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Stuttgart in major danger, Bayern will have to wait again for the title

Wednesday 4th May 2016
Some big surprises this weekend and luckily our writer couldn't get his predictions over time, if he had, he would have looked a right wally!

Here is the Game Week 32 wrap up from Mark Dannell.

FC Augsburg vs 1. FC Köln - 0:0

It was a dour Friday night game as Augsburg took another step closer to survival. Despite a second half sending off for Köln man Matthias Lehmann, anything other than a draw would have been raised eyebrows after an exceedingly dull first 45 minutes. After the sending off Augsburg tried a bit harder but the point was most welcome. Köln had ensured their continued participation in the Bundesliga last weekend and it showed, they were content to defend and they did that very well indeed.

Defender Ragnar Klavan who looks and sounds like he should be in a period drama about Vikings was immense in the Köln back line and deservedly earned the man of the match display, and possibly a horn of mead.

SV Darmstadt 98 vs Eintracht Frankfurt - 1:2

I wrote off Frankfurt 2 weeks ago and they respond with 2 wins in a row. Maybe they read the page and a bunch of them are going to turn up with some humble pie for me. With this win, they move out of the relegation spots for the first time since Game Week 26.

Darmstadt are now right back in the thick of it, just 2 points clear of Stuttgart who now occupy 17th place. They took the lead on Saturday afternoon through Mario Vrancic and had the chance to go 2:0 up in the 20th minute, however Sandro Wagner missed a penalty. They were left to rue that mistake as a strong 2nd half display by Frankfurt was rewarded with goals from Makoto Hasebe and Stefan Aigner. A priceless 3 points for Frankfurt. Next up Dortmund at home followed by Werder away on the last day of the season which will probably see one of them safe and the other in the relegation play-off.

Hannover 96 vs FC Schalke 04 - 1: 3

A timely win for Schalke, Mainz are falling over their own feet and Hertha haven't taken a point in 4 weeks now. Suddenly the Champions League qualifiers are within reach again! After a brief flurry over the last few weeks, the mathematical relegation of Hannover looked to have extinguished their fight. Goals from Choupo-Moting, Huntelaar and Schöpf sealed the points with just a consolation for Artur Sobiech in between.

Schalke play Augsburg and Hoffenheim, both of whom need a point or 2 to be sure of staying up. Hoffenheim might have them by next week as they visit Hannover.

TSG 1899 Hoffenheim vs FC Ingolstadt 04 - 2:1

Mark Uth scored yet again as Hoffenheim secured a come from behind victory and made a massive stride in the direction of safety next year. Ingolstadt took the lead through Stefan Lex as early as the 17th minute but that was as good as it got for "Die Schanzer". Oliver Baumann made several fine saves as did Ingolstadt keeper Örjan Nyland.

Uth's 7th goal of the season sent the teams in level at half-time but Hoffenheim were made to wait until the 84th minute for their winner through Nadiem Amiri. In between on-loan Leicester City striker Andrej Kramaric saw a penalty saved after the once again outstanding Kevin Volland was taken out in the box. Volland will surely get a big move in the summer, I think he would be a really great fit for Leicester as it happens and Kramaric could well remain at Hoffenheim as part of the deal.

1. FSV Mainz 05 vs Hamburger SV - 0:0

A dull draw which just about secures Hamburgs place in the Bundesliga next year. Mainz however will be fuming at their failure to pick up decent points from an easy run of 3 games which in other circumstances could have seen them clear in 4th place!

I wasn't really able to note anything to report on during this game, some regulation saves on both sides and a lot of possession in midfield for Mainz. Now they go to Stuttgart before a potential winner takes all Europa League qualification game vs Hertha on the final day of the season. Hamburg receive Wolfsburg next week before ending away at Augsburg. Another point from those 2 and they are safe.

