BERLIN (AFP) –
Borussia Dortmund can seal the German league title with a win vs Moenchengladbach on Saturday, but Borussia-bound Marco Reus is looking to spoil the party for his new club.
The 22-year-old Gladbach star has signed a three-year deal to join Dortmund next season, but with his current club chasing third place in the league and a guaranteed Champions League spot, there will be no split loyalties.
With an eight-point lead and three games left, victory against Gladbach would give Dortmund the title for the second year running, but Reus wants to ruin the party for his future employees.
“Of course we want to,” said Reus, who will join Dortmund on a 17.5m euros transfer.
“We are just one point behind (third-placed) Schalke and there is still everything to play for.
“As far as I am concerned, Dortmund are 99 percent champions, congratulations to them.
“But we want to take the three points and we have a great opportunity to take third place.”
Reus can expect a warm reception from the Dortmund defence with centre-back Neven Subotic admitting he is glad not to have to halt Reus in the future.
“Playing against him is a huge challenge for any defence,” the Serbia international told Kicker.
“I am glad that Marco is coming to us. He has a great technique and is incredibly fast.”
Having sealed a 2-1 win over Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-final first leg on Tuesday, second-placed Bayern Munich return to domestic action and must focus on Werder Bremen.
The Bavarians have already conceded the title race to Dortmund, who they will face in the German Cup final on May 12, but a win in Bremen would boost confidence before the trip to Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.
Germany star Bastian Schweinsteiger is set to play the full 90 minutes to help him regain full fitness after an ankle injury as coach Jupp Heynckes needs his vice-captain fully fit for the trip to Spain.
“Bastian had 60 minutes against Real, he will get 90 more against Werder and that will help with his fitness. He is very important to us,” said Bayern boss Heynckes.
With three defeats and three draws in their last six games, Bremen are desperate for a win, but coach Thomas Schaaf admitted his team face an uphill battle.
“Actually, we have no chance,” said the 50-year-old.
“If you compare the teams on paper, Bayern are a bit better than us.”
Despite Schaaf’s comments, Bremen are out to bring Bayern back down to earth as their fans dream of contesting the Champions League final at Munich’s Allianz Arena on May 19.
“The championship is over for them,” said Bremen’s former Bayern striker Claudio Pizarro, with Werder eighth in the league.
“This is a great opportunity, because we have a home game and Bayern will be thinking about Real, not us.”
Heynckes may well rotate his squad which would further boost Bremen’s chances of taking the three points and getting amongst the European places.
Third-placed Schalke are at strugglers Augsburg on Sunday as they digest Thursday’s news that Spain striker Raul will be leaving at the end of the season for an unknown destination outside of Europe.
There will be a relegation battle royal in the capital as second-from-bottom Hertha Berlin host Kaiserslautern who are at the foot of the table.
Defeat for Kaiserslautern will confirm their relegation, while Hertha are still five points from escaping the bottom three.
Only weekend fixture, played on Friday, Mainz 05 vs VfL Wolfsburg, ended in a goalless draw.
Hoffenheim v Bayer Leverkusen, Werder Bremen v Bayern Munich, Nuremberg v Hamburg, Hertha Berlin v Kaiserslautern, Cologne v VfB Stuttgart, Borussia Dortmund v Borussia M’gladbach
Augsburg v Schalke 04, Hanover 96 v Freiburg