German Bundesliga

Battered Bayern's title defence on the line

April 9, 2009

Having shipped nine goals in two games, Bayern Munich have little time to wallow in self-pity when they host Eintracht Frankfurt in the Bundesliga on Saturday.

After a 5-1 drubbing at the hands of league leaders VfL Wolfsburg last week, Bayern were thrashed 4-0 by Barcelona in their Champions League quarter-final first leg on Wednesday.

With their leaky defence a shadow of last season's solid backline and defender Lucio as well as striker Miroslav Klose injured, coach Juergen Klinsmann needs a quick fix.

Defending champions Bayern are three points off the top in third place with 48 points with eight games remaining this term.

Klinsmann must also deal with mounting criticism that his first season in charge of Bayern has been a flop, despite vocal backing from the club board.

Bayern playmaker Franck Ribery admitted they needed to win against Eintracht to keep any title hopes alive.

"We are under pressure now. We absolutely must win against Frankfurt." the Frenchman said after Bayern's mauling in Spain. "We have to be present at the weekend."

However, catching Wolfsburg, especially given Bayern's erratic recent performances, is no easy task, with Felix Magath's team having won their last eight league matches.

Wolfsburg, who lead Hamburg on goal difference in the Bundesliga, travel to lowly Borussia Moenchengladbach with two of the league's most dangerous strikers in Grafite and Edin Dzeko.

The pair have been superb throughout the season, with the Brazilian topping the scorers' list with 20 goals and the Bosnian 15.

While Magath has banned any title talk, insisting their aim was to finish in the top five, the players know the championship is only a few more wins away.

"Glabach will fight against relegation in this match and they will need every point they can get," Wolfsburg midfielder Zvjezdan Misimovic said. "But if we keep a cool head we can get something out of this match as well."

Hamburg, also on 51 points, travel to resurgent Stuttgart, who are in fifth place.

Hamburg's midweek UEFA Cup clash against Manchester City could leave Martin Jol's side drained, however, the team having played virtually non-stop since the end of the winter break in the league, UEFA Cup and German Cup.