Nuremberg next for treble-chasing Bayern

After all but sealing a Champions League semi-final spot with a comfortable 2-0 win in Marseilles, Bayern Munich return to pressing domestic matters as they make the short trip up the motorway to 1. FC Nuremberg for the 184th Franconian-Bavarian derby.

11th placed Nuremberg have managed to win just one of 17 clashes against their more illustrious local rivals and approach the derby on a poor run of form of three straight league defeats which has seen 'Der Club' plummet down the table.

American international Timothy Chandler is quietly confident going into the derby clash: "Of course it will be difficult against Bayern but at home we can give any team a game."

FCN Coach Dieter Hecking remains unfazed going into this seemingly "David versus Goliath" derby clash with the underdogs perched precariously just four points from the relegation play-off place."We are looking forward with great anticipation to the derby," said Hecking whilst urging his unfancied side not to show "too much respect or be in awe" of the record German champions. "A derby is always something special," he added.

Talented winger Alexander Esswein will miss the game for the home side with a knee injury, whilst Bastian Schweinsteiger could start for FCB after making his comeback from injury as a substitute in midweek.

Despite seemingly turning the corner in recent weeks to keep alive their treble hopes, the statistics suggest that it won't be completely plain sailing for FCB. Coach Jupp Heynckes has a woeful record in Nuremberg, having lost 9 out of 13 clashes and warned: "Nuremberg is going to be difficult enough," he said. "We are going from one competition to the other - from the Champions League, now to the Bundesliga, and before that the DFB Cup - that is far from easy. "We hardly have any time to recharge our batteries," he stressed.

The 'Reds' last win in Franconia dates way back to September 2005 with the last three clashes all ending in a 1-1 stalemate.

Reigning champions and league leaders Borussia Dortmund host in-form VfB Stuttgart tonight and can stretch their lead to eight points by the time 2nd placed FCB take to the field in Franconia on Saturday afternoon.


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