy about its title ambitions, having not won a German championship since 1958.
"We are confident enough of showing that we want to be at the top at the very end," general manager Andreas Mueller said. "In previous years, we used to say that our goal was to finish in the top three, maybe top five. This time we said from the beginning that we want to fight for the title."
Schalke must be encouraged by the return to form of Kevin Kuranyi, who scored two goals and set up another in Frankfurt. The striker was dropped from the Germany team just before the World Cup.
"I am not thinking about it all," said Kuranyi about playing again for Germany. "I just have to play well and it will come. But I am only concentrating on my club now."
Bremen didn't shine in overcoming Hannover, but the team with the league's most prolific attack won despite a missed penalty kick from Miroslav Klose.
Bremen may be distracted by the welfare of striker Ivan Klasnic, whose body rejected a kidney donated by his mother and must now undergo another transplant.
"It's not life-threatening," Klasnic's lawyer, Klaus-Peter Horndasch, said of the player's condition.
Bremen have already offered Klasnic a contract extension.
In other games Tuesday, it's Borussia Moenchengladbach vs. Nuremberg, Stuttgart vs. Arminia Bielefeld and Wolfsburg vs. Eintracht Frankfurt.
On Wednesday, it's Hannover vs. Hertha Berlin, Mainz vs. Borussia Dortmund and Hamburger SV vs. Cottbus.


Updated : 2021-07-30 19:38 GMT+08:00