Magath drives Wolfsburg bid for record

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The Independent Online

Barcelona and Internazionale look to have the La Liga and Serie A titles sewn up with six and 10-point leads respectively, and six matches remaining, but in Germany and France the championships remain very much alive.

Wolfsburg lead in Germany but are just three points clear of defending champions Bayern Munich and Martin Jol's Hamburg, with Hertha Berlin two points further adrift. Wolfsburg, who are wholly owned by Volkswagen and grew out of the company's sports club, did not reach the Bundesliga until 1997 and last season's fifth place was their highest finish. Felix Magath, a European Cup winner as a player with Hamburg, and twice a Bundesliga winner as a coach with Bayern, has built an attractive team who recently won 5-1 over Bayern and aim tomorrow to break the league record for consecutive wins with an 11th such success at Energie Cottbus.

Marseilles have a grander pedigree but their successes of the early 1990s were tarnished by the Bernard Tapie match-fixing scandal. Coached by Belgian Eric Gerets they narrowly lead a chasing pack which features Bordeaux, perennial champions Lyons and Paris St-Germain. Marseilles are at Lille tomorrow evening. Laurent Blanc's Bordeaux play the League Cup final against Ligue 2 side Vannes today.

In Italy, Claudio Ranieri has insisted he is "not going to quit" following Juventus's midweek Italian Cup defeat to Lazio, their fourth successive loss.

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