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Kovac in firing line as Bayern tackle Dortmund

Bayern Munich is embracing the role of underdogs for Saturday’s Bundesliga showdown at leaders Borussia Dortmund with captain Manuel Neuer admitting all is not well with the defending champions.

Bayern has won 10 of their last 19 games against Dortmund, including a 6-0 thrashing of the current league leaders last March when Robert Lewandowski scored a hat-trick against his former club in Munich.

Six months later, third-placed Bayern trail Dortmund by four points in the table and struggling for form under coach Niko Kovac.

In the wake of a 2-0 defeat at Hertha Berlin and a 3-0 upset at home to Moenchengladbach with Bayern out-played in both league games, the Bavarian giants have laboured to beat even limited teams in recent weeks.

“We are not the ‘Super-Bayern’ that everyone knows and aren’t setting off fireworks with our performances,” admitted Neuer after Wednesday’s laboured 2-0 win over AEK on Wednesday in the Champions League.

Even Bayern president Uli Hoeness sees the Bavarians as “underdogs” at Dortmund, a notion the hosts reject.

“We’ve heard what has been said, but we don’t care we are just enjoying the situation,” said Dortmund’s director of sports Michael Zorc on Thursday.

“It doesn’t make much sense to compare (Dortmund with Bayern) they have won the last six Bundesliga titles.”

On paper, there is little cause for concern from Bayern’s perspective. They trail Dortmund by only four points and on the verge of the Champions League knock-out stages, topping their group with 10 points.

Yet frustrating recent performances tell a different story with rumours of unrest in the dressing room.  -AFP

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