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Bundesliga Match-day 33 Preview: The Confetti set to fall in Bavaria

May 10, 2013 By Samrin Hasib
The battle for fourth spot could be settled on the day in which the Bundesliga shield will be presented to the 50th champions.

Fates to be decided in Bavaria

Bayern and FC Nürnberg could both be holding the fates of two relegation battlers in their hands. Augsburg has done extremely well since the winter break but has recently wobbled. They lost 2-0 to SC Freiburg last week, thus remaining in sixteenth spot. This week, the task lying ahead of them is a mammoth one to say the least.

They will travel to the Allianz Arena to take on the beast of the Bundesliga; at the end of the afternoon, no matter what happens, the confetti, in red and white, will be in full flow. Bayern München will be handed the Bundesliga shield; their name will be inscribed on it for a record 22nd time. Bayern will want to win to go into the celebrations joyously. Augsburg, remembering that they are only behind fifteenth placed Düsseldorf on goal difference, will surely give it their all.

Düsseldorf has certainly collapsed over the past two months. Last week, Champions League chasing Frankfurt battered them 3-1. Nürnberg has nothing to play for this season; they play Fortuna on Saturday. They have already been guaranteed safety this season. They went down by two goals to Bayer Leverkusen last week. If they beat Düsseldorf this week, Fortuna could be set to face yet another playoff in the space of just two seasons, this time for survival rather than promotion.

Furthermore, yet another team’s fate might be decided in Bavaria. Relegated Greuther Fürth, who surprise, surprise, hammered Stuttgart last week, 3-0, is set to welcome SC Freiburg. Freiburg, with a win, will seal their spot in the Europa League next season. Christian Streich’s men will look at this match as a wonderful opportunity surely for a European berth. However, do the fans really want a European berth in exchange for possible relegation next season due to the fragility and size of the squad?

Further Deciders

Schalke is set to take on Stuttgart in a clash which could decide Schalke’s Champions League fate. A big win will take them through to the qualifying round for yet another shot at the trophy; Schalke’s season in Europe this season ended cruelly and they will want to redeem themselves in the next one. The team from the Ruhr region beat Mönchengladbach by the odd goal last Friday. Stuttgart and Schalke have provided some brilliant clashes down the years. Will this be yet another classic, especially with the return of the hunter, Klaas Jan Huntelaar?

One of Schalke’s title rivals in the 2006-07 season was Werder Bremen. Bremen has fallen from title contenders to relegation battlers in the span of a few seasons. Last week, they were leading 2-0 and managed to give away two goals in the last five minutes to Hoffenheim in a 2-2 draw. Jürgen Klopp’s reaction in Dortmund was perhaps more telling than Thomas Schaaf’s one. The BVB coach had a look at the screen and simply slammed his hand against his forehead in shock.

They play the team which is battling against Schalke for a Champions League berth, the mighty die Adler, Eintracht Frankfurt. Frankfurt will have to win to stay in contention for the Champions league qualifying berth. They showed enough last week to justify that they can make it. A win this week will, regardless of other results, qualify Frankfurt for at least the Europa League of 2013-14.

One more clash could turn out to be a very important one this week; HSV, still in contention for the Europa League, more due to the lack of form of others than due to the quality they possess, is set to take on Hoffenheim. Hoffenheim is only two points away from fifteenth spot and will be looking to heap misery on yet another northern German side this week.

Meaningless Clashes

Mainz takes on Borussia Mönchengladbach in a simple battle for pride. Gladbach could still virtually qualify for Europe if Freiburg slips up massively in the last two games of the season. Mainz collected a 2-2 draw with a Hannover side, which after two successful European adventures, will not be returning for a third.

Hannover’s opponent this weekend is Bayer Leverkusen. Leverkusen guaranteed a third placed finish for themselves last week with the win over Nürnberg. They can virtually overtake Dortmund if the Ruhr side loses their last two games of the season. However, that is unlikely and Leverkusen will go into next season’s Champions League as Germany’s third representative behind Bayern and Dortmund.

Finally, Dortmund will take on Wolfsburg in a clash which will serve as nothing more than a warm up game for the Champions League final. Dortmund drew 1-1 against Bayern in a fiery clash last week. They will be looking to win to inch closer towards the 70 points mark. A tally of more than 70 points would have been enough to win the title in many a season before. This season, the title however will not be coming to the Ruhr.

Who is your pick for the fourth spot this season in the Bundesliga? Who will be relegated? Let us hear your thoughts!

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