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Bayern Munich vow to send off manager Heynckes with titles
With Pep Guardiola confirmed as Bayern Munich's head coach for next season, the club's stars have vowed to see off current boss Jupp Heynckes with trophies.
Bayern host the Bundesliga's bottom side Greuther Fuerth on Saturday at the Allianz Arena, nine points clear at the top of the table and the football world still buzzing over the arrival of ex-Barcelona coach Guardiola in July.
Bayern want to give Heynckes a fitting send off by winning silverware for the first time since May 2010, starting by securing another three points against Fuerth as the German league resumes after the winter break.
"Jupp Heynckes is a superb coach," said Bayern captain Philipp Lahm with his team dominating the Bundesliga, while still vying for both the German Cup and Champions League.
"We want him to have a great send-off, and what that means here at Bayern is winning trophies. That's what we should focus on now."
Bayern can expect few problems against Fuerth, who have picked up just one league win all season, while Bayern were last beaten in the Bundesliga by second-placed Leverkusen in October.
Heynckes has a full strength squad to choose from with Dutch wing Arjen Robben back from injury while centre-back Holger Badstuber is the only long-term casualty after tearing his cruciate knee ligament.
With his team third in the league, and 12 points adrift of Bayern, coach Jurgen Klopp admitted the title is Bayern's to lose.
"We can still look forward to the second half of the season, even if we only have the goal of finishing second," he said, having won the title for the last two years.
"We have wound up Bayern's bow for two years now, all they have to do is fire the arrows."
Leverkusen are at fourth-placed Eintracht Frankfurt, the league's dark horses this season after being promoted, with the league's top scorer, Bayer striker Stefan Kiessling, looking to add to his tally of 12 goals so far.
There are new bosses at Hoffenheim, Wolfsburg and Nuremberg, who are home to Borussia Monchengladbach, Stuttgart and Hamburg respectively.
Hamburg's Dutch midfield star Rafael van der Vaart is expected to make his first appearance since tearing his hamstring in November.
Surprise packages Mainz and Freiburg meet on Saturday with Mainz coach Thomas Tuchel missing several key players.
Centre-back Jan Kirchhoff, who has signed for Bayern next season, is suspended while defensive midfielder Radoslav Zabavnik, forward Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and defender Niko Bungert are all carrying knocks.
On Friday, Schalke celebrated Bundesliga resumption with a 5-4 win over Hanover, their first league triumph since November 10. Schalke moved provisionally into fifth place in the table ahead of the rest of the weekend programme.
Bayern Munich v Greuther Fuerth, Bayer Leverkusen v Eintracht Frankfurt, VfL Wolfsburg v VfB Stuttgart, Hoffenheim v Borussia M'gladbach, Mainz 05 v Freiburg, Werder Bremen v Borussia Dortmund
Nuremberg v Hamburg, Fortuna Duesseldorf v Augsburg
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