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Bayern lift league title, Euro win expected

Updated 10 May 2013 08:56:26

Bayern lift league title, Euro win expected

Bayern Munich will collect their first silverware for three years on Saturday when they are presented with the Bundesliga shield and chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge insists it won't be the last trophy they lift this season.

And Rummenigge has his sights firmly set on the Champions League final.

After hosting Augsburg at Munich's Allianz Arena, Bayern will be handed the league trophy having won the Bundesliga title at the start of April, a record six games before the season's end with a massive 20-point lead.

It was Bayern's first trophy success since May 2010 as rivals Borussia Dortmund dominated the league for the next two seasons.

The Bavarian giants are sure to name a weakened side against an Augsburg team in the mire of the relegation battle as Bayern focus their attentions on the Champions League final against Dortmund at Wembley on May 25.

This will be Bayern's third Champions League final in four seasons with Rummenigge insisting they have learnt the lessons from defeats to Chelsea last year and Inter Milan in 2010.

"We have learnt our lesson from Madrid in 2010, then in Munich last year. Our team will win the Champions League in 14 days," Rummenigge wrote in the Bayern magazine.

Before the Wembley showpiece, Bayern plan to celebrate their 23rd German title in style, with the customary beer showers expected when players empty huge glasses over each other on the pitch on Saturday.

Fans attending the Bavarian derby have been asked to come in traditional costume, with brass bands and shoe-slapping dances part of the celebrations.

Coach Jupp Heynckes, who celebrated his 68th-birthday on Thursday, steps down at the end of the season, to be replaced by Pep Guardiola.

But before he goes, he hopes to lead Bayern to the first ever treble of European, league and cup titles by a German side.

"There are two big finals yet to come, that is why we need rhythm, so we have to preserve our form," said Heynckes.

Training on Sunday has already been cancelled, but Bayern have a big three weeks ahead of them as they face VfB Stuttgart in the German Cup final the Saturday after their Wembley date on May 25.

Bayern had a minor injury scare on Wednesday when key midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger limped out of training with an ankle knock after a crunching tackle from centre-back Dante.

"You train like you play. It's an old saying, but it's still true," said Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.

With second-place in the Bundesliga and next season's Champions League place secured, Dortmund travel to mid-table VfL Wolfsburg looking to keep their first-choice side free from injury.

Defensive midfielder Ilkay Gundogan is nursing a leg knock from last Saturday's 1-1 draw with Bayern in Dortmund, while reserve centre-back Patrick Owomoyela is out for the season after injuring his hip.

Fourth-placed Schalke 04 can move a step closer to securing a spot in next season's Champions League when they host Stuttgart having extended the contract of promising Germany midfielder Julian Draxler until 2018.

There is plenty to play for at the foot of the table with Werder Bremen, Fortuna Duesseldorf, Augsburg and Hoffenheim all battling to stay up.

Bottom side Greuther Fuerth are already relegated and they can avoid an unwanted Bundesliga record if they pick up their first home league win of the season against Freiburg.

No other team has ever gone a whole Bundesliga campaign without at least one home win and Fuerth are desperate to finish their debut season in the top flight without the most unwanted of records.

Playing Saturday (GMT 1300)

Bayern Munich v Augsburg, Schalke 04 v VfB Stuttgart, Bayer Leverkusen v Hanover 96, VfL Wolfsburg v Borussia Dortmund, Werder Bremen v Eintracht Frankfurt, Hoffenheim v Hamburg, Mainz 05 v Borussia M'gladbach, Greuther Fuerth v Freiburg, Fortuna Duesseldorf v Nuremberg


AFP

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