Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich meet in Champions League preview
Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich won't have to wait for the Champions League final to go head to head.
Dortmund hosts Bayern on Saturday in the Bundesliga in a preview of their Wembley showdown, although this time there won't be nearly as much at stake. Bayern wrapped up the title with six games to spare and Dortmund is all but assured of second place - although both clubs are keen to strike a psychological blow before their meeting in Europe's showpiece on May 25.
Bayern has not beaten Dortmund in five league games but has won every Bundesliga game in 2013. The club's 14-game winning streak is a record.
Dortmund, the deposed champion, is still smarting after star player Mario Goetze decided to join Bayern next season and the visitors can be assured of a hostile reception.
Goetze is out with a torn left hamstring, however, and faces a race against time to be fit for the sides' next meeting on May 25.
"It's going to be cutting it fine for everything that's left,'' said Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp, raising the possibility that the 20-year-old attacking midfielder may have played his last game for the club.
Both sides are likely to be feeling the effects of their respective Champions League semifinals - Bayern completed a remarkable 7-0 aggregate win over Barcelona on Wednesday, while Dortmund was pushed hard by Real Madrid the day before - but Klopp says his side will do its utmost to halt Bayern's winning run.
"We'll give everything that's in (the players) on Saturday,'' Klopp said.
Dortmund can prevent Bayern from repeating its 1986-87 season feat of winning the title with just one loss and without losing away.
Bayern, which is 20 points ahead of Dortmund, has already set records for the most points in a season (84), most away points in a season (43), most wins (26), away wins (14) and the longest winning-streak away (nine games).
Bayern has scored 90 goals and has three games remaining to eclipse its record of 101 from the 1971-72 season. The side's goal difference is currently plus-76 and is sure to shatter the record of plus-64 from 1972-73.
"We're on the right track,'' Bayern sporting director Mattias Sammer said after Wednesday's 3-0 win in Barcelona.
Schalke gets the 32nd round of games under way at seventh-place Borussia Moenchengladbach on Friday, with European qualification at stake for both sides.
Schalke is three points clear of fifth-place Eintracht Frankfurt in the last Champions League place.
Frankfurt hosts relegation-threatened Fortuna Duesseldorf on Saturday, when Hannover hosts Mainz, second-from bottom Hoffenheim visits Werder Bremen for a relegation battle, Nuremberg hosts third-place Bayer Leverkusen, and Stuttgart plays relegated Greuther Fuerth in a game with nothing at stake.
On Sunday, sixth-place Freiburg hosts relegation-threatened Augsburg, and Hamburger SV will be without suspended goalkeeper Rene Adler when it hosts Wolfsburg.