Bayern Munich eager to claim title record in Berlin

AFP, Monday 24 Mar 2014

Bayern's team celebrates after winning the German Bundesliga soccer match between FSV Mainz 05 and Bayern Munich in Mainz, Germany, Saturday, March 22, 2014. Bayern won by 2-0 (Photo: AP)

Bayern Munich travel to Germany's capital on Tuesday determined to finally secure the Bundesliga title in record time by taking three points from Hertha Berlin.

A 19th consecutive league victory at Berlin's Olympic Stadium will give Bayern their 24th German title with seven matches left, beating their own record they set last season.

Bayern's 2-0 win at Mainz 05 on Saturday kept them a massive 23 points clear in the league and they will finally be uncatchable if they win at Hertha having dominated all season.

"There's obviously a great sense of anticipation," said Bayern's Austria left-back David Alaba.

"We know that we haven't achieved anything yet, so we'll be going there in a serious mood.

"We want to win the Bundesliga trophy as quickly as possible."

Bayern face an away leg at Manchester United on April 1 in the Champions League's quarterfinals and are eager to get the Bundesliga title wrapped up as quickly as possible to focus on Europe.

Bayern are not expected to have too many problems at Berlin's Olympic Stadium with Hertha having lost their last two games and went down 3-0 at Borussia Moechengldabach on Saturday.

There are considerable security concerns for Tuesday's Ruhr derby as second-placed Borussia Dortmund host Schalke 04, who are just a point behind in third.

Dortmund are on a final warning from the German Football Association (DFB) and tensions are high with third-placed Schalke a point behind their rivals and violence has marred their recent meetings.

Around 3 000 police officers are expected to be on duty on Tuesday in one of the biggest police operations for a German football match.

Police say they expect around 500 violent fans from both teams while 90 individuals have already been banned.

The DFB will be paying close attention having fined Borussia 60 000 euros (US$82 764) and threatened sanctions on Friday after Dortmund fans were involved in incidents at three separate league matches.

Rioting broke out at last October's Ruhr derby in Gelsenkirchen at Schalke's Veltins Arena when a group of Dortmund fans stormed into an area of the ground for home fans.

The DFB have told Dortmund they will have to play one league game with their famous South Stand empty if there is any more trouble from their fans in the next seven months.

Sami Hyypia's fourth-placed Bayer Leverkusen are at Augsburg on Wednesday looking for their first win since the start of February having lost eight of their last nine games.

The Werkself crashed to a last-minute 3-2 defeat at home to Hoffenheim on Sunday and are in danger of dropping out of the Champions League places if their slump continues.

There are some key relegation battles on Wednesday with second-from bottom Nuremberg hosting fellow relegation-candidates VfB Stuttgart, who are just a point above them.

Nuremberg have lost their last four games while VfB Stuttgart beat Hamburg 1-0 on Saturday to register their first win in 11 games and climb out of the bottom three.

Likewise Hamburg, who are facing a historic first relegation from the Bundesliga, are 16th as they host Freiburg who moved up to 14th after Friday's 3-1 win at home to Werder Bremen.

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

Short link: