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Bayern Munich edges toward treble dream

Bayern Munich hope to take another step closer to a historic treble on Saturday when they face relegation-threatened Bochum in the Bundesliga.

Bayern Munich edges toward treble dream
Photo: DPA

After the highs of reaching the Champions League final with a 3-0 win at Lyon on Tuesday, Bayern return to German league action against strugglers Bochum who sacked coach Heiko Herrlich on Thursday.

Former Germany playmaker Dariusz Wosz has taken over as caretaker, becoming Bochum’s fourth coach this season.

His side must beat Bayern to keep alive their hopes of staying in the Bundesliga with only two games remaining.

Bayern are level on 64 points at the top with Schalke, but have a superior goal difference of 13 and, at least mathematically, can win the title on Saturday providing they beat Bochum and Schalke lose at Werder Bremen.

Munich face Inter Milan in the Champions League final in Madrid on May 22, Werder Bremen in the German Cup final on May 15 and are in pole-position to claim their 22nd league title.

“Things are happening which many people didn’t think could happen to Bayern before the season started,” said chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. “It could end up a historic season.”

Bayern have midfielder Franck Ribery suspended for the Champions League final, but Hamit Altintop, who played superbly against Lyon, is likely to keep his place in the starting line-up.

The hosts are virtually at full-strength while Bochum have failed to win any of their last ten league games, picking up just three points in the process.

With third-placed Werder needing a victory in their battle with Bayer Leverkusen in the race for a Champions League spot, second-placed Schalke also need a win to stay in the hunt for the title.

Schalke have not won the German league since 1958 and welcome back 19-year-old midfielder Joel Matip, who was missing from the team for last week’s win over Hertha Berlin, because he was sitting school exams.

Despite a broken rib suffered in training a fortnight ago, Germany goalkeeper Rene Adler looks set to play for Bayer Leverkusen against Hertha Berlin.

“It is looking good, Rene works not only with great intensity, but is also very focused,” said Bayer coach Jupp Heynckes, without saying whether or not Adler will start. “He wants to help the team and is the sort of player who brings success.”

Hertha Berlin are virtually certain to be relegated as they are five points from safety and face two tough tests in the coming weeks with Bayern their opponents on May 8.

Two from the pack of Freiburg, Hannover, Nuremberg and Bochum will join them in being relegated with Hanover hosting Mönchengladbach and Nuremberg at Hamburg.

Freiburg are at Cologne and have the best chance of surviving after winning their last two games against Nuremberg and Wolfsburg.

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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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