Bayern Munich v Hertha Berlin: Title in sight for Bundesliga leaders
Bayern Munich could complete the first part of a potential domestic and European treble on Saturday when they entertain Hertha Berlin at the Allianz Arena.
The Bundesliga's runaway leaders are 12 points clear at the summit and will be crowned champions with four games to spare should they better Wolfsburg's result this weekend.
Matching the result of Dieter Hecking's second-placed side, who travel to Borussia Monchengladbach 24 hours after Bayern are in action, would all but guarantee Pep Guardiola's side the title given their vastly superior goal difference.
Buoyed by their stunning comeback to beat Porto in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday, Bayern go into the game brimming with confidence.
Thiago Alcantara shone in that win, delivering another impressive performance since his return to the first-team following knee problems, but injuries have continued to deplete Guardiola's squad.
With Franck Ribery, David Alaba, Arjen Robben, Javi Martinez and Medhi Benatia already sidelined, the club were dealt another blow on Thursday as defender Holger Badstuber was ruled out for up to four months with a thigh problem.
The news is a big setback for club and player, given Badstuber only returned from a similar injury in February and previously spent 18 months out with a cruciate knee ligament problem.
While European action may have taken priority this week, Bayern will have the Bundesliga at the forefront of their minds with the title in sight.
They have won their last seven meetings with Hertha, the most recent a 1-0 triumph in Berlin in late November.
However, Hertha's own form has improved and a seven-game unbeaten run has lifted them away from trouble at the foot of the table.
With five games remaining, Pal Dardai's side sit seven points clear of the relegation play-off place, but the Hungarian head coach is not expecting much from their trip to Bavaria.
"No one will be surprised that we do not go to Munich as favourites," he said. "The team have been training very well this week, we hope they will show that in the game. The result is not so important.
"We are unbeaten in our last seven matches, so a draw would be a success. But we are not going to Munich to congratulate them [on winning the title].
"Bayern are world class, but we will still compete to win. We need to get off to a good start."