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Bundesliga Preview: Battle for 16th is the Story of Week 34

Nürnberg stadium Bundesliga Relegation

Official Nürnberg Twitter Account

It is the last weekend of the Bundesliga season. There are only three teams that can be relegated to the 2. Bundesliga, so their fight is for the playoff position of 16th place. Eintracht BraunschweigNürnberg and Hamburg are all one point apart with Hamburg currently in that coveted playoff spot. The top seven will be battling for positioning but fighting for top-tier life, meaning more money to put back into the club is in the spotlight this week.

All of this week’s matches will take place at 9:30 a.m. ET this Saturday. No team will have an advantage of knowing where they stand when the opening whistle blows. Braunschweig may have the advantage in match-ups, though, as they face Hoffenheim on the road. This will be the last game for USMNT player Fabian Johnson with Hoffenheim.

Unfortunately for Nürnberg and Hamburg, they take on teams in the top seven. Nürnberg will travel to third place Schalke who have secured a place in the Champions League next year. However, the round in which they enter the competition has yet to be decided. Schalke would like to remain in third place to avoid one more round of qualifying before the group stage.

Hamburg travel to Mainz. Mainz has a one-point lead on Augsburg for the final Europa League position. Since the formation of the Bundesliga, Hamburg are the only team to never be relegated. Since a surprising win over Leverkusen, Hamburg have lost their last four matches. Mainz have lost two and won two in that same time frame, but they have beaten the teams one would expect them to beat.

As mentioned there could be some shuffling in the top seven. Wolfsburg is looking to steal the final Champions League spot from Leverkusen, while Leverkusen eyes Schalke’s third place position. Mönchengladbach can also reach Leverkusen but would need goal differential to come out in their favor. Wolfsburg and Gladbach play one another. Finally Augsburg can steal seventh place from Mainz.

Predictions

Leverkusen 2 – Werder Bremen 0
Bayern Munich 4 – Stuttgart 1
Augsburg 1 – Eintracht Frankfurt 1
Freiburg 2 – Hannover 1
Dortmund 3 – Hertha Berlin 0
Mainz 2 – Hamburg 1
Schalke 3 - Nürnberg 0
Hoffenheim 2 – Braunschweig 2
Wolfsburg 3 – Gladbach 2

Douglas Smith is a soccer writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @DFresh39, “Like” him on Facebook, or add him to your network on Google.

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