Flick expects Dortmund to make Bayern wait for Bundesliga title celebration

Omnisport

Bayern Munich could be crowned Bundesliga champions for an eighth straight year on Saturday – yet coach Hansi Flick expects nearest rivals Borussia Dortmund to keep his team waiting.

Should Dortmund lose away to lowly Fortuna Dusseldorf, then a Bayern home win against Borussia Monchengladbach later in the day would secure the silverware.

They would be 10 points clear with three rounds of games remaining.

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However, Flick is minded to think Dortmund will not slip up in Dusseldorf.

"Dortmund will do everything to win that game," Flick said. "Every footballer has the drive to give everything as long as something is still possible.

"We will focus on our game, which we want to win. The game will be difficult because Gladbach are a good team."

Bayern are hampered by the absence of their chief goal creator as well as their most potent finisher, which means there could be a glimpse into the team's future this weekend.

Thomas Muller and Robert Lewandowski are both suspended due to an accumulation of yellow cards, meaning Joshua Zirkzee is a likely starter against Gladbach.

The 19-year-old Dutch forward has shown fleeting glimpses of his talent this season but has played just 191 minutes in the Bundesliga, scoring three goals in that time.

Otschi Wriedt, a 25-year-old Ghanaian from Bayern's reserve-team ranks, has also been promoted to the senior squad for the Allianz Arena match. 

Flick says he has "one or two options" for replacing Muller and Lewandowski, and he was reported to have spent extra time with Zirkzee in training on Thursday

"He is a good size and is nevertheless very agile, has a good finish and holds the ball well," Flick said of the teenager.

"These are things that you need as a striker here with us. He is on the right track and for tomorrow is definitely a good alternative. Joshua also has the trust of the other players."

Flick said there was an element of tiredness in Bayern's performance during Wednesday's DFB-Pokal win over Eintracht Frankfurt but stressed that his team "want to keep going".

There is a possible treble for them this season, with a cup final against Bayer Leverkusen on July 4 followed in August by the anticipated completion of the Champions League.

Thiago Alcantara misses out this weekend and will be absent for the rest of the Bundesliga campaign following groin surgery, while Niklas Sule and Philippe Coutinho are close to returning to training with the squad after injury and could yet feature again in this campaign.

Flick spoke on Friday of Muller's leadership qualities, and whether they might be missed, suggesting the team would pull together to share responsibility.

"Thomas Muller is certainly someone who leads the team," Flick said, quoted on Bayern's official website.

"But we will replace that together tomorrow. The important thing is that we tackle the whole thing as a team."

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