The prize is almost within their grasp. If Bayern Munich can seal a record when they host Hamburger SV on Saturday evening, a 22nd Bundesliga title will be theirs - provided Borussia Dortmund fail to take maximum points from their trip to VfB Stuttgart. The Bavarians would do well to concentrate on fulfilling their end of the bargain, however. The Red Shorts may not be the powerhouse they were in previous decades, but they still boast the pedigree to upset the odds at Munich's Allianz Arena, and triumphed 4-1 in Dortmund just a few weeks ago. Jupp Henyckes' men have been warned.
Dortmund, meanwhile, travel to Stuttgart looking to build on their stunning 5-1 win over SC Freiburg last weekend, and one player likely to be in the thick of the action at the Mercedes-Benz Arena is Ilkay Gündogan. The Dortmund no.8 has picked up this season where he left off in the latter half of 2011/12, establishing himself as an indispensable component in the Yellow-Blacks' engine room. Operating predominantly in a creative deep-lying role, he has confirmed his potential as one of the best of a golden German generation. That BVB are yet to win a game without him this season is a further sign of how much the former 1. FC Nuremberg man has improved at Signal Iduna Park.
3 Minutes with…
...Rafael van der Vaart. A cult hero at the club he represented between 2005 and 2008, it was truly a fairytale story when van der Vaart returned to Hamburg on transfer deadline day last August. After a trio of season-opening defeats, HSV - with their prized Dutchman in tow - have since risen to eighth in the table are now in contention for a return for Europe for the first time since 2009/10. In an exclusive interview, the Dutchman, who has made over 100 senior appearances for the Netherlands, talks about life back in the Bundesliga after stints in Spain and England and his hopes and ambitions for Hamburg.