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Champions v runners-up

Preview: Bayern eye Werder scalp and top spot

The traditional cry of O’zapft is! to mark the tapping of the first barrel at the Oktoberfest will ring out at midday on Saturday for the 175th time in the event’s history, but the start of the world’s biggest folk festival is of little consequence to the Bayern playing staff. The club’s focus is on 3.30 in the afternoon and kick-off in the Bundesliga’s match of the day when Werder Bremen visit the Allianz Arena (Live in English from 3.15 pm on Web Radio). “We intend to show them who’s boss,” insisted Daniel van Buyten, “Bremen won’t take any points.“

What the Oktoberfest does mean for Bayern is a superb home record in games played while the festival is on, comprising 47 wins, 18 draws and just six defeats in 71 such matches. The champions are aiming to extend that impressive streak on Saturday with their third league win in a row. Victory over Bremen, consistently Bayern’s most potent challengers in recent years, would see the champions put six points between themselves and last season’s runners-up and also go top of the Bundesliga, at least until leaders Hamburg visit Wolfsburg on Sunday.

Rather be hunted than the hunter

“It’s one of the most important matches of the season,” commented Martin Demichelis. The aim was to go top “as quickly as possible,” stated Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. Added Michael Rensing: “It’s much better to be hunted than the hunter, so we want top spot back as soon as we can. And once we’re up there, we won’t let go.“