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Away to HSV

Determined FCB aim to ‘shift up a gear’

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Things get serious for Bayern in February, with six games in just 23 days. In the Champions League the Reds take on Basel in the round of 16, while VfB lie in wait in the DFB Cup quarter-finals, and the chasing pack is hard at Bayern’s heels in the Bundesliga. That means “no slip-ups are allowed”, in the words of flying winger Franck Ribéry, when the team travel to SV Hamburg for the 94th North-South clash between two giants of German football (Saturday, from 6.15 p.m. on the live ticker and the web radio).

A look at the league table shows just how tight it is. The Munich side may still be on top with 40 points, but only on goal difference from Borussia Dortmund and Schalke 04. Borussia Moenchengladbach are just one point behind in fourth place. That means that dropping a point in Hamburg could put Bayern out of the Champions League positions – but that’s not something that anyone at the club is contemplating.