FC Bayern München will look to strengthen their grip on a record fourth consecutive Bundesliga title when they welcome FC Schalke 04 to the Allianz Arena on Saturday.
The Bavarians are undefeated in five Bundesliga games, winning each of the previous four, and sit at the top of the table with 75 points, seven clear of Borussia Dortmund in second. Schalke are 30 points away in seventh, though the Royal Blues know that they could end the day in fifth, provided they can seal a better result than either Borussia Mönchengladbach and 1.FSV Mainz do on Matchday 30.
Ribery 'nearly at 100 per cent'
The soonest Bayern could wrap up the title is on Matchday 32 against Gladbach, assuming Dortmund drop all of their points between now and then. Coach Pep Guardiola is calling for consistency as he seeks his place in history, though, saying "we only need three wins and a draw to achieve something that no team in Germany has ever managed."
Curiously, Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer has now made 156 Bundesliga appearances with both the Bayern and the Royal Blues, the club with whom he made his top-flight debut nearly ten years ago. Games against Die Knappen will always carry a special significance for the Gelsenkirchen-born custodian, but with Wednesday's 2-2 draw at SL Benfica in the UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg so fresh in the memory, Neuer and Co. are not getting ahead of themselves.
"You always want to win the Champions League," said Ribery. "But there are many clubs in the competition who rank among the favourites. However, we cannot forget that this would be a fourth Bundesliga title in a row. This is very important for us. It would be the first time a club has managed that. Even saying that out loud: a fourth German title - it would feel like a big achievement."