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Bayern Munich are set to rest several stars when they host Augsburg on Saturday looking to break a three-match losing streak before their 'mission impossible' Champions League semi-final against Barcelona.
Time to change Bayern
05/07/2015
 
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Bayern Munich are set to rest several stars when they host Augsburg on Saturday looking to break a three-match losing streak before their 'mission impossible' Champions League semi-final against Barcelona.


Bayern need a footballing miracle in Tuesday's return leg after Lionel Messi-inspired Barca ran out 3-0 winners at the Camp Nou last Wednesday if they have any chance of reaching the Champions League final on June 6 in Berlin.


Munich coach Pep Guardiola is set to rest several top names including striker Robert Lewandowski, defender Dante and midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger for the Bavarian derby.


"It doesn't help to lament, we still have the return leg and we're Bayern Munich - sometimes miracles happen for us too," said Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.


Both wingers Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery are sidelined with injury, while midfielder Sebastian Rode has torn a leg muscle.


Both Dante and Schweinsteiger are prime candidates to be rested as they will be suspended for the following league match at Freiburg if they pick up another yellow card.


Having wrapped up their 25th league title nearly a fortnight ago, Bayern want to avoid a fourth straight defeat after their German Cup semi-final exit to Borussia Dortmund, league loss at Leverkusen and mauling in Barcelona.


Second-placed Wolfsburg are at relegation-threatened Paderborn on Sunday, but there will be a battle royal between Borussia Moenchengladbach and Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday.


Both sides are hunting Germany's third automatic Champions League place for next season at Gladbach's Borussia Park.


Victory for hosts Borussia would put them five clear of Leverkusen with two games left to play and make life awkward for Gladbach's Germany midfielder Christoph Kramer.


- Tricky for Kramer -


The 24-year-old is heading back to Leverkusen at the end of the season after a loan spell and could well end up 

condemning his future employers to the Champions League play-offs if Bayer finish fourth.


"My goal is to win the game and to make third place as secure as possible for the team I am with now," said Kramer, who played 32 minutes of the World Cup final before going off with concussion.


"There aren't that many players left in Leverkusen from my time there, so I am not really in the loop for what is going on there.


Borussia will be without defenders Martin Stranzl, knee injury for the game, while Alvaro Dominguez, who has a back injury.


"Leverkusen are a very strong side who press you high up the pitch. We want to extend our good run of form and put in another good performance," said Gladbach coach Lucien Favre, whose side is unbeaten in their last 11 games.


"We obviously want to win the game. We'll have to dominate certain elements and obviously defend well."


With Augsburg, Borussia Dortmund, Werder Bremen and Hoffenheim all chasing a Europa League place next season, Dortmund host Hertha Berlin without Germany winger Marco Reus, who coach Jurgen Klopp says is suffering from fatigue.


With four points still separating the last five teams, the battle to avoid relegation will go down to the wire with Dutchman Huub Stevens insisting it is fun to coach last-placed Stuttgart.


"We can avoid relegation and will give everything to do so. It's fun to be in a scrap," said Stevens, whose side has won two of their last six games.


"The manner in which we've been playing should give us confidence, but it's high time we get the points our performances have deserved."

Source: Ryland JAMES/ AFP
 
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