Tensions at the Red Bull Arena: Bundesliga Matchday 33 Preview

Dortmund - Tensions at the Red Bull Arena
GELSENKIRCHEN, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 22: Scorer Timo Werner (R) of Leipzig celebrates his team’s second goal with Marcel Sabitzer (L), Yussuf Poulsen (2L) and Nordi Mukiele (2R) of Leipzig during the Bundesliga match between FC Schalke 04 and RB Leipzig at Veltins-Arena on February 22, 2020 in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. (Photo by Lukas Schulze/Bundesliga/Bundesliga Collection via Getty Images)

The penultimate round of Bundesliga fixtures in 2019/20 is fast approaching, and as is customary on Matchdays 33 and 34, all nine games will take place
simultaneously. FC Bayern München may already have successfully defended their title following Tuesday’s victory away to SV Werder Bremen, but there is still plenty at stake to get pulses racing.

Take RB Leipzig against Borussia Dortmund, for example. Tensions are sure to be high at the Red Bull Arena on Saturday when the third-placed hosts take on second-placed Dortmund. Die Schwarzgelben are already assured of their place in next season’s UEFA Champions League – despite a shock 2-0 home loss to 1. FSV Mainz 05 on Wednesday – but will be in no mood to relinquish the runners-up spot to Julian Nagelsmann’s side, who still needs one more win to join Dortmund in that competition. With just three points separating the sides ahead of kick-off, so much may depend on whether Timo Werner or Erling Haaland is more clinical on the day.

If relegation tussles are more your thing, look no further than Bremen’s trip to Mainz. Prior to their defeat to Bayern, the visitors had taken 10 points from their preceding five games to give themselves renewed hope of survival. They remain in 17th place, while Mainz needs just a point from their final two games to secure their top-flight status.

Fortuna Düsseldorf will be looking nervously over their shoulder, but have their fate in their own hands after fighting back to hold Leipzig to a 2-2 draw on Wednesday, to move a point above Bremen. Uwe Rösler’s men travel to FC Augsburg, knowing a win coupled with a Bremen defeat will give them a shot at redemption via the relegation play-offs, no matter what happens on the final weekend.

Matters are also heating up in the race for UEFA Europa League qualification. SC Freiburg was considered rank outsiders at the start of the season, but Christian Streich’s side is now in eighth place, just a point behind VfL Wolfsburg and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim. However, they face an unenviable trip to newly crowned champions Bayern, who have 31-goal leading scorer Robert Lewandowski eager to get as close as possible to Gerd Müller’s all-time single-season record of 40.

Hoffenheim could be the beneficiaries if Freiburg loses, as the Sinsheim club could leapfrog them in the standings with a win at home to 1. FC Union Berlin, who secured their top-flight status for another year with a win over SC Paderborn on Tuesday. Eintracht Frankfurt has recovered from their mid-season slump and their 2-1 triumph over FC Schalke 04 last time left Die Adler with a flickering hope of Europa League qualification. They will need to beat 1. FC Köln to have any chance of doing so, though.

Bayer 04 Leverkusen are already guaranteed some form of European football next term, and Kai Havertz and Co. will be determined to consolidate fourth place away to a Hertha Berlin side on a three-game losing streak. Borussia Mönchengladbach is waiting to pounce should Die Werkself slip-up, with the fifth-placed Foals just a point behind ahead of their trip to Paderborn, whose relegation back to Bundesliga 2 was confirmed midweek.

Schalke and Wolfsburg complete the day’s action. The injury-hit Royal Blues are without a win in a club-record 14 games and are now out of the continental running. Wolfsburg is seven points better off and will be determined to get their Europa League charge back on track after a disappointing defeat to Gladbach on Tuesday.

Arminia Bielefeld: welcome back to the Bundesliga!

You can read about the Arminia Bielefeld’s come back to the Bundesliga right here

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