Nothing to lose for Delaney

Borussia Dortmund's Thomas Delaney says his side have nothing to lose as they battle Bayern Munich for the Bundesliga title.

Der BVB set the pace for most of the season – at one stage sitting seven points clear – but their recent 5-0 reverse in Bavaria means they are now a point behind with four games of the season remaining.

Lucian Favre's side face Werder Bremen, Fortuna Dusseldorf and Borussia Monchengladbach in the run-in but before that have Saturday's Revierderby against Schalke to look forward to.

Dortmund are 10/29 to win the match, with the draw 23/5 and Die Konigsblauen 9/1 and will be hoping for a Bayern slip-up away at Nurnberg on Sunday.

Delaney won the Danish Superliga five times while at Copenhagen and joined Favre's team from Werder Bremen in the summer.

Borussia's young squad has perhaps understandably felt the nerves in recent weeks, with the club aiming for a first Bundesliga crown since 2011-12.

After going from clear at the top to hunting the opposition, their Danish midfield maestro says Der BVB need to find a way to play without fear in the final weeks of the season.

He told the Bundesliga's website: "When you are in a situation where you have a seven-point lead at the top and then suddenly you are trailing by one, you feel the pressure and there are a lot of questions being asked by people from the outside.

"It's make-or-break and, whilst you need talent, you don't get far without a good mentality and a good work ethic.

"We've done a good job so far, but we could've done better and we could've done a lot worse. I want us to play with the mentality of having nothing to lose because that makes us a better team."

Dortmund are 4/1 to win the Bundesliga, with Bayern available at 1/6.

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Ailing Stuttgart turn to Willig

VfB Stuttgart have axed head coach Markus Weinzierl following a 6-0 thrashing by Augsburg which left them still uncertain about their Bundesliga survival.

Weinzierl had taken charge of Die Roten in early October following the sacking of Tayfun Korkut, signing a contract which ran until the summer of 2020.

However, he has been shown the door with Stuttgart currently down in 18th place in the standings, a position which would see them involved in a relegation play-off – while they are also far from certain of avoiding automatic relegation.

Weinzierl has been replaced by Under-19s coach Nico Willig, with head of sport Thomas Hitzlsperger saying that the club hierarchy felt they simply had to make a change.

He told the club's official website: "We stated several times that we wanted to bring the season to a successful conclusion with Markus Weinzierl and his coaching team.

"However, after the extremely disappointing match in Augsburg we chose to review the situation again and decided that a clear break is necessary in order to secure our Bundesliga survival.

"We didn't take this decision lightly, but VfB's success comes first and we have to act accordingly.

"We believe Nico is capable of quickly bringing fresh impetus to the team and helping them avoid relegation."

Next up for Stuttgart is a visit from Borussia Monchengladbach next Saturday, with the last five meetings of these two sides having been won to zero by the home side.

Stuttgart are 8/13 to be relegated, with Nurnberg 1/20 and Schalke 50/1.

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Double injury woe hurts Bayern

Bayern Munich have suffered a double blow as they battle Borussia Dortmund for the Bundesliga title, with both Manuel Neuer and Mats Hummels picking up injuries.

Germany international goalkeeper Neuer suffered a recurrence of an old calf injury during the 4-1 win over Fortuna Dusseldorf on Sunday, with central defender Hummels reporting a thigh problem late on the game.

Neuer is facing around two weeks on the sidelines, with the knock to Hummels rated as a little less serious by the Bayern medical team.

Die Roten are currently one point clear of Dortmund at the top of the table with five games to play, with Bayern having scored 27 goals in their last six league games.

The men from Munich are priced at 2/7 to secure a seventh straight Bundesliga title, with BVB available at 13/5.

Meanwhile, Lille chairman Gerard Lopez believes it is inevitable that Bayern target Nicolas Pepe will leave the Ligue 1 outfit at the end of the season.

The 23-year-old Ivory Coast international forward has scored 18 league goals so far this season and is reported to be on the wanted lists of several top European clubs, with such interest prompting Lopez to admit: "It is certain, he will leave.

"He has moved into a price range that we cannot afford anymore. There is a career choice to make for him, I think he will have the choice (of clubs)."

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Uth adds to Schalke’s woes

Struggling Schalke will be without Mark Uth for the remainder of the season, with the former Hoffenheim striker needing surgery on a thigh injury.

The 27-year-old, who made his Germany debut last October, has scored just four goals so far this season and is not out of action until next season after being injured during the recent 2-0 DFB-Pokal defeat to Werder Bremen.

