The Bundesliga season is winding down with much to be settled at the bottom of the table. With all the European qualification virtually locked in, the talk will focus on the relegation battle. There are four teams still in contention to drop down to 2. Bundesliga. One of them will be replaced by FC Cologne, Lukas Podolski‘s former team. Regardless, after matchday 32 all of the drama can be taken out of the relegation battle and the top seven.
Hannover vs. Stuttgart
While Hannover is mathematically not eliminated from the relegation battle, it would take a lot for them to drop to the bottom three. Stuttgart is very much alive in the relegation race but did put four points between the bottom three last week. Both teams will be fighting hard for the three points, so this should be an entertaining game that kicks off the Bundesliga weekend tomorrow night.
Cacau ended a 574-day scoring drought last week in his first start of the year for Stuttgart. It is unclear if he will get a chance to start this week for the Swabians.
Hertha Berlin vs. Eintracht Braunschweig
Berlin basically has nothing to play for other than pride as they will stay up in the league next year but will miss out on the top seven. USMNT defender John Brooks has been impressing since getting back in the lineup but remains a long shot to make the squad for Brazil. Berlin would love to move their goal differential on the plus side with three games to go. They currently have a minus-4 differential and sit in 10th place in the table.
Meanwhile Braunschweig have been in last place for a majority of the season but remain within striking distance of Stuttgart. They would love to at least get into 16th place or the relegation playoff position.
Mainz vs. Nürnberg
Mainz now sits in a Europa League spot thanks to the matchup in the DFB Pokal final. A win would basically lock them into that top seven. They have the worst goal production of any of the team in the top seven, but their opponent has one of the worst goals against figures in the league.
Nürnberg also are eying that playoff relegation spot and are one point closer to Stuttgart than Braunschweig. However, Braunschweig and Nürnberg have the most favorable schedules on paper the rest of the way.
Augsburg vs. Hamburg
Augsburg are the only team that realistically could reach Mainz for that seventh spot, but recent form puts that in doubt. The same can be said for their competition as both teams are 2-2-4 over the last eight matches.
Hamburg is still trying to stay alive as the only team to remain in the top league since the Bundesliga’s inception. Currently they would have to face off with Paderborn for the right to play in the top tier next year.
Stuttgart 2 – Hannover 1
Bayern Munich 1 - Werder Bremen 1
Hertha Berlin 1 – Braunschweig 1
Mainz 3 – Nürnberg 1
Hoffenheim 2 - Eintracht Frankfurt 2
Wolfsburg 2 - Freiburg 0
Dortmund 2 - Leverkusen 1
Stuttgart 1 – Hamburg 1
Schalke 3 - Mönchengladbach 2