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Bayern aim to take out European frustrations on Bavarian derby rivals


Berlin (AFP) – Bayern Munich plan to take out the frustrations of their Champions League defeat against Villarreal on Bavarian derby rivals Augsburg on Saturday.

A 1-0 loss in Spain on Wednesday in the Champions League quarter-final, first leg leaves Bayern under pressure for the return in Munich next Tuesday.

“Of course we were all disappointed. We made a lot of mistakes on Wednesday,” admitted Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann on Friday.

“On Saturday, there is a Bundesliga game and points we want to get. We’ll try a lot of things tomorrow that will also be important on Tuesday.”

Nagelsmann says defender Niklas Suele and midfielder Leon Goretzka will both start against Augsburg.

“We want to give some players some rhythm for Tuesday,” he added and revealed Canada wing-back Alphonso Davies will be rested.

Augsburg have won three of their last four games and stunned Bayern with a 2-1 upset win at home last November.

However, their head coach Markus Weinzierl is wary of facing wounded Bayern.

“When Julian Nagelsmann’s team are up for it, then it will be enormously difficult for us,” said Weinzierl.

Bayern learned Friday that despite a substitution mix-up in last weekend’s 4-1 win at Freiburg, which briefly led to them having 12 players on the pitch, the German FA (DFB) will let the result stand.

With six league games left, Bayern are nine points clear.

They could be confirmed Bundesliga champions for the 10th straight season in the next two weeks.

For the first time since the Covid pandemic started, a full house of 74,000 is expected at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium when Hertha Berlin host Union in another derby clash.

Hertha beat their rivals 4-0 and 3-1 behind closed doors in their last two home league games, which Union avenged with a 3-2 away win last January in the German Cup.

“This is something new, we’ve never played at a full Olympic Stadium and are looking forward to it,” said Union coach Urs Fischer.

Union need a win to bridge the three-point gap to the European places, while Hertha are second from bottom with six games left to gather enough points to stay up.

One to watch: Domenico Tedesco

Since he replaced Jesse Marsch as head coach in December, RB Leipzig have lost just two of their 19 games under Tedesco — a run which includes Thursday’s 1-1 home first-leg draw against Atalanta in the Europa League quarter-finals.

They have picked up 26 league points in the second half of the season, three more than Bayern.

Tedesco has tightened the defence and breathed confidence into the attack with winger Christopher Nkunku in dazzling form.

The Frenchman was outstanding last weekend with three assists and a goal in a 4-1 rout away at second-placed Dortmund.

Leipzig are fourth in the table, on course for a Champions League place next season with a three-point buffer over fifth before Sunday’s game at Hoffenheim.

Tedesco is “happy” with their league position, “because we have worked for it,” but urged his side to stay focus for the last six league games.

Key stats

300 – the league wins Thomas Mueller will have racked up if Bayern beat Augsburg, no other player has reached the milestone with one club.

150 – the milestone of Bundesliga wins midfielder Joshua Kimmich can reach Saturday in just 196 Bundesliga games, which would equal Arjen Robben’s league record.

Seven – years since Augsburg last won at Bayern’s Allianz Arena.

Fixtures (all times 1330GMT unless stated)

Friday

VfB Stuttgart v Borussia Dortmund (1830)

Saturday

Bayern Munich v Augsburg, VfL Wolfsburg v Arminia Bielefeld, Cologne v Mainz 05, Greuther Fuerth v Borussia Moenchengladbach, Hertha Berlin v Union Berlin (1630) 

Sunday

VfL Bochum v Bayer Leverkusen, Eintracht Frankfurt v Freiburg (1530), RB Leipzig v Hoffenheim (1730)

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