Uth requires an operation and will be unable to help Die Konigsblauen try and arrest a slump which has seen them suffer eight defeats in nine games in all competitions.

The complete loss of form has seen them drop down to 14th place in the Bundesliga standings, just four points above Stuttgart – who occupy the spot which would see them involved in a relegation play-off.

However, while Uth is now absent, head coach Huub Stevens has confirmed that midfielder Nabil Bentaleb is set to re-join the first-team squad in Gelsenkirchen after being demoted for off-field issues.

Stevens told the club's official website: "Over the last few days, I have discussed Nabil’s behaviour (with the other coaches).

"The feedback was entirely positive, both regarding his performance in training and his conduct with the Under-23s, so we've decided to call him back to the first team."

Schalke are back in action on Friday evening when they visit Nurnberg, who are one but bottom in the Bundesliga, having won just one game since the end of September.

Die Konigsblauen are 5/4 to register a much-needed win, with the draw priced at 11/5, while a 2-2 draw is available at 14/1.

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Bayern rout rivals Dortmund

Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich thrashed title rivals Borussia Dortmund 5-0 at the Allianz Arena to return to the summit with only six games remaining.

Dortmund, who were two points clear heading into the match, were shell-shocked as Bayern tore them apart scoring four first-half goals.

Strikes from Robert Lewandowski, Mats Hummels, Serge Gnabry and Javi Martinez ensured the game labelled the "biggest in Europe this season" was all over before it properly begun.

Bayern, who are chasing a seventh consecutive Bundesliga title, added a fifth from Lewandowski late in the contest.

Only Gerd Muller (234 games) has scored 200 goals in the Bundesliga quicker than the Polish international's 284 games.

Dortmund were nine points clear at the top back in December and on course to halt Bayern's domestic domination, but the champions have ruthlessly taken advantage of the stuttering form of their rivals to claw back the deficit and are in pole position entering the home straight.

Lewandowski has now scored 15 goals in this fixture (14 for Bayern, one for Dortmund) – surpassing Muller's previous record of 14.

The ex-Dortmund striker has become the scourge of his former employers, as he became the first player in Bundesliga history to score in five consecutive games against a former club.

Despite this major setback, Bayern's slip-up last week against Freiburg suggests there could still be more twists to come over the final weeks of the season.

Bayern are 3/10 to win the German title, with Dortmund now 5/2 following their chastising experience in Munich.

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Gotze: Every game will be crucial

Borussia Dortmund forward Mario Gotze has played down suggestions that Die Klassiker at Bayern Munich on Saturday will be decisive in the Bundesliga title race.

BVB hold a two-point lead going into the game at the Allianz Arena, with Bayern having been held to a 1-1 draw at Freiburg last weekend.

On the same day Dortmund needed two injury-time goals from Paco Alcacer to win 2-0 at home to Wolfsburg and take an advantage into the showdown with the reigning champions of Germany.

However, with another six league games to be played after this weekend, Gotze is wary of thinking that Die Klassiker is a winner-takes-all clash.

He told the official Bundesliga website: "Personally, I do see it as an important game but it won't be a decisive one. There are seven important games to go.

"Saturday's Klassiker will be an important match generally in terms of our confidence and our mental strength and so on.

"The right result can give us a push, but there are seven games left and you really saw how hard it was in the last two games where we got the three points in the last minute.

"We realise Saturday will be important, but the whole remaining period will be decisive. There are a full six weeks where we will have to give 100 per cent in every game."

BVB can be backed at 15/4 to earn a draw at Bayern on Saturday, with a 2-2 final scoreline available at 14/1, while Dortmund are priced at 11/8 to claim the Bundesliga title this season.

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Atleti exit tough for Hernandez

France World Cup winner Lucas Hernandez says he has made the most difficult decision of his career to date by opting to leave Atletico Madrid.

The versatile 23-year-old defender had been offered an extension to his current contract by Los Rojiblancos, but has decided not to sign on and instead he will head to Bayern Munich this summer.

However, having spent more than a decade in the Spanish capital, Hernandez says his final decision was not an easy one to make.

He told Atleti's official website: "This is the most difficult and important decision I've ever had to make in my career. Atletico means a lot to me, because this is where I grew as a footballer and as a person.

"Saying no to Atletico was extremely hard, but I've decided to seek a new challenge at Bayern Munich.

