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By ESPN Staff
Jan 29, 2007

Win or bust for Bayern, coach Magath warns

BERLIN, Jan 29 (Reuters) - Bayern Munich can forget about winning the Bundesliga title if they fail to beat VfL Bochum at home on Tuesday, coach Felix Magath warned.

'It's five minutes to midnight for us,' Magath told Bild newspaper after a 3-2 defeat by Borussia Dortmund led to the Bavarians falling six points behind the leaders.

'We just can't afford any more slip-ups. If we don't win on Tuesday the title is as good as gone.'

Bayern played poorly over the first half of the season and were three points off the pace going into the six-week winter break.

Magath had expected an improvement after an intensive training camp in Dubai but all the old failings were present on Friday, with the defence making too many errors and the midfield offering too little creativity.

Bayern were then forced to watch as Schalke 04 beat Eintracht Frankfurt 3-1 and Werder Bremen saw off Hanover 96 3-0, results that left the champions in third place and in danger of slipping out of the reckoning.

Magath could be without Mark van Bommel on Tuesday when they play their first home league game of the year. The Dutch international midfielder has an Achilles problem and missed training on Sunday.

That could mean a return to the starting line-up for Owen Hargreaves, the England midfielder who has not played since September after breaking his leg.

Midfielder Ali Karimi is also a fitness doubt and that could see Magath opt to recall Lukas Podolski and play three up front for a match Bayern must win.

Victory for Bayern would see them cut the gap at the top to three points for at least 24 hours, with Werder and Schalke not in action until Wednesday.

Werder have a tricky game away to Bayer Leverkusen, who came from two goals down to beat Alemannia Aachen 3-2 in an entertaining game on Sunday.

Aachen will have their work cut out again when they travel to face co-leaders Schalke on Wednesday.

Schalke made it seven wins and a draw from their last eight league games when they beat Frankfurt on Saturday and with Germany international striker Kevin Kuranyi in excellent form they are likely to prove too strong for Aachen.