Julian Nagelsmann captured the mood in the Bayern camp perfectly at his Thursday afternoon media conference. There is excitement at the prospect of clinching the league "dahoam" (the Bavarian term for "at home") at the Allianz Arena before 75,000 against their closest pursuers. For the Bayern coach himself, it's a special time as he gets ready to celebrate his first major piece of silverware. Yet still there is a nagging, queasy feeling around Germany's Rekordmeister that this is the season that got away.

Winning the Meisterschale is the minimum goal for any Bayern team and it only takes on grander significance when augmented by a trophy lift in a different competition. Bayern have come up well short of expectations in the DFB-Pokal and the Champions League -- they were thrashed in the former by Borussia Monchengladbach and outwitted in the latter by Villarreal.

Ah, yes, Villarreal. The Spanish submarine specter that will likely haunt the German champions for a while. At least on Saturday, Bayern can allow themselves to come up for air.

It has become fashionable to belittle the club's merciless annual rite of Bundesliga passage, but 10 in a row is something worth extolling. Bayern fans trek to Munich from far and wide, and for many - their travel movements restricted by the pandemic - this will be an occasion to savour and remember. If they beat Dortmund on Saturday, there might even be a few Weissbierdusche celebrations, which involve players and staff pouring copious amounts of Bavarian wheat beer over each other on the pitch.

Up in Dortmund, where the art of beer brewing dates back to 1293, they generally prefer a Pilsener, not that coach Marco Rose has had any time to enjoy such recreational pleasures in another week of injury and illness nightmares. Borussia Dortmund as a club has become the Pechvogel (the unlucky one) in the casualties department.

As Rose said himself on Thursday, it would be quicker to list players who are available than to outline who's not and why. U.S. international Giovanni Reyna has suffered one setback after another this term and is sidelined for the long haul. Star man Erling Haaland has been restricted to 20 appearances and continues to play through the pain barrier.