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Bayern to crank up the pressure on Dortmund

Bayern face Liverpool in the Champions league next week (Agency Photo)

Defending Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich have a glorious chance to move within two points of leaders Borussia Dortmund when they face Augsburg on Friday night.

Last weekend Robert Kovac’s Red Devils beat Schalke 3-1 to take full advantage of Dortmund’s 3-3 draw with Hoffenheim to cut gap between the top two to five points.

Augsburg are tricky opponents who held the Bavarians to a surprise one-all draw in the reverse fixture. Kovac is therefore likely to resist the temptation to make wholesale changes despite having one eye on next week’s Champions League tie with fellow five time European champions Liverpool.

Long serving keeper and skipper Manuel Neuer and French midfielder Corentin Toliso are the only Bayern Munich players unavailable for selection. Dutch winger Arjen Robben – playing in his last season in Germany before moving to the American MLS – has returned to full training whereas Neuer has already confirmed his availability for the game at Anfield.

Pacesetters Dortmund are not in action until Monday when they travel to bottom club Nuremberg. Lucien Favre’s free scoring Black and Yellows have dropped points in two of their last three games but are overwhelming favourites to recuperate in time from Wednesday’s Champions League tie at Wembley against Tottenham Hotspur, to put Nuremberg to the sword.

Third placed Borussia Monchengladbach meanwhile face a difficult trip to Eintracht Frankfurt.

Dieter Hecking’s high flyers got a reality check last Saturday when they were ambushed 3-0 by Hertha Berlin, a result that put paid to their twelve-match winning streak at Borussia Park.

Gladbach will be hoping Frankfurt are still fatigued by Thursday’s Europa League tie at Ukrainian champions Shakhtar Donetsk.

Peter Boaz’s red-hot Bayer Leverkusen start as strong favourites to topple newcomers Fortuna Düsseldorf.

Leverkusen are the division’s top performers since the end of the winter break. They are averaging over three goals per game, having followed up an earth shattering 3-1 victory over Bayern Munich by putting five past Mainz.

FRIDAY:
Augsburg v Bayern Munich

SATURDAY:
Hertha Berlin v Werder Bremen
Hoffenheim v Hannover
Schalke v Freiburg
Stuttgart v RB Leipzig
Wolfsburg v Mainz
Hertha Berlin v Werder Bremen

SUNDAY:
Eintracht Frankfurt v Borussia Moenchengladbach
Bayer Leverkusen v Fortuna Düsseldorf

MONDAY:
Nuremberg v Borussia Dortmund

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