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Top spot at stake

First place up for grabs in Berlin showdown

The Bayern team bus, loaded down with kit, balls and other equipment, always sets off for away matches a day before the players. This weekend is no exception, the luxury vehicle eating up the 600 kilometres from Munich to Berlin via Nuremberg and Leipzig in a matter of hours.

However, before Bayern's meeting with Hertha BSC Berlin on Saturday (Live in English from 3.15 pm CET on FCB.tv Web Radio), the club’s collective thoughts strayed to the west of Munich, via Stuttgart and Heilbronn to Sinsheim. Events at the town’s newly-opened Rhein-Neckar Arena on Friday evening determined what is at stake in Berlin - and as it turned out, top spot in the Bundesliga is up for grabs.

The Munich party gathered in a conference suite at their pre-match hotel, watching with increasing interest as leaders Hoffenheim fell 4-1 at home to Bayer Leverkusen. The result means the champions can go top of the table for the very first time this season, provided they beat high-flying Hertha on Saturday.

Aiming to win

“It’s another crucial fixture,” commented Jürgen Klinsmann ahead of the third-v-second showdown at the Berlin Olympic stadium. Bayern are determined to carry on where they left off in beating Dortmund 3-1 last weekend. “We have to do our homework,” insisted the FCB coach, meaning his team need to come away with the points, although the task could prove much more of a challenge than in recent years.