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)