Borussia Dortmund vs VFL Wolfsburg - 5:1

Dortmund dismantled Wolfsburg and led 2:0 after just 9 minutes through Kagawa and Adrian Ramos. Further goals in the second half from Reus and a double for Aubameyang on his return from a small injury added the gloss to the scoreline. Dortmund therefore still have a theoretical chance at the title, reducing the gap on Bayern to 5 points with 2 to play. Aubameyang also has a chance at the top scorer crown with his double closing the gap on Lewandowski to 2 (25 to 27).

I have been banging the "Hecking Out" drum for a few weeks now and those calls are starting to get louder in the media with the "Bild Zeitung" (think The Sun) reporting on a  crisis at Wolfsburg this morning. With just 13 points Wolfsburg are the 2nd worst team of the second season half in Germany and thanking their lucky stars for Hannover. Lose at home to Hamburg next week and those calls are only going to get louder.

FC Bayern vs Borussia Mönchengladbach - 1:1

And so to Bayern who had the chance to seal the title at home for the first time since 2000(!!!) and somehow managed to trip up against one of the worst away teams in the Bundesliga! Mönchengladbach in all truth were well worth their point on the day, putting in a committed attacking performance and scoring a deserved equalizer through Andre Hahn.

Bayern were perhaps a bit tired after the trip to Athletico and the 90-minute harrying they received there. It didn't show early on however as Thomas Müller, surprisingly left on the bench for the start in Spain scored after just 6 minutes, his 20th of the season. A quirky statistic also came to an end in this game as the previous 51 games in which Müller scored they had won. Onward to next week with just the small matter of Athletico in the middle on Tuesday night. An away derby at Ingolstadt awaits and it would only be a short trip back home to celebrate the title if they can take the points there.

Mönchengladbach's point took them above Hertha on goal difference and into the final Champions League qualifying spot. Next Saturday's game at home against in form Leverkusen will be my absolute focus.

Bayer 04 Leverkusen vs Hertha BSC - 2:1

A hard fought win for Leverkusen sealed their automatic participation in next years Champions League. Red hot Julian Brandt scored again and must now surely be a lock in for Jogi Löw's Euro 2016 squad (I'll do a prediction for that as well).

It was just the 2nd minute when Brandt scored and when Lars Bender extended the lead in the 16th minute things looked very rosy indeed. However Vedad Ibisevic pulled one back in the 21st minute and Leverkusen were made to sweat hard to secure the points. Hertha can console themselves with the fact that they will definitely make at least the Europa League now and a much-improved showing in this game will surely give them hope of snatching the final qualifying spot for the Champions league. Next week's home game against Darmstadt is a must win for them.

SV Werder Bremen vs VfB Stuttgart - 6:2

A rare Monday night game in the Bundesliga was decided by Werder as they thrashed a sorry Stuttgart side, moving past them in the process and setting up a huge game for the last week of the season against (currently) 16th placed Frankfurt. 2 goals for Fin Bartels, an OG from Barba and further strikes from Öztunali, Pizarro and Ujah did wonders for their goal difference, while at the same time sending Stuttgart below Frankfurt on goal difference.

Stuttgart had goals from Didavi and Barba to thank that it didn't end up even worse for them but in truth it was a disastrous evening for the team from the "Schwabenland". They have a chance to rescue themselves with games against Mainz and Wolfsburg, both of whom are in terrible form but will need a much improved showing from this display to do so.

  • No predictions this weekend so no scores. Won't bore you with my betting but Julian Brandt came up trumps again!

  • Team of the Weekend:  Normally a team that win 5:1 against Wolfsburg would be cantering to this award but Wolfsburg were so rotten i can't give it to Dortmund. For that reason, and based on the magnitude of the game my team of the (very long) weekend goes to  Werder Bremen  for their destruction of Stuttgart.

  • Player of the Weekend:  A 2 goal all action display from  Fin Bartels  secures a nice double for Werder Bremen this week.

Here is this weeks updated table. As you can see the race for the European and relegation spots are really tight. In the last 2 weeks of the Bundesliga season all the games are played at 3:30 on Saturday afternoon. I'll be back with predictions for week 33 on Thursday!

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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