Bayern look to consolidate | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 06, 2010 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, March 06, 2010

Bundesliga

Bayern look to consolidate

Bayern Munich will be looking to cement or even extend their newly gained place at the top of the Bundesliga this weekend as second and third-placed Bayer Leverkusen and Schalke snap at their heels.
A scorcher of a goal from French striker Franck Ribery was enough for Bayern to beat fourth-placed Hamburg 1-0 last Sunday and take the Bavarian giants top for the first time since winning the title in 2008.
Leverkusen, who had been neck-and-neck with Bayern for a month and just ahead on goal difference, were held to a 0-0 draw at home to Cologne -- Bayern's opponents on Saturday.
"We expected Leverkusen to slip up, of course, and they did us the favour," Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said.
Bayern will travel to Cologne without Argentinian defender Martin Demichelis, out for three weeks after colliding with Michael Ballack's knee in Wednesday's 1-0 victory over Germany. He has multiple facial fractures.
Leverkusen and Gernany goalkeeper Rene Adler will be keen to keep a clean sheet as his team take on second-from-bottom Nuremberg away on Sunday, after his disastrous slip-up led to Argentina's only goal on Wednesday.
The other main contender for the Bundesliga title is third-placed Schalke, four points behind Bayern and two points shy of Leverkusen. The next-closest, Hamburg, are 12 adrift of the leaders Bayern.
Schalke, with one defeat in their last 10 games, travel to seventh-placed Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday.
Fixtures
Saturday
(1430 GMT unless otherwise stated)

Cologne v Bayern Munich, Werder Bremen v VfB Stuttgart, Hamburg v Hertha Berlin, Eintracht Frankfurt v Schalke, Freiburg v Hanover, VfL Wolfsburg v VfL Bochum, Borussia Dortmund v Borussia M'gladbach (1730 GMT)
Sunday
Nuremberg v Bayer Leverkusen (1430 GMT), Hoffenheim v Mainz (1630 GMT)

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