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Bundesliga champs Bayern face resurgent Nuremberg

13 Apr 2013 03:46:57

Bundesliga champs Bayern face resurgent Nuremberg

Fresh from their midweek European exploits, newly-crowned Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich face a resurgent Nuremberg team coached by a former player on Saturday.

Bayern's 2-0 win at Juventus on Wednesday put them into the last four of the Champions League with a 4-0 quarter-final win on aggregate and they will discover their semi-final opponents in Friday's draw.

Having flirted with the relegation places earlier this season, Saturday's opponents Nuremberg are unbeaten in their last nine games and are 10th in the league, but just four points from a Europa League spot for next season.

Japan midfielder Hiroshi Kiyotake has been in great form of late, setting up four goals in the last three games and is always dangerous from dead ball situations.

Bayern were confirmed German champions for the 23rd time last Saturday after their 1-0 win at Eintracht Frankfurt with six games left, the earliest title win in Bundesliga history.

But Nuremberg coach Michael Wiesinger is aiming to upset his old club at Munich's Allianz Arena having spent two seasons with Bayern from 1999 to 2001, twice winning the Bundesliga title.

"Bayern are currently the team to beat, but we also know what we can do and we want to make life as uncomfortable for them as possible," said Wiesinger, who was in the Munich squad which won the 2001 Champion League title.

Both teams are on unbeaten runs.

Bayern have gone 19 league games without defeat, including 16 wins and three draws, while Nuremberg's nine-match streak is their best run of results since February 2007.

But it is 21 years since Nuremberg last beat Bayern in Munich, after 10 draws and two defeats and the guests will be hoping Mario Mandzukic will be rested -- the Croat has scored five goals in his last five matches against them.

Second-placed Borussia Dortmund, who pulled off a dramatic 3-2 win Malaga on Tuesday to join Bayern in the last four of the Champions League, are at bottom side Greuther Fuerth on Saturday.

The hosts are still looking for their first home win of the season and are on course for the most unwelcome of records.

No team in German professional football has ever gone a whole season without winning a game at home and Fuerth have drawn four and lost 10 of their 14 home games to date.

Fuerth's sole victory against Dortmund came on August 4, 1990, when as a fourth division side they enjoyed a shock win in the first round of the German Cup.

But it would take another shock win to see them beat Dortmund on Saturday -- Poland striker Robert Lewandowski, who has 21 goals, has scored more time than the entire Fuerth team (18) this season.

Bayer Leverkusen and Schalke clash in a battle for third place, which means an automatic Champions League place next season.

Schalke had Holland striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar back in training this week and his team face a step up after wins over Hoffenheim and Werder Bremen in recent weeks.

In the only weekend fixture played on Friday, SC Freiburg defeated Hanover at home, 3-1.

Fixtures:

Saturday

Bayern Munich v Nuremberg, VfL Wolfsburg v Hoffenheim, Mainz 05 v Hamburg, Greuther Fuerth v Borussia Dortmund, Fortuna Duesseldorf v Werder Bremen, Schalke 04 v Bayer Leverkusen

Sunday

VfB Stuttgart v Borussia M'gladbach, Augsburg v Eintracht Frankfurt


AFP

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