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Matchday 31: Bayern could be crowned Bundesliga champions at Mainz

Bayern Munich, Bundesliga

A victory at 1. FSV Mainz 05 on Matchday 31 will see FC Bayern München crowned Bundesliga champions for the ninth season in a row.

FC Bayern took another significant step towards a 30th Bundesliga title with a 20 win over Bayer 04 Leverkusen in midweekMatchday 30. The result, coupled with secondplaced RB Leipzig’s shock 21 defeat to 1. FC Köln, has given them a 10point lead at the top of the table. With only four rounds of fixtures remaining, the record champions need just three points to seal the deal.

The muchanticipated return of top scorer Robert Lewandowski following a monthlong injury break only enhances their prospects of being crowned champions in Mainz. If he can get on the scoresheet, the Bayern striker will be quietly confident of breaking Gerd Müller’s singleseason 40goal record of 1971/72.With35 league goals for the campaign so far, Lewandowski will be eager to return to scoring form, so he can secure his name in the history books.

Also, in action on Saturday, VfL Wolfsburg host Borussia Dortmund in a game that could be crucial for both teams in their quest for UEFA Champions League places. Wout Weghorst’s personalbest 20thBundesliga goal of the season helped the Wolves consolidate their position inside the top four in Stuttgart on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Dortmund picked up a win of their own against 1. FC Union Berlin, but remain five points behind Wolfsburg and four adriftof fourthplaced Eintracht Frankfurt. Whether or not the 23goal Erling Haaland can outscore Weghorst on the day could prove decisive.

SC Freiburg host BadenWürttemberg rivals TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, still with an outside hope of breaking into the top six before the season’s end. Union Berlin needs the points to fuel their own ambitions of playing in Europe next season, with visitors SV Werder Bremen arriving in the capital on the back of an alarming sixmatch losing streak that has dragged them into the relegation battle royale. US striker Josh Sargent, who has scored 5 goals, is arguably their best chance of beating the drop.

If results go their way, Eintracht Frankfurt could end the weekend with a sevenpoint cushion on Dortmund. Only FC Bayern have collected more Rückrundepoints than the Eagles, who are tantalisingly close to competing in the UEFA Champions League for the first time. Andre Silva put away his 24thBundesliga goal of the season against FC Augsburg last time out, and heads to sixthplaced Leverkusen on a fivegame scoring hot streak.

RB Leipzig’s tilt at a maiden Bundesliga title is effectively over, but they are likely to secure a third successive season of Champions League football. A victory at home to VfB Stuttgart will be a big step towards this. Julian Nagelsmann’s side also have the runners-up spot in their crosshairs, while promoted Stuttgart desperately need a win of their own to reignite their fading top-six challenge.

Borussia Mönchengladbach haven’t given up hope of breaking back into the European qualification spots, despite surrendering a 2-0 lead in defeat to Hoffenheim on Wednesday. The Foals are four points behind Leverkusen, but they can expect to face a tough opposition when DSC Arminia Bielefeld, who are desperately trying to avoid slipping into the relegation zone, visit Borussia-Park on Sunday.

Bielefeld are unbeaten in four after beating and relegatingFC Schalke 04on Tuesday. Frank Kramer’s men begin the weekend four points above the water line, albeit as one of six clubs battling it out to say afloat. 1. FC Köln are the lowestplaced team of the bunch. The Billy Goats face 12thplaced Augsburg on Friday, fresh off a stunning win over Leipzig.

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