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Bayern Munich needs luck and a win against Haifa

German giants Bayern Munich go into their home Champions League group stage fixture against Israel's Maccabi Haifa FC on Wednesday with their destiny no longer in their own hands.

Bayern Munich needs luck and a win against Haifa
Photo: DPA

After home-and-away defeats by French side Bordeaux, Louis van Gaal’s men have slipped to third in Group A – four points behind second-placed Juventus.

All they can do now is defeat Haifa and hope that Juventus fail to beat Bordeaux in the other group game in France.

Bayern have also drawn their last three Bundesliga games to go seventh in the German league and with coach van Gaal under increasing pressure, a defeat to the Israeli side could make his position precarious.

“We’re unhappy, because none of us likes the situation in the league table,” said chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. “The fans don’t like it, the coach doesn’t like it, the team doesn’t like it, and neither do I, naturally enough. We need a big win to relieve the pressure.”

Haifa travel to Munich still seeking their first points after their own successive losses to Juventus left them out of the running at the foot of the table.

Four points adrift, they retain a slim hope of finishing third and claiming entry into the Europa League, but they must beat Bayern to keep that ambition alive.

Bayern won the first-ever encounter between the two sides at the Ramat Gan Stadium in the first group stage match on September 15, when Daniel Van Buyten and Thomas Müller scored on the way to a 3-0 win.

But the Germans go into the match looking for the first home goal of their campaign having recorded blanks in a stalemate with Juventus and a 2-0 loss to Bordeaux.

Elisha Levi’s Haifa have even bigger problems in front of goal as they are the only team of the 32 in the group stage yet to find the back of the opposition’s net.

If they fail to reach the knock-out stages, this would be the first time they have missed out on a place in the last 16 in their five previous attempts.

The last time they failed to do so was in 2002/03 when they finished bottom of their group with just two points.

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MUNICH

Four injured as WWII bomb explodes near Munich train station

Four people were injured, one of them seriously, when a World War II bomb exploded at a building site near Munich's main train station on Wednesday, emergency services said.

Smoke rises after the WWII bomb exploded on a building site in Munich.
Smoke rises after the WWII bomb exploded on a building site in Munich. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Privat

Construction workers had been drilling into the ground when the bomb exploded, a spokesman for the fire department said in a statement.

The blast was heard several kilometres away and scattered debris hundreds of metres, according to local media reports.

Images showed a plume of smoke rising directly next to the train tracks.

Bavaria interior minister Joachim Herrmann told Bild that the whole area was being searched.

Deutsche Bahn suspended its services on the affected lines in the afternoon.

Although trains started up again from 3pm, the rail operator said there would still be delays and cancellations to long-distance and local travel in the Munich area until evening. 

According to the fire service, the explosion happened near a bridge that must be passed by all trains travelling to or from the station.

The exact cause of the explosion is unclear, police said. So far, there are no indications of a criminal act.

WWII bombs are common in Germany

Some 75 years after the war, Germany remains littered with unexploded ordnance, often uncovered during construction work.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about WWII bomb disposals in Germany

However, most bombs are defused by experts before they explode.

Last year, seven World War II bombs were found on the future location of Tesla’s first European factory, just outside Berlin.

Sizeable bombs were also defused in Cologne and Dortmund last year.

In 2017, the discovery of a 1.4-tonne bomb in Frankfurt prompted the evacuation of 65,000 people — the largest such operation since the end of the war in Europe in 1945.

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