Bayern Munich Vs. Schalke 04, 2012 Bundesliga Week 23: A Potential Title Eliminator?

Franck Ribery (R) of Bayern Muenchen fights for the ball with Atsuto Uchida of Schalke during the DFB Cup semi final match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Schalke 04 at Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Alexandra Beier/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Bayern Munich and Schalke 04 are in a virtual must-win situation on Sunday at the Allianz Arena.

Borussia Dortmund currently have a four-point lead on Bayern Munich and a five-point advantage on Schalke 04 in the Bundesliga title race. If they defeat Hannover as expected at home, that gap could turn into an insurmountable one for both Bayern if they fail to win in Sunday's early match. Der BVB are in terrific form and weren't challenged at all in last year's Bundesliga, so a six to eight point gap could be too much to overcome.

Bayern are still without Bastian Schweinsteiger and Daniel van Buyten, but luckily for skipper Jupp Heynckes, the two are Bayern's only major injury doubts. Kyriakos Papadopoulos, Christian Fuchs and Chinedu Obasi are all doubtful for Schalke after rough outings in the Europa League. Lewis Holtby is still out for the Royal Blues as well.

Both teams are coming off of physically and emotionally draining European nights in mid-week. Schalke were forced to go to extra time to get by Viktoria Plzen in Europa League on Thursday, while Bayern Munich lost away to FC Basel in Champions League. It's not exactly the best time for either side to be in a must-win situation.

While Schalke have the talent to beat Bayern away from home, they will need to do something out of the ordinary. They have a negative goal differential on the road this season, while Bayern are plus-31 at home and have only allowed three goals at the Allianz Arena.

Game Date/Time: Sunday, Feb. 26, 9:30 a.m. ET, 3:30 p.m. local

Venue: Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany

TV: ESPN (UK)

Online: ESPN3 (USA)

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.