Munich have history on their side

3rd February 2005, Comments 0 comments

3 February 2005 , HAMBURG - Frontrunners Bayern Munich take on in-form Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday as the Bundesliga continues amid a massive match-rigging scandal in German football. The scandal involves mainly the lower leagues and German cup, but at least one Bundesliga match last November - Kaiserslautern vs. SC Freiburg - may have also been manipulated. Berlin prosecutors have named the referee of that game, Juergen Jansen, a suspect in the scheme which has shocked the nation. Jansen, who has protest

3 February 2005 

HAMBURG - Frontrunners Bayern Munich take on in-form Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday as the Bundesliga continues amid a massive match-rigging scandal in German football.

The scandal involves mainly the lower leagues and German cup, but at least one Bundesliga match last November - Kaiserslautern vs. SC Freiburg - may have also been manipulated.

Berlin prosecutors have named the referee of that game, Juergen Jansen, a suspect in the scheme which has shocked the nation.

Jansen, who has protested his innocence, was dropped last week from officiating the Bundesliga match between Werder Bremen and Hansa Rostock.

His stand-in made a blatant mistake in that match and the referees will once again be the centre of attention this weekend.

None of the top three won last weekend, but Munich moved one point clear of Schalke 04 - and four over VfB Stuttgart - with a goalless draw at Hertha Berlin.

Their opponents Leverkusen are fourth, six points behind Munich and coming off two wins in which they scored seven goals and conceded none.

However, Leverkusen have always fared poorly in the Olympic stadium, winning there only twice, the last time back in 1989.

"We want to beat Munich," vowed Leverkusen coach Klaus Augenthaler, who was a Munich defender in his playing career.

Defender Carsten Ramelow said: "We are the ones chasing Munich, but that doesn't make us nervous."

Munich have history on their side and are also out to avenge a 4-1 loss in Leverkusen in the first season meeting between the two teams.

"Leverkusen are on a good run, but we can stop them," insisted Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

Bixente Lizarazu returns into Munich's lineup from a muscle injury while Leverkusen's Roque Junior is still sidelined with a knee injury.

Schalke visit bottom club Hansa Rostock in a key match for both sides.

Hansa are yet to win at home this season, but the debut of freshly signed Finnish veteran Jari Litmanen could boost Joerg Berger's team.

"He is exactly the player we have been looking for," said Rostock chairman Manfred Wimmer in praise of Litmanen, who won the Champions League in 1995 with Ajax Amsterdam.

Schalke lost in Kaiserslautern last week and a another defeat Saturday would heavily undermine their title ambitions.

"Rostock play in a similar way. I hope my players have learnt their lessen," warned coach Ralf Rangnick.

Stuttgart also need to rebound on the weekend from a home defeat against Nuremberg when they take on Kaiserslautern.

The other weekend games are Hanover 96 vs. Borussia Dortmund, VfL Bochum vs. Arminia Bielfeld, Maniz 05 vs. Hertha Berlin, Nuremberg vs. SV Hamburg (Saturday), Borussia Moencgengladbach vs. SC Freiburg and VfL Wolfsburg vs. Werder Bremen (Sunday).

DPA

Subject: German news

 

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