Table leading Bayern Münich can clinch the title in the Bundesliga at a record pace this weekend. If Bayern does clinch it would be the earliest any team has taken the title. They currently lead fellow Champions League quarterfinalist Borussia Dortmund by 23 points with nine matches left in the season. Bayern will need Dortmund and Schalke to drop points as well as to beat Mainz to win the title. If they do set the record this weekend it will be just one of many more to come this season.
The last time Mainz beat Bayern was Nov. 27, 2011. Bayern has scored three goals in each of the last three matches between the two clubs. The optimism for Mainz comes from knowing their coach, Thomas Tuchel, has the best winning percentage against Bayern of any coach in the Bundesliga at just 33 percent.
For former Bayern manager and president Uli Hoeneβ this could be the last session he sees in person before his three and a half year prison sentence for tax evasion. He did not challenge the verdict, so he can go to jail at any time for violations with his private Swiss bank account. It is a horrible reflection on his former club and one that showed a second side of Hoeneβ. If he is in the crowd the cameras will surely be on him a lot during the match.
Hannover vs. Dortmund
Dortmund travels to Hannover after clinching a spot in the Champions League round of eight with an aggregate win over Zenit. The injury concerns continue for Dortmund as Marcel Schmelzer is out for at least a month. Dortmund have lost the last two home games, so it may be good that they are traveling this weekend. However, Hannover have lost only once in the last seven matches to Dortmund on their home field.
For Hannover this is the full changing of the guard as Steve Cherundolo announced his retirement yesterday following major knee injuries. The Mayor of Hannover is rumored to find a role in the front office. He could potentially be a nice asset in Brazil this summer for the USMNT as an assistant.
Schalke vs. Eintracht Braunschweig
It is not likely that Schalke will drop points this weekend and could potentially leap frog Dortmund as they host last place Braunschweig. The teams are separated by 29 points in the standings, and a Braunschweig loss would all but guarantee relegation. Braunschweig has played Schalke tough, not losing in the last three matchups between the two. However, Schalke has won six of eight matches since the new year.