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Bundesliga

  • March 22, 2014
  • • 10:30 AM
  • • Coface Arena, Mainz
  • Referee: T. Stieler
  • • Attendance: 34000
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Bundesliga Preview: Mainz - Bayern Munich

Bundesliga Preview: Mainz - Bayern Munich

Bayern can clinch the league title with a win against Mainz, along with losses or draws by Borussia Dortmund and Schalke.

Bayern Munich could secure the Bundesliga title this weekend — but it will have to beat Mainz to stand a chance of doing so.

Pep Guardiola's men hold a staggering 23-point lead at the top of the table with just nine games remaining, meaning it is almost certainly a matter of "when" and not "if" they will be crowned champions.

And it could be this weekend that Bayern confirms the successful defense of the title it won back from Borussia Dortmund last season.

A victory against Champions League hopeful Mainz will see Guardiola lift the trophy in his debut season at the Allianz Arena, as long as Dortmund and Schalke fail to win their games.

But with Jens Keller's men hosting bottom club Eintracht Braunschweig and Dortmund traveling to midtable Hannover, even a win this weekend may not be enough to celebrate another championship triumph just yet.

Last Saturday's 2-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen saw Bayern extend its unbeaten league run to 50 games, while the last side to defeat Guardiola's charges in any competition was Manchester City in the Champions League on Dec. 10 — 15 matches ago.

Bayern was given a further lift Wednesday when winger Arjen Robben signed a contract extension that will keep him at the club until 2017.

The visitors can expect a tricky test against a Mainz side sitting fifth in the table and still within a shout of a top-two finish. Thomas Tuchel's charges have lost just once in their past 11 Bundesliga outings and have not tasted defeat at the Coface Arena since a 3-1 loss to Dortmund in November.

The coach was in a philosophical mood as his side prepares to take on a Bayern outfit that has won 17 Bundesliga matches in a row.

"If the little one wants to beat the great, then he does not do well in the classroom of the great, he lures him into a dark corner," he told the club's official website. "We want to provide them with tasks. If they solve them, then we go over there and congratulate. Then nobody will be ashamed of us."

Mainz has conceded just once on home turf in the past four games but has struggled for goals all season — its tally of 37 is only the 11th best in the division, and just half of the total achieved by Bayern.

Cameroon international Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting has been in impressive form of late, though, scoring four times in his past five appearances, and Bayern will need to be mindful of his threat if the club is to kick off its title celebrations.

The hosts will be hoping for a change in fortunes from the reverse fixture in October, when Mainz led at the break through Shawn Parker, only for Bayern to roar back in the second half and eventually win 4-1.

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Available Squads
21Loris KariusGoalkeeper
3Zdenek PospechDefender
4Nikolce NoveskiDefender
16Stefan BellDefender
24Joo-Ho ParkDefender
6Johannes GeisMidfielder
8Christoph MoritzMidfielder
13Koo Ja-CheolMidfielder
27Nicolai MüllerMidfielder
10Eric Maxim Choupo-MotingStriker
23Shinji OkazakiStriker
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5Benedikt SallerDefender
20Junior DíazDefender
22Julian KochDefender
26Niko BungertDefender
11Yunus MalliMidfielder
19Elkin SotoMidfielder
1Manuel NeuerGoalkeeper
17Jerome BoatengDefender
21Philipp LahmDefender
27David AlabaMidfielder
8Javi MartínezMidfielder
10Arjen RobbenMidfielder
31Bastian SchweinsteigerMidfielder
39Toni KroosMidfielder
7Franck RibéryMidfielder
18Mario MandzukicStriker
25Thomas MüllerStriker
22Tom StarkeGoalkeeper
4DanteDefender
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13RafinhaMidfielder
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