Sat, Apr 12, 2014 - Page 18 News List

Archrivals eyeing bragging rights

AFP, BERLIN

Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich face archrivals Borussia Dortmund today, but the eagerly anticipated league clash of Germany’s powerhouses is for little more than bragging rights.

Bayern were crowned league champions two weeks ago and are 20 points clear of second-placed Dortmund in the table.

Both sides come to the Allianz Arena clash openly admitting they have other priorities.

Bayern are into the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League and have made no secret of their desire to become the first team to defend the title.

Pep Guardiola’s Bayern also face second-tier Kaiserslautern in next week’s DFB Pokal semi-final and are on course to repeat last season’s treble of European, German league and Cup titles.

“The game has some statistical value, but nothing more,” Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said of Der Klassiker against Dormtund.

Nevertheless, Bayern’s bosses will be extremely irritated by a defeat to Dortmund, especially after last Saturday’s shock 1-0 defeat at Augsburg and the 3-3 draw at home to TSG 1899 Hoffenheim.

Ever the diplomat, Guardiola talked up Dortmund, especially after their 2-0 win over Real Madrid on Tuesday as they bowed out of the Champions League after losing the quarter-final 3-2 on aggregate.

“We know how good Dortmund are, it’s important for both teams to show how good they are,” the Spaniard said. “I watched the Dortmund match against Real Madrid and they were amazing.”

Dortmund’s Poland international striker Robert Lewandowski will be making his final appearance with the away team at the Allianz Arena, before he joins Bayern at the end of the season.

Likewise, Bayern’s Germany international Mario Goetze will be facing his former club having switched to Munich from Dortmund in July last year.

Also this weekend there are two key matches in the battle to avoid relegation, with bottom side Eintracht Braunschweig at SC Freiburg, who are just two places from the relegation zone.

Likewise, Hannover 96, who are two points from the bottom three, entertain 16th-placed Hamburg SV, who are battling to avoid an historic first relegation.

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