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Football | Germany

Frankfurt acid test for Bayern



Runaway leaders Bayern Munich aim to carry their Champions League momentum into the Bundesliga when they host Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday.

Munich are coming off a 6-1 demolition of French side Lille but expect more resistance from Frankfurt, who are surprise third in their return season to the top flight.

"The opponent wasn't top class - it will be more difficult on Saturday against Frankfurt," coach Jupp Heynckes said.

Heynckes was pleased that Munich scored two of the goals from set pieces in the form of free-kicks from Bastian Schweinsteiger and Arjen Robben, an area in which they had lacked in recent weeks.

"The most important thing is that we keep on supporting each other on the field. It's great at the moment and it's going perfectly. We need a performance like that in every match," Robben said.

Heynckes must decide whether to field hat-trick hero Claudio Pizarro again on Saturday or bring back Bundesliga top scorer Mario Mandzukic, who has found the net eight times.

Promoted Frankfurt had a strong start into the season but have run out of steam lately, losing 2-1 in Stuttgart and held 1-1 by lowly Greuther Fuerth. Their last of only five wins in Munich dates back to 2000.

"The match is a huge challenge for us," Frankfurt captain Pirmin Schwegler told Thursday's edition of Kicker sports magazine. "We must play better than against Fuerth ... We will try to be competitive and then we will see what happens."

Munich lead the way with 27 points from Schalke and Frankfurt, who are on 20 each. Bayer Leverkusen have 18 and champions Borussia Dortmund are a modest fifth with 16.

In their Champions League games, Schalke fought from 2-0 down to 2-2 against Arsenal and Dortmund drew 2-2 at Real Madrid after leading until the 89th minute.

Schalke host rising Bremen, who have not lost in four games, and coach Huub Stevens will hope for victory failed to make the most out of their superiority against Arsenal and in a 3-2 league defeat against Hoffenheim.

Dortmund are having a great European season after meltdowns there in the past two campaigns, but have lost their domestic dominance that saw them win back-to-back Bundesliga titles in 2011 and 2012.

Their next task is a must-win game at bottom club Augsburg, and captain Sebastian Kehl freely admitted it was difficult to focus on such a game after the midweek date at mighty Real which kept them atop their group and unbeaten.

"It is all a bit strange considering that we now have to play in Augsburg and must win there," Kehl said.

The 11th round kicks off on Friday with Mainz v Nuremberg, the other Saturday games are Freiburg v Hamburg and Fortuna Dusseldorf v Hoffenheim, and the Sunday fixtures are Wolfsburg v Leverkusen, Stuttgart v Hanover and Fuerth v Borussia Moenchengladbach.

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