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Unbelievable and near-unique

Treble-chasing FCB still control own fate

“Unbelievable” is one of Louis van Gaal’s favourite words. As the season approaches its climax, the FCB boss has been using the word more and more often to describe his team’s achievements so far. “We lead the league, we’re in the cup final, and we could make the Champions League final. I didn’t expect this at the start of the season,” Van Gaal admitted on the eve of the Borussia Mönchengladbach clash.

His men were held to a draw at Borussia Park on Saturday, allowing Schalke to draw level on points at the top of the standings, but all the same, the position Bayern find themselves in with just weeks of the campaign to go is not just “unbelievable”, but also almost unique in Europe.

Inter also seek treble

Inter Milan are the only other club pursuing the same treble of a domestic cup and league double and European honours. The Nerazurri reclaimed control of their own destiny when previous Serie A leaders AS Roma lost at home to Sampdoria on Sunday evening, allowing Inter to reclaim top spot in the race for the Scudetto. Jose Mourinho's side and Luca Toni's current club also meet in the Italian cup final.

Barcelona, Inter’s semi-final opponents in the Champions League, have only had two trophies in their sights for some time now, as the Catalans were knocked out of the Spanish Copa del Rey in the last sixteen. Barca won the treble last term, and are currently a point ahead of bitter rivals Real Madrid in the La Liga table. In Europe’s elite club competition, Pep Guardiola’s side face the daunting task of overturning a 3-1 deficit when they entertain Inter on Wednesday night.

Lyon with work to do

Olympique Lyon have only one real chance of claiming a trophy this season, and that is the Champions League. Claude Puel’s men lie fifth in the Ligue 1 standings, and are in some danger of missing out on qualification for next term’s Champions League. Lyon exited both French cup competitions at an early stage.