Lucien Favre feels the high stakes for both of Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich’s final-day opponents will be a factor in a Bundesliga title race going down to the wire.
Stumbles for both champions Bayern and Favre’s Dortmund have made a battle between two flawed teams utterly compelling, although Niko Kovac’s men remain favourites heading into Saturday’s concluding round of fixtures.
Bayern boast a two-point advantage over their rivals as they target a seventh consecutive Bundesliga crown – a title that would already be secure had they not been held to a 0-0 draw by RB Leipzig last weekend.
Third-place Leipzig are already assured of a Champions League spot next term but two of the teams still in the running for fourth place – Borussia Monchengladbach and Eintracht Frankfurt – are Dortmund and Bayern’s respective weekend foes.
“The title race is open until the end. Many games and many teams are still fighting for the Champions League and Europa League,” said Favre at a pre-match news conference ahead of BVB’s trip to face Gladbach, a club he coached between 2011 and 2015.
“Also, some are fighting for the title. It is very interesting this season and it will be exciting in Gladbach.”
In an intriguing parallel within the prospective last-day drama, Kovac is facing an Eintracht side he led to DFB-Pokal glory against Bayern a year ago.
“We have to be fully concentrated on our game and hope that good things happen on the other pitch,” Favre said. “The game has to be our focus and we have to win it. Period.
“Everything is possible. How high are the chances? It’s hard to say and I don’t really want to talk about it.
“We have to win in Gladbach. As you said, Gladbach also want to win. We will have to play on a high level and win in the end.”
Dortmund will be boosted by the return of captain Marco Reus from suspension, although Marius Wolf remains banned after the pair were sent off in the derby defeat to Schalke.
Goalkeeper Roman Burki is expected to play after overcoming a thigh problem but Favre said defender Abdou Diallo is a likely absentee as he continues to struggle with the muscular complaint that forced him to miss the 3-2 win over Fortuna Dusseldorf last time out.