Dortmund hope for 'small miracle' to take title from Bayern

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Dortmund hope for small miracle to take title from Bayern
Dortmund's Mario Goetze (centre) celebrates his goal against Fortuna Duesseldorf with teammates. (AP)

Berlin - Bayern Munich, which lead Dortmund by two points and have a huge advantage on goal difference, are favoured to win their record-extending seventh straight title


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Published: Thu 16 May 2019, 11:28 PM

Last updated: Fri 17 May 2019, 1:31 AM

Despite needing a "small miracle" to win the Bundesliga title on the final day of the season, Borussia Dortmund already have their celebration party planned. 
Bayern Munich, which lead Dortmund by two points and have a huge advantage on goal difference, are favoured to win their record-extending seventh straight title on Saturday. But Dortmund haven't given up hope. 
"I have the feeling we're on the verge of something great," Dortmund chief executive Hans Joachim Watzke said. "I myself can't explain it." 
Bayern essentially need only a point at home against Eintracht Frankfurt, which haven't beaten the defending champions in 15 league games and have lost on their last nine visits to Munich. Dortmund, meanwhile, face a tough game at Borussia Monchengladbach at the same time. 
"It's still possible. We want to achieve the small miracle," said Sebastian Kehl, a former Dortmund midfielder who is now a club official working closely with the players. "If there's a little wobble from Bayern we want to use it." 
Plans for an open-top bus parade through Dortmund's streets on Sunday were made months in advance, when the team held a nine-point lead over Bayern. 
"We look at the standings," said Oliver Nestler, the head of the city's fire department. 
But Dortmund squandered their lead in consecutive draws against Frankfurt, Hoffenheim and Nuremberg in February before losing at Augsburg.
A 5-0 win for Bayern in Munich underlined the difference between the teams last month, before Dortmund dropped more points at home against Schalke and then at Werder Bremen. 
Bayern could have won the title last weekend but was held to a goalless draw at Leipzig. However, the team is determined the take the second of what coach Niko Kovac described as "two match balls" against Frankfurt, his former team, and bring what has been a testing season to a successful close. 
"If we had this situation in winter, that we could seal it with a win at home against Frankfurt, we would have signed for it straight away," Bayern forward Thomas Muller said. 
It should be straightforward. Frankfurt claimed the last of their three wins in Munich (from 47 visits) in November 2000. It avoided conceding only twice in those 47 games. 
Frankfurt have conceded eight goals in their last two league games and are clearly feeling the effect from a long European season. The team pushed Chelsea hard before bowing out in the semifinals of the Europa League. 
Frankfurt, which were fourth and in the last place for Champions League qualification, are now sixth and in danger of missing out on qualifying even for the Europa League. 
"We only have ourselves to blame for this situation," said Frankfurt coach Adi Hutter, who took over from Kovac and was leading Frankfurt to their best ever league campaign. "We still have the chance to re-qualify. We have to take it." 
With favours from elsewhere and a win in Munich, Frankfurt could even reclaim fourth and earn their place in Europe's premier competition for the first time since 1960.

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