Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Bundesliga title is in our hands:Wolfsburg

SoccerNews in Bundesliga 9 May 2009


Wolfsburg coach Felix Magath says the league leaders have their first Bundesliga title in their own hands with four games remaining as they travel to title rivals Stuttgart on Saturday.

There promises to be goals galore when Wolfsburg’s hot-shot strikers Grafite and Edin Dzeko go up against Stuttgart’s Germany forward Mario Gomez as between them the trio have hit more than 60 goals.

Dzeko and Grafite have 42 between them, while Gomez has netted 19 times this season as Wolfsburg look set to be crowned Bundesliga champions for the first time.

They went three points clear at the top of the table after Dzeko hit a second-half hat-trick at home in last Sunday’s 4-0 rout of Hoffenheim, while Stuttgart are in the chasing pack in fourth, five points adrift of the leaders.

Stuttgart coach Markus Babbel has signed a two-year-deal to keep charge of his side who are unbeaten in their last six games, but remaining clear of the chasing pack will not be easy for Wolfsburg.

“We have a new situation now shortly before the end of the season,” said Magath.

“We are still league leaders and have a three-point cushion. Only if we slip-up can the others overtake us. Now we of course want to stay at the top for the last four games.”

Last Wednesday, Magath revealed he will leave to coach league rivals Schalke 04 at the end of the season, taking over from both Dutch coach Fred Rutten and team manager Andreas Mueller who were sacked earlier this year.

Compared to their main rivals for the league title, Wolfsburg have arguably the hardest run in starting at Stuttgart, then hosting Borussia Dortmund next week before travelling to neighbours Hanover.

Their season finishes on May 23 when they host UEFA Cup finalists Werder Bremen.

Defending champions Bayern Munich are second in the table, but they have a tough assignment at struggling Energie Cottbus, where they lost last season on the way to their league and cup double.

Several high-flying sides have been brought crashing to earth by Cottbus and Wolfsburg had their wings clipped a fortnight ago when Energie stunned them with a 2-0 defeat, their first reverse of the year.

While a replacement is sought for sacked Bayern trainer Jurgen Klinsmann, caretaker coach Jupp Heynckes has four more games in charge.

French midfielder Franck Ribery, who has been linked to a 70 million euros (93.8 million US dollars) transfer to Manchester United, is expected to play just behind strikers Luca Toni and Lukas Podolski.

Third-placed Hertha Berlin should have few problems against strugglers Bochum with first-choice strikers Andrei Voronin and Marko Pantelic both back from injury.

Borussia Dortmund are at home to bottom side Karlsruhe while Hoffenheim host Cologne and Eintracht Frankfurt are at Hanover.

Fifth-placed Hamburg and Werder Bremen will square off on Sunday in the last of four games between them in 19 days.

They met recently in the German Cup semi-final and Werder came out on top in their UEFA Cup semi-final on Thursday.

Also on Sunday, second from bottom Borussia Moenchengladbach continue their quest to avoid relegation at home to Schalke 04 while on Friday night Bayer Leverkusen host Bielefeld.


Bayer Leverkusen v Arminia Bielefeld


Energie Cottbus v Bayern Munich

VfB Stuttgart v VfL Wolfsburg

Hanover 96 v Eintracht Frankfurt

Borussia Dortmund v Karlsruhe

Hertha Berlin v VfL Bochum

Hoffenheim v Cologne


Borussia M’gladbach v Schalke 04

Werder Bremen v Hamburg



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