Bayern hosts Leverkusen in Bundesliga
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — The tax evasion trial of club president Uli Hoeness is overshadowing Bayern Munich’s upcoming home game against Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga, while Borussia Dortmund hosts Borussia Moenchengladbach.
Here are five things to know about the weekend’s 25th round:
Leverkusen is the last team to have beaten Bayern in the Bundesliga — in October 2012. It is also one of the two teams to have earned draws against the Bavarians this season.
Bayern has a 20-point lead in the league and can clinch the title already this month. Bayern has a record of 16 consecutive victories and its unbeaten run is up to 49 games.
But Bayern has won only one of its last four Bundesliga matches against Leverkusen, with two defeats and one draw. Leverkusen has three defeats and one draw in its last four Bundesliga matches.
Leverkusen was encouraged by its match against Paris Saint-Germain, despite a 2-1 loss.
“We are definitely not going to Munich to be a polite guest; we can achieve a sensation there,” Leverkusen goalkeeper Bernd Leno said.
DORTMUND’S HOME STRENGTH:
Borussia Dortmund is unbeaten at home against its Moenchengladbach namesake in the last 12 games, with 10 wins. But it lost 1-0 at Moenchengladbach this season despite dominating the match.
Moenchengladbach last won in Dortmund 16 years ago.
Dortmund is 20 points behind Bayern and looking to strengthen its grip on second place. If Dortmund wins and Leverkusen loses in Munich, Dortmund will be seven points ahead of Leverkusen.
Augsburg has been the surprise of the season and is sitting sixth, which gives it a place in the Europa League next season. On Friday, Augsburg hosts Schalke, which is fourth and seeking to hang on to a Champions League slot.
Augsburg has never beaten Schalke in one German Cup and five Bundesliga matches.
Apart from a 5-1 drubbing by Bayern, Schalke is unbeaten this year since the Bundesliga resumed after the winter break.
Hoffenheim has been a model of inconsistency this season — a 6-2 victory over Wolfsburg was followed by a 4-0 loss at Schalke.
Hoffenheim has the third best attack with 52 goals, but it has also conceded 52 goals to have the second-worst defense in the Bundesliga.
It hosts Mainz, which is seeking to return to one of Europa League places. Hoffenheim has won only one Bundesliga match against Mainz, which has never lost at Hoffenheim.
After losing eight straight and only drawing at bottom Braunschweig, Stuttgart sacked the coach and brought in the Bundesliga experienced Huub Stevens.
Stevens has a tough road match against Werder Bremen for his debut. Werder is eight points away from the danger zone but would like to make certain that it won’t drop. Stuttgart is only above 16th-place Hamburger SV on goal difference.
Stuttgart has only one win in its last six matches against Bremen.
Whatever the outcome, fans can hope for plenty of scoring — the last 15 games between the two clubs have produced 65 goals, more than four a game on average.