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Will the Bundesliga table change once again on Match day 26?

March 15, 2013 By Samrin Hasib
After a jaw dropping and disappointing European week, Bundesliga clubs return to action. Is the title really a lost cause?

The Big Ones

Bayern München takes on Bayer 04 Leverkusen in a clash which will not bring back the fondest memories for Bayern. Firstly, Leverkusen handed Bayern their first and only Bundesliga loss to date this season. In a match filled with rather funny and unintended blunders, Leverkusen won 1-2 in Munich. Currently third and with no other competition to focus on, Neverkusen will look to bring down a beleaguered Bayern.

Every team has its bad phase; Bayern however is going through theirs without any penalties. Firstly, they looked poor in a 0-1 victory over Hoffenheim in the league. Then they just managed to escape against Düsseldorf, 3-2. The final warning came in midweek when they almost threw away a 1-3 advantage against Arsenal FC. Clearly, the alarm bells are ringing in Bavaria.

However, Bayern had not lost concentration this season barring one night in Minsk before this phase. Hence, it can almost be considered natural for them to go through this period. They will have Bastian Schweinsteiger and Franck Ribery back for this one of course. Leverkusen is coming into the match on the back of a defeat to Mainz.

Dortmund, the only team left in the Champions League to not have lost a game so far along with Juventus, returns to league action. Seeing the current mess that Bayern is in, BVB might feel that the title is not lost yet. Despite the difference being twenty points, Bayern has looked vulnerable recently. They play a Freiburg side which has punched above their weight thanks to Christian Streich. This should be a very interesting encounter.

Ninth placed Borussia Mönchengladbach takes on tenth placed Hannover. This tie is interesting because a loss could virtually knock one side out of the race for the European spots. Both teams only managed to pick up draws last week, with Gladbach drawing against Bremen and Hannover drawing against Frankfurt.

The Relegation Battles

Werder Bremen is set to take on Greuther Fürth this weekend. These days, listening to stories of Bremen’s demise is similar to listening to a broken radio. Bremen has really been poor this season. The beginning of the season offered so much hope. However, Bremen has fallen apart dramatically in some matches. Fürth lost out to Hoffenheim badly last week and is all but mathematically relegated.

The Bundesliga’s weekend opener is also a relegation battle. A Wolfsburg side which scored spectacular goals against Freiburg last week in a 2-5 win takes on Fortuna Düsseldorf. Fortuna was in the lead twice against Bayern and was four minutes away from earning a point. They are surely proud of their efforts nonetheless. The two teams are separated by a mere two points in the table with Fortuna being a bit too close to the relegation zone for their fans’ liking currently.

European Battles

A Schalke side which had it all in their hands gave away a spot in the Champions League quarterfinals on Tuesday. They lost to Galatasaray despite being the better side for seventy five percent of the entire tie. They missed Klaas Jan Huntelaar and Jermaine Jones. The back line was rather poor. They occupy fourth currently and have a great chance to remain there as they travel to Nürnberg. They won the Revierderby in the past weekend. However, team morale will perhaps be low as a result of the midweek elimination.

A Frankfurt side which cannot find a goal to save their own lives right now takes on Stuttgart. Bruno Labbadia’s side put in another poor performance in midweek, losing their Europa League tie to S.S Lazio 5-1 on aggregate. This is the best time to play Frankfurt. However, considering how poor Stuttgart has been recently, including a home loss to HSV last week, this one will seemingly end in a draw.

Second from bottom Hoffenheim takes on a Mainz side which is just two points away from a Champions League qualifying berth. Hoffenheim showed their fans that there is still some hope for survival and will look to boost their chances further against a Mainz side which won last week against a very good Leverkusen side thanks to an Adam Szalai penalty.

Sixth placed Hamburger SV, a point behind fourth placed Schalke, takes on third from bottom, Augsburg. Augsburg has to watch their backs as their loss to Nürnberg last week saw Hoffenheim close in within two points on them. The fourth place race and the relegation race are far from over in the Bundesliga.

Will all hell break loose in Munich this week? Let us know your thoughts!

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