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Bayern looking to bounce back

15 March 2013-PA Sport

Bayern Munich Arsenal

'Rubbish ' ... Bayern Munich club president Uli Hoeness (Getty Images)

Bayern Munich must bounce back from its midweek home defeat to Arsenal by taking on the only German side to have beaten it all season this weekend.

It travels to Bayer Leverkusen with a 20-point advantage at the top of the Bundesliga and with the title practically wrapped up.

However, Leverkusen inflicted Bayern's only league defeat this season back in October and on the back of the 2-0 loss to Arsenal - which almost robbed it of a place in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals - the weekend trip has set alarm bells ringing in Bavaria.

"We've been playing like a load of rubbish for three weeks now," said Bayern club president Uli Hoeness.

"This (the Arsenal defeat) was a warning. We can just be glad that we scored enough goals in London.

"We have not been playing well for weeks, be it in Hoffenheim, against Dusseldorf or last night, and if the team does not take the right consequences, then we are in trouble.

"We're definitely not going to win the Champions League like this."

Hoeness' remarks drew a wry smile from ZDF television pundit and former Bayern captain Oliver Kahn, who knows 'all too well' how Hoeness is prone to overreacting.

"You would think they were bottom of the Bundesliga," he said.

Should Bayer complete a double over Bayern, it would still leave it 18 points adrift with eight games of the season remaining, just postponing perhaps by a week Bayern's seemingly inevitable title celebrations.

Second-placed Borussia Dortmund has also given up hope of winning the title and will be more intent on learning its next opponent in the UEFA Champions League before hosting Freiburg.

Freiburg's charismatic coach Christian Streich then has an appointment of his own with ZDF television as its star guest discussing the day's action, and he will be hoping to comment on his side's return to the top six.

That is not going to be so easy, however, as he claims his Bundesliga rivals no longer view the Black Forest club as a small, provincial outfit.

"People are starting to take us incredibly seriously now," he said.

Just like Hoffenheim is taking the threat of relegation seriously. It will be hoping for a second straight win when it hosts Mainz, and then a favour from Hamburg, which hosts 16th-placed Augsburg.

Bottom club Greuther Furth has already given up hope of staying up, meanwhile, and its trip to Werder Bremen is all about 'going down with honour', according to its new coach Frank Kramer.

Elsewhere, Wolfsburg hosts Fortuna Dusseldorf in the first match of the weekend, Nurnberg is at home to Schalke and Eintracht Frankfurt locks horns with Stuttgart with Borussia Monchengladbach challenging fellow UEFA Europa League challenger Hannover.

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