"I want to thank everyone at Atletico, the officials, coaches, team-mates and fans. These 12 years have been incredible and unforgettable and Atletico will always be in my heart."

Hernandez is currently sidelined by a knee injury which will require surgery, so he may have already played his last game for the La Liga outfit.

Meanwhile, following the international break, Atleti return to action on Saturday when they visit Alaves, who are unbeaten in their last five league games.

The visitors can be backed at 4/5 to win the game at the Mendizorrotza, with Atleti 4/1 to secure a 1-0 victory, while loan striker Alvaro Morata is priced at 7/4 to score at any time in the game – having netted five times in his last six appearances for club and country.

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Grujic eyes Hertha extension

Serbia midfielder Marko Grujic says he would prefer to stay with Hertha Berlin next season rather than return to parent club Liverpool.

The 22-year-old schemer has made just 14 appearances for the Reds to date and spent the second half of last season on loan at Cardiff City.

However, it is this term that he has really started to shine, having joined Die Alte Dame on a season-long loan which Grujic would clearly like to extend.

He told Bild: "I feel very comfortable in Berlin, Hertha gave me a great opportunity to play in the Bundesliga. This time at Hertha – with the exception of injuries – has been brilliant so far to show my qualities.

"But, ultimately, I cannot decide. But, if I could choose, I would stay with Hertha for another year, or maybe even two years, to make a very good name for myself by improving all my qualities.

"That's only possible if you play every game. My self-confidence has increased due to the match practice, while my defensive play has also improved a lot because of the games.

"For the development of my career at this time it is much more important to always be in the starting XI."

Hertha currently lie in 10th place in the Bundesliga and are back in action on Saturday when they visit RB Leipzig.

They are 7/2 to earn a draw at the Red Bull Arena, with the hosts 4/9 to win the game and 7/1 to do so by a 2-1 scoreline.

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Hernandez moves to Bayern

French international Lucas Hernandez is to join Bayern Munich from Atletico Madrid in the summer for what is believed to be a club record fee.

The 23-year-old moves to Germany on a five-year deal and becomes the most expensive player in Bundesliga history.

Hernandez, who was part of the French squad which won the 2018 World Cup, played in all their games in Russia bringing his international caps to 15.

The defender, who can play at centre-half or left-back, has made 67 La Liga appearances for Atletico Madrid, having joined them as a youth player in 2007.

He said of his move to the Bundesliga champions: "This is a really important day in my footballing career.

"Bayern Munich is one of the best clubs in Europe and the world. I'm proud to be able to fight for all possible titles with Bayern."

The club's sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic added his delight at having completed the move, saying: "I'm very happy that in Lucas Hernandez we've been able to sign one of the best defensive players in the world.

"Lucas can be used both in central defence and on the left. He will also continue our tradition of outstanding French players and strengthen our team."

He will join Bayern on 1st July but in the meantime will stay with Atletico who are currently second in La Liga though 10 points behind leaders Barcelona.

They are back in action on Saturday evening when they travel to face Alaves and are 3/4 for the win with the home side 4/1 and the draw 12/5.

Meanwhile the Bundesliga title race looks like going down to the final games of the season with Bayern and Borussia Dortmund level on 60 points after 26 matches.

Bayern are 4/11 to win the title with Dortmund 2/1.

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Zorc expects Reus to stay put

Borussia Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc expects Marco Reus to see out the remainder of his career with his hometown club.

Having started out as a youngster with BVB, the 29-year-old Germany international forward headed off for spells with Rot Weiss Ahlen and Borussia Monchengladbach, before returning home just under seven years ago.

Since then, despite a number of serious injury problems, Reus has scored 115 goals in 235 appearances in all competitions, helping Dortmund win the DFB-Pokal in 2017 and remain in place as the main rival to Bayern Munich in the domestic game.

And Zorc sees no reason why Reus would opt to move on, telling Sport Bild: "Marco is someone who identifies with the club and has strong roots in Dortmund. I can't imagine that he will ever play for another club.

"Marco has matured as a person and he is taking on more responsibility than before, both on and off the pitch. He has a natural authority and he is becoming ever more important for us."

Reus has scored 15 goals in 22 Bundesliga outings so far this season, with BVB currently behind table-topping Bayern on goal difference only.

Dortmund can be backed at 2/1 to claim the Bundesliga title this season, with Bayern available at 4/11.

Die Schwarzgelben were last crowned champions of Germany in 2012, just before the return of Reus to the club.

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