Bayern Munich poised for record early Bundesliga finish
Win over Hamburg could see them crowned, but team also have one eye on Champions League
Agence France-Presse in Berlin
Runaway leaders Bayern Munich can become the first team to secure the Bundesliga title before the end of March if they beat Hamburg tonight and other results go their way.
Borussia Dortmund, who have won the past two titles, currently sit 20 points adrift of Bayern in second place with eight games remaining.
If Juergen Klopp's side fail to win at Stuttgart tomorrow afternoon, Bayern will be in a position to clinch their 23rd national title, and 22nd since the inception of the Bundesliga 50 years ago.
However, it is inevitable that the Bavarians will eventually get their hands on the "Salad Bowl" trophy, and those at the club are not too concerned whether they do so this weekend, especially with the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final against Juventus to come on Tuesday.
Bayern players and staff insist all the focus is on Hamburg, but the prospect of any major celebrations if they do wrap up the title has been ruled out, with officials confirming that there will be no trophy presentation regardless of what happens.
"In the dressing room, we're talking exclusively about Hamburg," midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger said. "That's our main focus. We need a good performance."
"Obviously it would be an incredible moment but one we'd only be able to savour very briefly," sporting director Matthias Sammer said of the possibility of wrapping up the championship.
"Preparation for the Juventus match will start immediately with a meal together at the stadium."
Bayern against Hamburg (HSV) is a meeting of the traditional giants of southern and northern Germany, but while Bayern have long dominated the country's soccer scene, HSV are struggling to keep up.
In the past two campaigns, Bayern have won this fixture 6-0 and 5-0, and it is 26 years since Hamburg last won a trophy, but the side coached by one-time Bayern star Thorsten Fink still have plenty of motivation.
Just a point adrift of the top four, they are still chasing a place in the Champions League.