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Bayern look to seal the Bundesliga title and Hertha battle for a Champions League spot

Thursday 5th May 2016
All games kick off at 3:30 on Saturday for the final 2 rounds in the Bundesliga, so no excuses! Mark Dannell has the preview for Game Week 33

Hertha BSC vs SV Darmstadt 98

A huge amount riding on this game. It is make or break for Hertha's Champions League hopes after a miserable last five weeks has seen them slide from 4 points clear in 3rd place to 5th after 4 defeats and a draw. Last week's decent showing, even in defeat to Leverkusen will give them hope that they can turn it round. The will not want to be needing points on the final day of the season against Mainz to secure their European spot.

Darmstadt seemed safe after back to back wins against Hamburg and Ingolstadt, but followed that up with back to back defeats to Köln, and most disappointingly Frankfurt last week. Just slumping at the wrong time but they have surprised me more than once this season, maybe they can do it again. A home game against Mönchengladbach follows and they might just be reliant on 2 teams being worse than them to stay up.

Prediction– Home Win

FC Ingolstadt 04 vs FC Bayern

Ingolstadt will be playing Bundesliga football again next year and that is a great achievement for Ralph Hasenhüttl's side. It remains to be seen if he will still be there next year, he has already expressed a wish to move on amid strong interest from RB Leipzig who need 2 points from their final 2 games to secure promotion to the top flight. The large funds on offer there will no doubt make that deal go through with Ralf Ragnick moving into a full-time role as Sporting Director.
You all know that Bayern have gone out of the Champions League at the semi-final stage once again. A lot of questions being asked in the UK as to whether Guardiola has been a failure but three titles in a row and another Cup final to look forward to mean those questions are much quieter here in Germany. Indeed, the overwhelming feeling is that he has completely overhauled the mentality of the Bavarian club from top to bottom and leaves them a much more professional outfit. The title will be sealed this week.

Prediction–  Away Win

1. FC Köln vs SV Werder Bremen

2 teams high on confidence go head to head in this clash. Köln with 7 points from the last 3 games have secured their spot for next year and Werder are fresh from smashing Stuttgart for 6 last week. It's difficult to separate the 2 but Werder have something to play for so I reckon they might just sneak a point. That will probably leave them needing one more point in the crunch clash vs Frankfurt next week to survive.

Prediction– Draw

Schalke 04 vs FC Augsburg

Schalke's comfy win over Hannover last week coupled with Mainz and Hertha stumbling towards the line has thrown them a lifeline in the race for the European slots. They face off today against their probable trainer for next season in Markus Weinzierl who has dragged FCA kicking and screaming towards safety over the last 4 weeks with 10 points.

He will be keen to show his potential new employers just what he can do but equally the Schalke players are not stupid and will be keen to impress. Last but not least they will definitely want to be playing European football next year so Augsburg will have to wait till the final day of the season to secure their survival.

Prediction– Home  Win

Hannover 96 vs TSG 1899 Hoffenheim

With no chance of staying up now, the Hannover players will at least be looking to put on a final display for their fans at home. They will also have to think about their futures and perhaps play well enough to attract the attention of a team who will be playing Bundesliga football next year.

Hoffenheim will be safe with a point and have been playing more than well enough to gain that here. 5 wins, a draw and a loss in the last 7 is European form, it's a shame they waited so long to make the change!

Prediction–  Draw

Borussia Mönchengladbach vs Bayer 04 Leverkusen

Game of the week this one on paper with the excellent home form of BMG facing off against Leverkusen who have won 7 in a row and secured Champions League football for next year.

With that hurdle overcome Leverkusen might just be tempted to  take their foot off the pedal a little, allowing Mönchengladbach a chance to take a big step towards wrapping up the 4th spot. The intense Roger Schmidt will surely not allow that to happen and however good BMG are at home I think a point is probably the sound tip for this game

Prediction–  Draw

VfB Stuttgart vs 1. FSV Mainz 05

This is realistically Stuttgart's best chance of not going down automatically. 7 points from the last 8 games is simply not good enough from Mainz and they are stumbling towards the line. Lose here and we are talking Devon Loch! So who better to play than Stuttgart? No wins in the last 7 and just 2 points from that run.

This is probably the most interesting game of the weekend and by far the hardest to call. A scrappy, niggly, dirty 1:1 would be no surprise. Equally I would not be shocked to see either Stuttgart or Mainz come away with all 3 points so I have gone for the middle ground.

Prediction– Draw

Eintracht Frankfurt vs Borussia Dortmund

Frankfurt suddenly found something the last 2 weeks but there is no way it will be enough to stop the BVB express. That will leave them needing to beat Werder Bremen next week to have any chance of staying up automatically.

Dortmund seem likely to once again lose one of their best players to Bayern with eyelashes being well and truly fluttered at Mats Hummels from Munich. It seems however that the feeling is mutual and Germany's first choice centre-back pairing with Jerome Boateng will be together in club colours next year. Dortmund have been planning ahead once again and Matthias Ginter who arrived 2 years ago from Freiburg will surely make the step up to first choice.

Prediction– Away  Win

Hamburger SV vs VfL Wolfsburg

Perennial underachievers Hamburg take on massively disappointing Wolfsburg in a game that means about the square root of sod all. It is not inconceivable that both these sides will line up with new coaches next season. Despite public protestations to the contrary, Dieter Hecking must surely need to win both of the last 2 games to have a chance to take last years runners up into another season of Bundesliga action.

Bruno Labbadia somehow has the chance to take his side above Wolfsburg and into the top half of the table on Saturday. That would probably be enough for another season and surely seal Hecking's fate. On the basis of last weeks showings of a fighting away point for Hamburg and a dismal surrender for Wolfsburg I think that might just become reality.

Prediction– Home Win

  • Feel free to post your predictions below.

  • I am nicely in profit over the last few weeks, largely thanks to the wonderful Julian Brandt and Leverkusen. This week a Schalke/Dortmund/Bayern/Hertha at a tasty 5/1 is not to be ignored. Also over 3.5 goals in Ingolstadt/Bayern at 5/2 will be worth a punt. Finally for some bigger but riskier odds a single on Hamburg to win 2:1 will return about 9/1.

Mark Dannell
Fan of most sports first and foremost, Tottenham fan born and raised. Currently living in Germany and married, avid follower of the Bundesliga and closet Dortmund fan since 1997 thanks to a very enthusiastic high school German teacher! Covering the Bundesliga in detail for itsroundanditswhite.co.uk, any questions, requests for features or general information required all welcome, either by mail or Twitter (@mdannell) preferable.

Total articles: 86

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