Munich - 1,099 days after last getting their hands on the Bundesliga Meisterschale, FC Bayern Munich will be reacquainted with the coveted trophy this Saturday after their game at home to FC Augsburg (kick-off 15:30 CET).
Celebrations in the city
It could be a taste of things to come for the home faithful, with decisive games in the UEFA Champions League and DFB Cup finals still to come.
Once the final whistle sounds on their penultimate Bundesliga fixture of the season, celebrations will begin in earnest on the back of a campaign in which records have tumbled almost every week.
“I’m looking forward to it immensely,” said , who will grasp the Bundesliga trophy for the first time ever. “Beforehand, though, we want to play a good game. Celebrating is a lot better after you've won a match.” While already has a cabinet full of silverware, Saturday will be a first for him too: the right-back has never before lifted the title as captain.
The team will then parade through the streets of the city to the central square, Marienplatz, where an estimated 20,000 fans are expected, awaiting their heroes' arrival and traditional appearance on the balcony of the town hall.
Bidding to spoil the party are regional rivals Augsburg, who know that defeat could end their hopes of staying up without a play-off. The Bavarians are currently behind Fortuna Düsseldorf only on goal difference, with SV Werder Bremen just three points ahead of the two sides and 1899 Hoffenheim two points behind.
“We’re not going to hide,” vowed defender . “We’ve got to keep our focus.” That has been pretty sharp in recent weeks, even if the results have not always matched their efforts. “We’ve not been able to win any of our games against a side as strong as they were,” admitted SC Freiburg coach Christian Streich after his side’s 2-0 victory last weekend.
“Praise is nice but it doesn't help us out,” responded Augsburg coach Markus Weinzierl. “Freiburg are role models for us and, if we want to develop the way they have, then we’ve got to stay in the Bundesliga.” Beating Bayern on their own patch is the tallest of orders for any side, but it is one which Augsburg must rise to if the tears of joy in Munich are not combined with tears of despair in one section of the Allianz Arena.
Bayern: Neuer - Lahm, van Buyten, Dante, Alaba - Javi Martinez, Schweinsteiger - Robben, Müller, Ribery - Mandzukic
Augsburg: Manninger - Verhaegh, Vogt, Klavan, Ostrzolek - Baier - Hahn, Moravek, Ji, Werner - Mölders