Harry Kane is closing in on a Bundesliga scoring record that was meant to stand for decades. It probably won’t make any difference to Bayern Munich’s season.

Kane has 30 goals in 25 German league games for Bayern, including a hat trick last week, and Saturday’s game against last-placed Darmstadt offers the England captain a chance to score plenty more.

Another 12 goals in Bayern’s final nine games would take Kane past the record of 41 set by then-Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski in 2021, when the Pole broke a mark set by Gerd Müller that was nearly a half-century old.

Kane’s first season in Germany is going great in every respect — except for the league table. Bayern, the 11-time defending champion, is 10 points adrift of still-unbeaten leader Bayer Leverkusen.

“Realistically, they’re favorites to win the league. All we can do is do what we’ve done today, just win our games,” Kane said of Leverkusen last week after scoring three in Bayern’s 8-1 demolition of Mainz.

“They’ve had a fantastic season, credit to them for that, but this is always the business end, this is always the hardest part. All we can do is try to win our games, and hopefully they drop points.”

Getting the individual scoring record but no trophy would be the story of Kane’s career. He has three English Premier League top scorer awards and a World Cup golden boot but the closest he’s come to a team title are Champions League and European Championship runner-up medals. When Bayern lost the season-opening German Super Cup in Kane’s first game for the club, it underlined his unlucky streak.

Bayern’s best chance to end the season with a trophy before coach Thomas Tuchel leaves might be in the Champions League after booking a place in the quarterfinals with a win over Lazio last week.

Bayern’s opponent on Saturday, Darmstadt, doesn’t seem to have ever really recovered from an 8-0 thrashing by Bayern in October, when Kane scored a hat trick. Darmstadt hasn’t won since, is last in the league, and suffered a hefty 6-0 loss to mid-table Augsburg two weeks ago.

Leverkusen needs six wins from its last nine games to ensure its first-ever Bundesliga title. Coach Xabi Alonso and his players still refuse to even talk about the title. Leverkusen does have a history of falling short at the final hurdle in decades past.

Leverkusen on Sunday meets a tricky, resourceful Freiburg which held Bayern to 2-2 on March 1. Leverkusen’s players will have extra mileage in their legs after a Europa League game against Qarabag on Thursday night, but so will Freiburg, which plays West Ham in the same competition.

Leverkusen’s historic success has overshadowed third-placed Stuttgart quietly nearing one of the shocks of the season if it can qualify for the Champions League, a season after narrowly surviving the threat of relegation.

Coach Sebastian Hoeness, who extended his Stuttgart contract last week amid speculation linking him with Bayern, takes on his old club Hoffenheim on Saturday. He’s seeking a win that would bring Stuttgart closer to returning to the Champions League for the first time since 2009-10.

Reporting by The Associated Press.


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