Munich must win at rival Dortmund
15 April 2004
HAMBURG – It doesn’t have to be an 11-1 triumph like in 1971, but Bayern Munich must win at archrivals Borussia Dortmund if they want to keep alive their dim hopes of back-to-back Bundesliga titles.
The famous rout from 33 years ago in Munich is Bayern’s biggest win in league history with the legendary Gerd Mueller scoring four goals.
Munich finally have a super striker again in Roy Makaay, who has almost single-handedly kept them in the title race with 22 goals.
Munich enter Saturday’s game with a seven-point deficit on leaders Werder Bremen and can not afford to drop a point in the final six games if they want to win the title.
There is still a question mark regarding the status of goalkeeper Oliver Kahn, but Sebastian Deisler has fully recovered from depression and could make his Bundesliga return.
Deisler, 24, last played in Munich’s 4-1 home win against Dortmund on November 8, a defeat Dortmund badly want to avenge.
“We stood no chance in that game. But we now want to set things straight,” said Dortmund sports director Michael Zorc.
But sixth-ranked Dortmund suffered a major blow when it revealed on Wednesday night that their key midfielder Torsten Frings will be sidelined for up to three weeks with a thigh muscle injury.
“He is as important for us as Makaay for Bayern,” said Zorc.
The buildup for the big game also saw some bad blood between the clubs around Frings, as Munich this week expressed their desire to hire the Germany midfielder Dortmund likely will have to sell off due to financial difficulties.
“First they want Dede, now Frings. I am curious who they want tomorrow,” said Zorc.
Frings’ absence will only further enhance Munich’s chances of at least not losing. After all, coach Ottmar Hitzfeld has only lost to his former team once in 11 matches since he joined Munich from Dortmund in 1998.
Bremen, meanwhile, must be confident ahead of their Sunday game against lowly Hanover as a late penalty gave them a lucky 1-0 win at Eintracht Frankfurt after two previous draws and preserved their seven-point lead.
But although they are undefeated in 19 games, Werder will not underestimate Hanover, who won in Bremen 2-1 last season.
“We can not feel safe yet and must continue to work with full concentration,” said midfielder Fabian Ernst.
But he added confidently: “We got four points out of two bad games (in Frankfurt and a 1-1 home draw with Freiburg). If we start playing well again we will be unbeatable.”
The other weekend games are VfB Stuttgart vs. Eintracht Frankfurt, VfL Wolfsburg vs. SC Freiburg, Borussia Moenchengladbach vs. Hertha Berlin, Kaiserslautern vs. Hansa Rostock, Schalke 04 vs. Bayer Leverkusen, 1860 Munich vs. SV Hamburg (Saturday) and Cologne vs. VfL Bochum (Sunday).
Subject: German news