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A Climax within an Anticlimax; A Preview of Bundesliga Match day 30

April 18, 2013 By Samrin Hasib
In a rather intriguing week for German football, Schalke will travel to Frankfurt while the second DFB Pokal semifinal will be repeated.

The Big Ones

Separated by four points from their Blue rivals, Eintracht Frankfurt will welcome Schalke. Eintracht’s rather weary squad went down to Ji Dong-Won and relegation battling Augsburg last week. This time, a Schalke side which earned a 2-2 draw against Bayer Leverkusen will be their opponent. Schalke, on current form, seems to be the winner as Eintracht is seemingly stuck in an endless cycle of losses.

The good Hannover side (not the one which features in others’ stadiums) is set to welcome the slightly unfocused champions of Germany, Bayern München. Xherdan Shaqiri admitted after Bayern’s DFB Pokal semifinal victory over Wolfsburg that attention was shifting to their Spanish Champions League opponents long before the match.

The DFB Pokal semifinal between Stuttgart and Freiburg will now be played in the Bundesliga. Stuttgart is guaranteed a spot in Europe due to reaching the Pokal final. They were after all the German side which went the furthest in the Europa League this season. Four more points are needed to guarantee the Swabians’ survival.

Freiburg meanwhile is lingering calmly behind Schalke in fifth. Christian Streich’s side is still chasing Europe. While Stuttgart might not be willing to give their all in this match, Freiburg will be chasing all three points with their hearts and souls. The previous league meeting between the two saw Freiburg triumph by three goals.

In a contest between the champions of pressing and work rate, Thomas Tuchel’s Mainz takes on Jürgen Klopp’s Borussia Dortmund. Ninth placed Mainz still has a chance of reaching Europe. Dortmund minds will all be focusing on Real Madrid; this is Mainz’s chance to earn an excellent three points against the Bundesliga champions of 2011 and 2012.

Tales of Survival and Relegation

Greuther Fürth, whose fairytale journey to the top flight will shortly end on a ridiculously sad note, plays a Bavarian side which has embodied the will needed to survive in recent seasons, Nürnberg. Following a humbling at the hands of Bayern, Nürnberg will be desperate to win their second Bavarian derby in a row. They are two points away from the famed ’40 points’ needed for survival.

Two places above Fürth is yet another Bavarian side, FC Augsburg. Augsburg has really taken on the battle for survival well. Their win over Frankfurt last week displayed that this side is still capable of finishing outside the relegation zone. Their opponent this week is a side which is a respectful seventh in the table despite not being able to deal with the loss of three major players in Marco Reus, Roman Neustädter and Dante properly. Gladbach is surely a challenge Augsburg will welcome.

Sandwiched in between Fürth and Augsburg in the table is Dietmar Hopp’s Hoffenheim. Hoffenheim will travel to play Bayer Leverkusen this week in a match which they will not relish. Hoffenheim held Wolfsburg to a 2-2 draw last week. Wolfsburg’s concentration was of course elsewhere in that match.

Die Wolfe faces problem filled Werder this week. Bremen, the darlings of German football between 2003 and 2010, are stuck in a rather strange situation. Thomas Schaaf is clearly not the man for the job anymore; however, if he is fired, who will Bremen look to to sort out their team?

The spot below Bremen is occupied by unfortunate Fortuna. Düsseldorf seemed set to guarantee their own survival a few weeks ago until results completely turned around. They drew 2-2 against Bremen last week and will take on yet another northern side this week in Hamburger SV. In Hamburg, the debate about Thorsten Fink’s capabilities rages on.

Finally, who will cause the biggest surprise this weekend? Let us know your thoughts!



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