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Bundesliga preview: Dortmund, Leverkusen continue title battle

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 7 Apr 2011

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Borussia Dortmund’s title push takes them to Hamburg, while chasers Bayer Leverkusen host strugglers St Pauli in the weekend’s Bundesliga action.

With just six matches remaining and a seven-point lead atop the league, Juergen Klopp’s Dortmund side are raging favourites to claim their seventh German title.

They avoided a scare in the title run-in after coming from behind to defeat fourth-placed Hannover 4-1 on Saturday and will fancy their chances against a Hamburg side who have won just one of their last five matches.

But as he has been all season, Klopp remains reserved and wary of Leverkusen, who are unbeaten in seven Bundesliga matches, winning six of them.

“We have to pocket a lot more points if you want to stay at the top,” Klopp told German magazine Kicker.

“Bayer can win their last six games and I even see them beating Bayern Munich next weekend, because, judging by the current state of things, they are better than Bayern.”

“For me nothing has changed (after the Hanover win), I am only interested in what happens at the end (of the season).”

Klopp believes Leverkusen are “98.6 percent likely to beat St Pauli” when the two sides collide at the Bay Arena on Sunday.

The visitors will miss Fin Bartels and Jan Kalla through suspension after the pair both were sent off in their 2-0 loss to Schalke on Friday, making the task for Holger Stanislawski’s side even more difficult.

Bayern Munich, Leverkusen’s rivals for the second spot in the league which would guarantee UEFA Champions League participation, travel to sixth-placed Nuremberg on Saturday aiming to keep the pressure on Bayer, who are seven points ahead of them in second.

Another side in form, Schalke, host Wolfsburg just days after their Champions League heroics at the San Siro.

The 10th placed side defeated Inter Milan 5-2 in Italy on Tuesday, almost assuring themselves of a spot in the semi-finals, and now come up against their former manager Felix Magath, who was sacked just three weeks ago, in this intriguing fixture.

Other highlights of the weekend see Eintracht Frankfurt host Werder Bremen on Friday night, while fourth plays fifth when Hannover host Mainz.

Freiburg and Hoffenheim are separated by a point and meet on Saturday, while the late fixture on the same day sees Stuttgart meet Kaiserslautern in a battle of two struggling sides.

Bottom-side Borussia Monchengladbach need to beat Cologne at home on Sunday to have any chance of avoiding relegation.

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