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Bayern clashes with BVB in German ‘Clasico’

Bayern Munich are out to break their losing streak against defending champions Borussia Dortmund on Saturday in the Bundesliga clash which has been described as 'El Clasico' of Germany.

Bayern clashes with BVB in German 'Clasico'
Photo: DPA

Bayern extended their lead at the top of the league to 10 points on Wednesday with a 2-0 win at SC Freiburg while BVB Dortmund, who have won the title for the last two years, lag behind in third and are 11 points adrift.

Munich managed a 2-1 pre-season victory at home to Dortmund in August’s Super Cup, but the Bavarian giants are eager to break a Bundesliga run of four defeats in their last four league meetings with Borussia.

Bayern midfielder Javi Martinez, who joined Munich from Athletic Bilbao in August, has likened the Dortmund-Bayern clash to the Real Madrid-Barcelona El Clasico in Spain.

“I have followed the duel in Spain and it is a bit like the Clasico,” said the 24-year-old. “There have always been problems against Dortmund and we have to change

that.”

Bayern have already lost to second-placed Bayer Leverkusen at home this season and must make home advantage count, said Munich midfielder Toni Kroos.

“Dortmund are the team with the highest quality after us,” he said. “We know they are a strong opponent against whom we have had big problems in the last two years. We want to show we can do better against them.”

Bayern will have virtually a full strength squad to choose from with only Luiz Gustavo and Arjen Robben out with injury. Dortmund have a few concerns of their own with midfield pair Mario Götze and Ilkay Gundogan and defender Mats Hummels all facing a race to be fit.

Both Hoffenheim coach Markus Babbel and his Augsburg counterpart Markus Weinzierl are under pressure to turn results around with both teams in the bottom three.

Hoffenheim, who host Werder Bremen on Sunday, are 16th after their 4-2 defeat at Nuremberg which saw Babbel criticise his players, while Augsburg are home to Freiburg on Saturday.

“This is not about Markus Babbel, this is about TSG Hoffenheim,” said= Babbel with one victory and five defeats in the last nine games. “You have to wonder what is in the players’ heads. I will do all I can to get us out of this difficult situation. That is clear.”

Likewise, Weinzierl has just one win and five defeats in his last nine matches and badly needs a win over Freiburg.

Having dropped to fourth in the Bundesliga, Schalke 04 are looking to put a disastrous November behind them when they host Borussia Mönchengladbach after just one victory in the month’s five league matches.

The Royal Blues are waiting on the fitness of Greek defender Kyriakos Papadopoulos after the 20-year injured his knee in training on Thursday.

With five wins in their last six league games, Bayer Leverkusen host Nuremberg, 13th, having pulled themselves up to second in the league.

“We will not flip out just because we are now second,” said Leverkusen’s director of sport Rudi Völler in the wake of Wednesday’s 4-1 win at Werder Bremen. “But we know that we are currently doing a few things very well.”

Friday

Fortuna Düsseldorf v Eintracht Frankfurt

Saturday

Schalke 04 v Borussia M’gladbach, Bayer Leverkusen v Nuremberg, Mainz 05 v

Hannover 96, Augsburg v Freiburg, Greuther Fuerth v VfB Stuttgart, Bayern Munich v Borussia Dortmund

Sunday

Hoffenheim v Werder Bremen, VfL Wolfsburg v Hamburg

AFP/mry

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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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