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“Play to win for 90 minutes"

Bayern ready for title decider against Frankfurt

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It’s a final like the Allianz Arena has never experienced before. On the last matchday of the 2018/19 Bundesliga season, FC Bayern host Eintracht Frankfurt (kick-off at 15:00 CEST on Saturday, coverage available via our live ticker) with the chance to secure a title at the Allianz Arena for the first time since the stadium opened in 2005. After winning 12 league titles while playing away from home or even not playing at all, this weekend is set to be historic for the club and the fans.

“I’m convinced we’ll have support like we haven't seen for some years in Munich,” said coach Niko Kovac looking ahead to the final day of the season at home. “The spark won't just come from on the pitch but also from above us, so our team will receive extra motivation.”

His side goes into the game two points clear of pursuers Borussia Dortmund, and FCB’s vastly superior goal difference means a point against Frankfurt will likely be enough to be crowned champions. However, Bayern don’t want to settle for just that if they’re to get the fans behind them and will go for their 11th Bundesliga home win in a row. “We want to win at home so we’re champions by some margin,” demanded Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

Niko Kovac
“We’ll play to win for 90 minutes. That goes without saying.”

That therefore means “playing to win for 90 minutes”, according to Kovac, who believes the visitors will arrive with the same approach. “They also still have things to play for and are under pressure,” the FCB coach warned. Sixth-placed Frankfurt remain in with a chance of finishing fourth and qualifying for the UEFA Champions League, but at the same time could also miss out on Europe altogether.

“I’m not thinking about eighth place,” stated Eintracht coach Adi Hütter, who remains hopeful that “we can achieve our goal of playing in Europe” despite a run of five league games without a win and also some injury worries, including the absence of former Bayern midfielder Sebastian Rode with a knee problem. After their narrow UEFA Europa League semi-final elimination to Chelsea earlier this month, Frankfurt hope they can experience such matches again next season.

Celebrate together with the fans

“We’ve all seen how great it is to travel all over Europe,” enthused Eintracht defender Martin Hinteregger, but the Austrian also knows Bayern will take no consideration of their European dreams. “We’re so close and dont want to give it up,” stressed Leon Goretzka ahead of the final weekend in which FCB will likely remain without Manuel Neuer and James due to injury.

The record champions want to see out their fairy tale. “We’d hoped in winter to still have the chance to be champions come the final day,” said Kovac in reference to Bayern’s one-time nine-point deficit to Borussia Dortmund. “We’ve now got that and want to take it,” the 47-year-old continued. Robert Lewandowski added that he’s “dreamt of celebrating the title with our own fans” – and everyone at FCB wants that to come true on Saturday.

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