Previews: Bayern back within reach of top spot

BERLIN - Champions Bayern Munich could move to the top of the Bundesliga for the first time this season when they take on Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday. Bayern, who axed Jurgen Klinsmann in late April and appointed former coach Jupp Heynckes to steer them through the last five matches, beat Energie Cottbus 3-1 on Saturday to join leaders VfL Wolfsburg on 60 points.

The win was the second in a row for Heynckes and with only three games left to play Bayern now trail Wolfsburg only on goal difference (two goals).

While Bayern will aim to score two goals more than their main title contenders, they are also aware that with four teams separated by just two points anything can happen.

"It was important to get all three points (against Cottbus)", said the club's General Director Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

"I think it has never in the history of the Bundesliga been as tight at the top.

"It would be wise not to be too euphoric. We can be champions but we can also slip down to fourth."

Bayern suffered one of their most stinging defeats of the season when Leverkusen crushed them 4-2 with a dazzling display of attacking soccer in the German Cup quarter-finals.

However, with the title still unexpectedly up for grabs, Leverkusen in a rut and Bayern playmaker Franck Ribery fully fit, Heynckes will grab any chance he can get.


Wolfsburg are at home to in-form Borussia Dortmund, who have climbed to fifth on 55 points after a seven-match winning streak.

Wolfsburg coach Felix Magath will need to instil a sense of urgency to his players, who were demolished 4-1 by VfB Stuttgart with Mario Gomez scoring all four goals. Stuttgart are fourth on 58 points.

Magath's outstanding playmaker Zvjezdan Misimovic and fellow midfielder Sascha Riether are doubtful for the game after picking up injuries against Stuttgart.

"Our starting position has not become any better now," said Magath. "But if we find our normal home rhythm we will also beat Dortmund."

Wolfsburg have a near-perfect home record of 14 wins and one draw this season.

Third-placed Hertha Berlin, on 59, travel to mid-table Cologne while Stuttgart take on Schalke 04 on Wednesday.