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Wolfsburg will keep focus on finale, insists Magath

SoccerNews in Bundesliga 23 May 2009

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Wolfsburg coach Felix Magath says his side must shut out all distractions on the final day of the season this Saturday with guests Werder Bremen the final obstacle to the Wolves’ maiden Bundesliga title.

With the title race to be decided during Saturday’s final round, Magath’s side are two points clear of second-placed defending champions Bayern Munich who host fourth-placed Stuttgart at their Allianz Arena stadium.

While Bremen are licking their wounds after their UEFA Cup final defeat to Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday in Istanbul, Magath says his side will show their opponents no pity or risk playing for the draw which will give them the title.

“We certainly won?t be playing for a draw – we don?t know how to do that,” said Magath, whose side are undefeated at home this season and have only dropped two league points at the Volkswagen Arena all season.

“We have a fantastic record at home.

“With our own fans behind us, we want to take the decisive step and clinch the German championship.

“Bremen have a top team, they made that very clear when they beat us (5-2 in the quarter-finals) in the German Cup at home earlier this year.”

Wolfsburg have had no trouble scoring this season – between them striker Edin Dzeko and Grafite have netted 51 goals and are closing in on the league record of 53 set by Bayern’s Gerd Mueller and Uli Hoeness in 1972/73.

Having secured a Champions League berth for next season, Wolfsburg must slip against Bremen, who face Leverkusen in the German Cup final on May 30, if their title rivals are to stand any chance of catching them.

Mathematically, either Stuttgart or Bayern Munich can overtake Wolfsburg if Bremen win and there is a winner in Munich.

The last time the sides met in the German Cup Bayern inflicted a 5-1 defeat on Markus Babbel’s side and the former Bayern midfielder says he expects a much tighter battle this time.

“It was the first match after the winter break, we had a really bad day and deserved to lose heavily,” remembered Babbel.

“But we?re on a roll now and we?ve already hit our target of finishing in the top five, which is a sensational achievement by the team.

“I expect it to be extremely tense.

“We?re not harbouring dreams of the title, as I just can?t see it happening.

“A lot would have to happen for Wolfsburg to let it slip now.

“Second place is still realistic, although away to Bayern is a monumental task for us.

“But if we keep up our recent form, we?ll be hard to beat, even for Bayern.”

Stuttgart can still claim a Champions League berth even if they lose in Munich providing bitter rivals Karlsruhe – who are playing for survival at the foot of the table – beat fourth-placed Hertha Berlin at home.

“In this respect, I?d be delighted with a helping hand from Karlsruhe, but we don?t want to be dependent on that,” said Babbel.

“We?re not in the business of handing out gifts, so we?ll do everything we can to win.”

With Dutch coach Louis van Gaal taking over the reigns at Bayern on July 1 after Jurgen Klinsmann was sacked last month, caretaker coach Jupp Heynckes will oversee his final game in charge.

Striker Luca Toni has promised to buy a holiday in Italy for the entire Bremen team if they beat Wolfsburg and help Bayern win their 22nd German title.

At the other end of the table, Energie Cottbus, Arminia Bielefeld and Karlsruhe are all fighting for the top flight lives.

Cottbus have to beat Leverkusen just as Karlsruhe have to win against Hertha while hoping other results go their way.

Bielefeld are at home to Hanover and currently occupy the dreaded 16th place which will mean they play-off against the third side in the second division next Thursday and Sunday over two legs.

Saturday

VfL Wolfsburg v Werder Bremen, Eintracht Frankfurt v Hamburg, Bayern Munich v VfB Stuttgart, Energie Cottbus v Bayer Leverkusen, Arminia Bielefeld v Hanover 96, Karlsruhe v Hertha Berlin, Cologne v VfL Bochum, Borussia M’gladbach v Borussia Dortmund, Schalke 04 v Hoffenheim

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