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Bayern Munich head to Berlin with fourth title in sight

Reuters , Thursday 21 Apr 2016
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Bayern Munich can clinch a record fourth consecutive Bundesliga title on Saturday if they beat Hertha Berlin away and second-placed Borussia Dortmund lose at strugglers VfB Stuttgart.

Bayern, aiming for another league title in coach Pep Guardiola's final season in Munich, are seven points clear of Dortmund with four matches left.

The desired combination of results for Bayern would open up an unassailable 10-point gap with three matches remaining and secure their 26th German league title.

Guardiola's team will be brimming with confidence after reaching the German Cup final with a 2-0 win over Werder Bremen on Tuesday despite failing to hit top form.

"I would like to thank my players for giving me another week of working with them," said the Spaniard, who has made sure of a high-profile farewell on the grand stage of Berlin's Olympic Stadium on May 21 before his move to Manchester City.

If they win the title, Guardiola will have led Bayern to three consecutive league titles in as many seasons in charge.

However, Bayern will be looking to improve on the slightly disappointing form they have shown in recent matches as they also have one eye on next week's Champions League semi-final against Atletico Madrid.

"If we circulate the ball a bit better, if we move a bit better, then the opponent will not be able to attack us," captain Philipp Lahm said. "We have to change that. We can play better and we will play better again soon."

Guardiola could also have central defender Jerome Boateng back in the squad for the first time in months after the Germany international returned to team training this week following an adductor muscle injury in January.

Hertha, who were eliminated from the German Cup by Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday, have failed to win any of their last three league matches and are in danger of missing out on Champions League football next season.

The Berliners have dropped to fourth place on 49 points, two behind Bayer Leverkusen, who occupy the last automatic qualification spot for the continent's elite club competition.

The fourth-placed team will advance to the qualifying rounds and fifth-placed Borussia Moenchengladbach, on 45 points, will be poised to pounce should Hertha continue to struggle.

"We play and give it everything we have and so we should not talk as if everything was bad," Hertha coach Pal Dardai said after the 3-0 German Cup defeat. "A bit more respect, please."

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