With two rounds to go including this gameweek 33, reigning champions Bayern Munich crowned themselves champions for an incredible eighth consecutive time with a narrow 0-1 away victory over strugglers Werder Bremen. A Robert Lewandowski goal just before the break was sufficient for the Bavarians to clinch the title, a second yellow card for Alphonso Davies at the end of the second half wasn’t enough to ruin Bayern’s party. Normally, Hansi Flick’s men would be celebrating their success with the home fans this weekend, but due to the corona-related measures, the home game against Freiburg will be played without spectators.
In any case, in this preview for GW33 of the Bundesliga, we won’t be focusing as much on Bayern as we will on what it means for the remaining marbles, i.e. The European spots and the relegation spots. There are only two games to go now and there are still a few tight battles being fought. In other words, the championship might have been decided already, but there’s still plenty to play for just as there are with casino games available online if you’re looking to be a winner just like Bayern Munich from 2013 through to 2020.
The battle for 4th (Champions League qualification)
In the Bundesliga, very much like in the Premier League for example, the difference between fourth and fifth place in huge, as it represents the difference between Champions League qualification and Europa League football. It looks like it’s going to be between Mönchengladbach, currently in fifth with 59 points, and Leverkusen, currently in fourth with 60 points, this year, as Leipzig sits in third with 63 points.
Both teams won last weekend, with Gladbach booking an impressive 3-0 victory over Wolfsburg and Leverkusen brushing aside FC Köln 3-1, keeping the gap between to the bare minimum. What makes this intense battle extra interesting is the fact that both teams have the same schedule in terms of home and away games. Leverkusen are playing an out-of-form Hertha in Berlin this weekend and Gladbach are visiting relegated Paderborn, while in the season’s final gameweek, Leverkusen are hosting number fifteen Mainz and Borussia welcomes Hertha to Gladbach.
As a result, it’s hard to say which of the two will come out on top in the end and snatch the fourth Champions League spot. In theory, both teams could get six points each from these two gameweeks without surprising too many people. Out of the four remaining games, the relatively trickiest one is probably Leverkusen’s visit to Hertha this weekend and Gladbach will surely have placed their hopes on an unfortunate afternoon for Die Werkself. As far as we’re concerned though, Leverkusen should be able to hold on to fourth place until the end. And who knows, if Leipzig fail against Dortmund this weekend and Augsburg the next, Peter Bosz’ men might even climb up to third.
The battle for 6th and 7th (Europa League qualification)
The difference between sixth and seventh place in the Bundesliga is considerable. as well, as sixth equals a spot in the Europa League group stages, while seventh means entering the tournament in the qualification rounds. With two games to go, Wolfsburg, Hoffenheim and Freiburg are still in the running for a finish in sixth.
|Current rank||Club||Current points||GW33 oppnent||GW34 opponent|
|6||Wolfsburg||46||Schalke (a)||Bayern (H)|
|7||Hoffenheim||46||Union (H)||Dortmund (a)|
|8||Freiburg||45||Bayern (a)||Schalke (H)|
As you can see, the point differences are minimal here and the remaining fixture calendars are quite evenly matched for each of the three teams. Wolfsburg and Freiburg are even playing the exact same two opponents, While Hoffenheim are playing mid-table Union Berlin followed by current number 2 Dortmund. Due to Freiburg’s opponent being Bayern away from home just after they won the title, we feel the current number eight might be forced out of the race for sixth place. That’s because we can see both Wolfsburg and Hoffenheim win their encounters in gameweek 33, despite the former’s recent form slump. If we have to choose, we’re going with a Wolfsburg win this week and a possible draw the next to clinch the last Europa League spot.
The battle for 16th (avoiding direct relegation through play-offs)
There is a high-stakes battle going near the bottom of the Bundesliga table as well. SC Paderborn have already officially been relegated, but number seventeen Werder Bremen and number sixteen Fortuna Düsseldorf are still in the very middle of an extremely tight battle to avoid direct relegation. Düsseldorf currently sit on 29 points in sixteenth, just one point above Werder and sixteenth place means relegation play-offs while seventeenth means direct relegation.
This weekend, both teams are playing games with potential, at least in terms of their opponent’s respective positions in the table. Düsseldorf is playing at home against number fourteen Augsburg and Werder is visiting a Mainz team having just booked a majorly surprising away win against Borussia Dortmund last weekend. With Düsseldorf coming off a bad run of four games against Bayern (5-0 loss), Hoffenheim (2-2 draw), Dortmund (0-1 loss) and Leipzig (2-2 draw), it remains to be seen how they will turn up against Die Fuggerstädter on Saturday. If the home team wants any chance of remaining in the Bundesliga though, this weekend will be key as they will be going to Berlin in the final gameweek to face an Union side that’s hitting a bit of a purple patch to end the season.
On top of that, main rival Werder Bremen are playing a winnable match away from home against Mainz this weekend, followed by a home game against Köln. Mainz surprised practically everyone last weekend by coming away from the Signal Iduna Park in Dortmund with a 0-2 victory, while Werder followed up their 1-5 win over Paderborn in GW31 with a narrow 0-1 loss versus Bayern last weekend. Home and away has been a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde kind of situation for Die Grun-Weißen this season though, as 22 of their 28 points were won away from home.
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