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'100 percent' vs. Gladbach

FCB aim to take 'last step' towards title glory

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Match ball! FC Bayern can wrap up a historic fourth championship title in a row with a victory over Borussia Mönchengladbach on Saturday (Live in English from 15.30 CET on Twitter and Web Radio). Depending on Dortmund's result against Wolfsburg even a draw or a defeat might prove sufficient. “It's the last step. It's up to us,” Pep Guardiola said on the eve of the contest. “I hope our fans will have reason to celebrate tomorrow.”

Even if FCB’s triumph is confirmed, the players have not prepared any special celebration. “We absolutely want to win, but we’ve made no arrangements for a championship party,” Manuel Neuer stated. And for good reason: the Champions League semi-final return takes place only three days after the Bundesliga match. “We can always throw a big party later,” added Philipp Lahm.

The match against Gladbach could yield the Bundesliga title for the German record champions, but the semi-final against Atlético naturally has an influence on Saturday’s encounter. Guardiola thus spoke of a “dangerous match,” demanding full focus against the side lying fifth in the table. Bayern only lost once in the first half of the league season, a 3-1 reverse against the Foals. “They're really strong, the most awkward opponents in the league besides Borussia Dortmund. All their players have great quality.”

Guardiola 'full of energy'

In his 100th Bundesliga match the FCB head coach is counting on the support of the Bayern faithful to help secure the championship title, “our most important goal this season. Our focus is 100 percent on Borussia Mönchengladbach tomorrow,” Guardiola stressed, announcing his intention to rotate: “Of course the starting line-up will be different from the XI in Madrid.” However, not out of consideration for the return against Atlético, but because the Bavarians aim to win against Gladbach, the Catalan emphasised.

It is possible that Jérôme Boateng will return on Saturday after a three-month injury lay-off. “He's one of the best three centre-backs in the world. I hope he'll be able to play a few minutes tomorrow,” said Guardiola, who is upbeat ahead of the most important matches of the season: “I'm, wow, full of energy for the week!” Let's go: Pack ma's!

Pre-match news from Borussia Mönchengladbach:

  • Unavailable:  Fabian Johnson (muscular problems), Martin Stranzl (rehab), Tony Jantschke (torn muscle), Alvaro Dominguez (back surgery), Nico Schulz (cruciate)

  • Coach André Schubert: “Bayern beat all of the Bundesliga's top teams by at least two goals. However, we’re not going there to enjoy the nice arena, but to make it as difficult as possible for Bayern. The few matches that Bayern lost this term show that besides a bit of luck you need an extreme willingness to run. You have to go to your limits, close the gaps, be very alert and play cleverly as a team. We'll try to do just that.”