Bundesliga Matchday 33: Plenty to play for in Germany’s top flight

class=”styled__BannerImage-sc-1wadlxz-1 iLJqYu styles_articleMainImage__Lj_Qv”>Borussia Dortmund have won five league games in a row

Borussia Dortmund have won five league games in a row

The Bundesliga’s penultimate weekend of action is upon us and there is still plenty to be decided in Germany’s top flight.

Three teams remain in contention for the final two Champions League places, with Wolfsburg, Borussia Dortmund and Eintracht Frankfurt all bidding for a spot at Europe’s top table next season.

Qualification for UEFA’s inaugural Europa Conference League is also up grabs, while five sides remain embroiled in a relegation battle at the bottom of the table.

Augsburg vs Werder Bremen (Saturday, 2.30pm)

Augsburg and Werder Bremen are in danger of sliding towards the Bundesliga trap door, with both clubs enduring terrible runs of form at the worst possible time.

Five games without victory have left Augsburg looking over their shoulder in 14th but things are even bleaker for Bremen.

They have now lost seven of their last eight league fixtures and are perilously close to the drop, sitting level on points with Arminia Bielefeld in 16th. 

Both these teams are lacking in quality in front of goal and among the division’s lowest scorers, with Augsburg managing just 0.97 goals per 90 minutes and the visitors averaging a marginally better 1.03 strikes per 90.

Expected a tense, cagey affair when these sides meet on Saturday.

Hertha Berlin vs Koln (Saturday, 2.30pm)

Only Schalke have conceded more goals than Koln in the Bundesliga this term
Only Schalke have conceded more goals than Koln in the Bundesliga this term

Another battle at the bottom sees Hertha Berlin face a Koln team sitting two points from safety, despite picking up two victories in their last three outings.

Friedhelm Funkel’s outfit have been hindered by a remarkably porous defence that has conceded a staggering 1.87 goals per 90 — only bottom club Schalke (2.56) have a worse record.

But there is room for cautious optimism at the other end of the pitch. Koln’s 1.11 expected goals per 90 is better than fellow strugglers Augsburg (1.03), Bremen (0.95) and Arminia Bielefeld (0.85).

The Billy Goats should take the game to Hertha when they head to the capital — safe in the knowledge that victory will drag their hosts back into the relegation mix.

Freiburg vs Bayern Munich (Saturday, 2.30pm)

Bayern Munich will want to celebrate their Bundesliga title win in Freiburg — but Christian Streich’s team are in need of the points themselves.

They are still in the hunt for Europa Conference League qualification if they can close a two-point gap on Borussia Monchengladbach and Union Berlin.

If Freiburg are to emerge victorious, they will need top scorer Vincenzo Grifo to continue his fine run of form.

The Italian has nine league goals this season, scoring twice and contributing two assists in his last three appearances.

Even then, it will take a mammoth effort for the home side to secure a win against a Bayern team who have only lost once in their previous 10 Bundesliga matches.

Saturday’s other games

Bayer Leverkusen vs Union Berlin (2.30pm)
Borussia Monchengladbach vs Stuttgart (2.30pm)
Arminia Bielefeld vs Hoffenheim (2.30pm)
Schalke 04 vs Eintracht Frankfurt (2.30pm)

Mainz vs Borussia Dortmund (Sunday, 5pm)

Borussia Dortmund are in the driving seat when it comes to the race for Champions League qualification and could guarantee their spot with victory in Mainz, assuming Frankfurt lose at Schalke on Saturday.

The smart money is surely on BVB in this one. 

Last week’s impressive 3-2 victory against RB Leipzig made it five straight league wins for Edin Terzic’s team and they followed it up with a 4-1 victory over the same opposition in the DFB-Pokal final on Thursday.

But Mainz are in the midst of a hot streak and will be looking to go 10 games unbeaten if they can pick up a result against Die Borussen.

With the hosts safely in mid-table and with little on the line, Dortmund will be confident they can get the job done at the Opel Arena.

RB Leipzig vs Wolfsburg (Sunday, 7.30pm)

Dutch striker Wout Weghorst has 20 Bundesliga goals for Wolfsburg in 2020-21
Dutch striker Wout Weghorst has 20 Bundesliga goals for Wolfsburg in 2020-21

It is second vs third in the final match of Matchday 33 and all eyes will be on whether Wolfsburg can confirm their place in the top four ahead of the final weekend.

Die Wolfe will fancy their chances against a Leipzig side that have hit a rocky patch after guaranteeing Champions League football — they have now won just once in their last five in all competitions and may have lost focus since head coach Julian Nagelsmann’s switch to Bayern was announced. 

Wolfsburg are not in the best of form themselves, despite getting back to winning ways against Union Berlin last time out.

But with Dutch frontman Wout Weghorst hitting six in his last nine games and 20 league goals across the campaign, they will certainly be in with a chance of emerging victorious from Sunday evening’s big match.

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1. BundesligaAugsburgWerder BremenHertha BerlinFreiburgBayern MunichMainz 05Borussia DortmundRB LeipzigWolfsburg