Football: Bayern poised to make history despite Atletico distraction

Atletico Madrid's forward Antoine Griezmann (left) vies with Bayern Munich's midfielder Franck Ribery.
Atletico Madrid's forward Antoine Griezmann (left) vies with Bayern Munich's midfielder Franck Ribery. PHOTO: AFP

(AFP) - Pep Guardiola's Bayern Munich can become the first club to win a fourth consecutive Bundesliga title by beating Borussia Moenchengladbach on Saturday, amidst the distraction of their Champions League semi-final.

Bayern hold a seven-point lead and with three games left, a win over Gladbach at Munich's Allianz Arena will confirm a fourth straight German league title, a feat no other team has achieved before.

But Bayern are still smarting from Wednesday's 1-0 Champions League defeat at Atletico Madrid.

Thomas Mueller, Bayern's top scorer in Europe, and Franck Ribery both started on the bench leaving Bayern with it all to do in Tuesday's return leg in Munich.

Guardiola scoffed when asked if he would rest some of his stars against Gladbach.

"We still need another win, we only have a few days to prepare and then we face Atletico three days later," he said.

"We have to win against Gladbach first."

In the wake of the Atletico defeat, only their fifth of the season, Bayern are feeling the pressure in their bid for a repeat of the 2013 treble.

"We would make a mistake if we quarrel now, I want to go to Milan," said chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge as the Champions League final will be held in the Italian city on May 28.

Guardiola is likely to start with Germany's World Cup winner Mario Goetze up front against Gladbach.

Defender Jerome Boateng could well play his first minutes since suffering a groin injury in January.

Having beaten Munich 3-1 at Borussia Park in December, Gladbach are chasing a rare home-and-away double but will be without US international Fabian Johnson, who has a leg injury.

Should Gladbach shock Bayern, Borussia Dortmund will look to delay the Munich title party with victory over last season's runners-up Wolfsburg at the Signal Iduna Park.

Dortmund are set to lose their third star player to Bayern in three years after captain and defender Mats Hummels announced he wants to join the Bavarian giants next season.

Despite reaching the quarter-finals of the Champions League, Wolfsburg have lost their Bundesliga bite in 2016 and are now 10th, six points away from the European places.

Their 2-0 defeat to Augsburg last Saturday meant they have dropped 16 points in their previous six games.