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Football | Germany

Bastian Schweinsteiger © Reuters Images

How the Bundesliga title race looks



Bundesliga where Bayern Munich are 20 points ahead of second placed Borussia Dortmund with seven matches to play and could win the title on Saturday:

Top Four Standings Played Points

1. Bayern Munich 27 72

2. Borussia Dortmund 27 52

3. Bayer Leverkusen 27 48

4. Schalke 04 27 42

Last season's top four finish:

1. Borussia Dortmund 81; 2. Bayern Munich 73; 3. Schalke 04 64; 4. Borussia Moenchengladbach 60

Remaining key fixtures:

On Saturday (April 6) Bayern Munich travel to Eintracht Frankfurt and will secure their 22nd Bundesliga title and 23rd German league title overall with a victory.

A draw or defeat, depending on what Dortmund do in their game, could also be enough to win the title earlier than any other team in the Bundesliga's 50-season history.

Analysis:

Bayern Munich, boosted by multi-million euro transfers in the close season that included 40-million euro signing Javi Martinez, striker Mario Mandzukic and defender Dante, shot out of the blocks, recording the Bundesliga's best ever start to a season with eight straight wins.

Bayern finished as runners-up in three competitions last season: the league, the German Cup and the Champions League and following that shattering loss to Chelsea on penalties in Munich in the Champions League final, Bayern were determined to reclaim their domestic dominance and make a run for the top European prize again.

With champions Dortmund lacking the consistency they showed last season and placing more importance on their Champions League campaign, Bayern were already nine points clear in December.

Mandzukic was a more than worthy replacement for injured Mario Gomez in attack during much of the season, maintaining his starting spot when the Germany forward returned to action.

Brazil defender Dante pulled down the shutters at the back with just seven goals conceded in the first 17 games and exuded an air of confidence that had been lacking in the Bayern defence for several years.

Franck Ribery is also enjoying his most successful Bayern season to date with seven goals and nine assists.

With ten straight victories since the league restart following the winter break, Bayern increased their lead to a staggering 20 points as they broke a string of Bundesliga records, leaving all other title contenders behind.

Their first victory in six games against Dortmund - in the German Cup in February to avenge their defeat to Dortmund in last season's final - further underlined their dominant status

in Germany.

With Bastian Schweinsteiger rediscovering his world class form as the Bavarians' orchestrator and forming an efficient partnership with Martinez, Bayern did not even lose focus when the club announced the signing of coach Pep Guardiola for next season.

Coach Jupp Heynckes, who will be leaving at the end of the season, managed to successfully rotate among the big name players at his disposal while also keeping them motivated.

Even Dutch winger Arjen Robben's mid-season blues and complaints over his reduced playing time gradually fizzled out as the team remain on track for an unprecedented treble for a German club.



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