Bayern Munich could wrap up the Bundesliga title with victory at Hertha Berlin on Saturday and will be looking to capitalise on their hosts’ DFB-Pokal disappointment.
Pep Guardiola’s men sit seven points clear of closest challengers Borussia Dortmund at the summit – stretching that lead to 10 with three matches to go will see them become the first side to win four German titles in succession.
Dortmund visit Stuttgart at the same time as Bayern take on Hertha, meaning fans of Die Roten will have their attentions split between events at Olympiastadion and Mercedes-Benz Arena.
For Bayern, who tied Manuel Neuer down to a new five-year contract this week, the match comes on the back of a 2-0 victory over Werder Bremen that sealed their progression to the DFB-Pokal final and kept treble hopes alive.
Hertha, meanwhile, lost 3-0 at home to Dortmund to end their hopes of cup glory and leave them battling to cling on to a place in the top four.
Pal Dardai’s men are four points clear of Borussia Monchengladbach in the bottom Champions League qualifying berth, but are without a win in three league matches.
“Saturday is the next challenge in front of a full house,” Dardai said at a news conference. “We will try to get the team fresh.
“We tried to impose ourselves on the game [against Dortmund] but they were too good, too fast for us.
“Maybe we’ll cope better in future with the experience gained from such situations.
“It would be nice to keep hold of fourth place, but it’s going to be hard work.
“Bayern’s chance of clinching the title is not in my thoughts, I deal with my boys. We will do anything to steal a point.”
Stealing a point against Bayern is not something Hertha have become accustomed to over the years, having won just one of their last 24 league meetings, losing 18 of the remaining 23.
Bayern have lost just one away fixture this season and are unbeaten in eight on the road, but Hertha boast an impressive home record and have avoided defeat in their last 10 matches at Olympiastadion.
Dardai is expected to make a number of changes to the side that lost to Dortmund, while Philipp Lahm is aiming for his 200th victory in a Bayern shirt.
Guardiola’s men won the reverse fixture 2-0 in November, with Thomas Muller and Kingsley Coman netting first-half goals.
Key Opta Stats:
– Bayern Munich lifted the title after beating Hertha Berlin 3-1 on matchday 27 of 2013-14 – the earliest a side has ever been crowned champions. They also won the league in Berlin back in 2010 and were mathematically confirmed as last year’s victors one day after their 1-0 victory over Hertha.
– Bayern have 78 points so far (same as 2013-14) – only one side in Bundesliga history had a higher tally at this stage of the season (81, set by Bayern themselves in 2012-13 ).
– Hertha have lost one of their last 16 home games (4-1 versus Borussia Monchengladbach) and are unbeaten in 10 at the Olympiastadion. Only Borussia Dortmund (19) are currently on a longer run without defeat at home.
– Hertha have conceded multiple goals in three consecutive games for the first time under Pal Dardai. Bayern have conceded just one goal across the last six Bundesliga matchdays.
– Hertha have taken the fewest shots in the league this season (285), Bayern the most (581).