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New Bayern boss Klinsmann casts eye on league finale

SoccerNews in Bundesliga 10 May 2008

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New coach Jurgen Klinsmann will be an interested observer when Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich face relegation-candidates Duisburg on Saturday as he looks to finalise his squad for next year.

After the title was won by Bayern last weekend, it only remains to be decided who will be playing in Europe next season or in the second division, but Klinsmann has been in Munich this week making plans.

With Ottmar Hitzfeld quitting as Bayern’s head coach this summer to take charge of the Swiss national side after Euro 2008, Klinsmann’s first day in charge is July 1 and he has yet to resolve several question marks hanging over the squad.

Klinsmann met the Bayern board of directors on Monday to unveil his vision of fast, attacking football, and will talk with Germany striker Lukas Podolski who will face Duisburg in the absence of broken-nose victim Miroslav Klose.

“Lukas must stay here next season, he has continually improved himself this season,” said Hitzfeld, but Podolski would be third-choice striker behind Klose and the league’s top-scorer Luca Toni.

Klinsmann must also resolve the situation with defenders Philipp Lahm and Willy Sagnol.

Lahm has yet to sign a contract extension and is rumoured to want to quit the Bundesliga, while Sagnol has made just a handful appearances and there is bad blood between the Bayern stalwart and Hitzfeld.

Bayern are reported to have made Italian World Cup winner Gennaro Gattuso a six million per year offer to leave AC Milan and join the German giants to strengthen their Champions League bid.

But Bayern can expect a tough time at second-from-bottom Duisburg who will be almost certain to be relegated if they pick up another defeat with just two games left.

Only six points seperate the league’s bottom five sides and Hansa Rostock will go down if they lose at home to Bayer Leverkusen after just one season back in the Bundesliga.

Last season’s German Cup winners Nuremberg have the best chance of escaping the bottom three providing they can win at Hertha Berlin on Saturday.

But both Arminia Bielefeld, who are at home to Borussia Dortmund, and Energie Cottbus, who play Hamburg, will be desperate for wins to save themselves being dragged down into the relegation mire.

At the other end of the table, both Schalke 04 and Werder Bremen are playing only for pride having secured their Champions League places next season with the matter of who finishes second or third behind Bayern to be concluded.

Schalke face mid-table Eintracht Frankfurt at home while Werder are up against Hanover in Bremen.

There will be an interesting battle at VfL Wolfsburg as they duel with VfB Stuttgart for a UEFA Cup place next season.

Stuttgart, who were beaten 3-2 by Dortmund in mid-week, are fifth in the league on 51 points, but both Bayer Leverkusen and Wolfsburg are hard on their heels on 48.

Saturday

VfL Wolfsburg v VfB Stuttgart

Duisburg v Bayern München

Hansa Rostock v Bayer Leverkusen

Hertha Berlin v Nuremberg

Energie Cottbus v Hamburg

Karlsruhe v VfL Bochum

Arminia Bielefeld v Borussia Dortmund

Werder Bremen v Hanover 96

Schalke 04 v Eintracht Frankfurt

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