Perfect 10 awaits as Bayern welcome Borussia Dortmund

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Perfect 10 awaits as Bayern welcome Borussia Dortmund

Bayern Munich's first season under coach Julian Naglesmann has not gone as expected in some ways but in others nothing has changed.

A 5-0 humiliation at Borussia Mönchengladbach ended the defence of the German Cup in round two and the Champions League concluded with a bitterly disappointing exit to Villarreal in the quarter-finals.

But in the Bundesliga Bayern remain unmatched and have a nine-point lead over second-placed Borussia Dortmund, who they host on Saturday, with a 10th consecutive title within touching distance.

Their dominance over a decade has been matched in the major European leagues only by Juventus, who won nine consecutive Italian titles, but 10-in-a-row has never been done before.

"That's a rare coincidence," Nagelsmann said of the chance to confirm matters with a victory over their direct rivals. A draw all but clinches the title too, given the goal difference situation, and even a loss would likely only delay matters.

Bayern bounced back from the Villarreal encounter with a 3-0 stroll at Arminia Bielefeld last week which created the opportunity to end the campaign on a high despite previous blips.

"Now we have a title decider against Dortmund," said Jamal Musial. "It doesn't get any better than that. It's going to be an awesome game, we're all looking forward to it."

Dortmund too have been playing under a new coach, Marco Rose, this season and have not had problems to seek. Their defence of the German Cup ended at second-division St Pauli, they failed to progress from their Champions League group and were thrashed by Rangers in the Europa League.

They did bounce back with a 6-1 hammering of Wolfsburg, another struggler, last time out to give them a confidence boost.

"If we want to be successful in Munich too, we have to be courageous, get going right from the start and play as we did in the first half against Wolfsburg," said Emre Can.

Dortmund have lost the last six to Bayern, however, and have not won in Munich since a 2017 cup triumph.

The weekend opens with Wolfsburg hosting Mainz on Friday and ends Sunday with third-last VfB Stuttgart visiting Hertha Berlin, one place above them, after Bochum meet Augsburg.

Bottom side Greuther Fürth could have their relegation confirmed at home to Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday, when there is also a rematch of Wednesday's German Cup semi-final won by RB Leipzig against Union Berlin.

The other ties are Eintracht Frankfurt v Hoffenheim, Freiburg v Gladbach and Cologne v Bielefeld.

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