Bundesliga Matchday 34 – The curtains close on another Bundesliga season

It’s been a thoroughly entertaining Bundesliga season but sadly for us all the curtains close on another season. There’s a couple of things that need deciding first, Hamburg, Braunschweig and Nürnberg will battle it out once again for the relegation play-off spot, while Leverkusen, Wolfsburg and Gladbach fight for that last Champions League spot.

Matchday 34: Fixtures

Bayern Munich vs Stuttgart

Schalke vs Nürnberg

Bayer Leverkusen vs Werder Bremen

Hannover vs Freiburg

Wolfsburg vs Borussia Monchengladbach

Hoffenheim vs Eintracht Braunschweig

Mainz vs Hamburg

Augsburg vs Eintracht Frankfurt

Hertha BSC vs Borussia Dortmund

Bayern Munich vs Stuttgart

The visitors have the tough task of beating Bayern at the Allainz Arena, luckily for them they can’t move up or down, fifteenth is firmly in their hands. Bayern find themselves in the same position, they can’t move anywhere having won the title some time ago. Bayern’s sole focus this weekend will be making sure their ready for next weeks DFB Pokal final against Borussia Dortmund.

Prediction: Stuttgart won’t be hoping for much this weekend, however they’ll be aiming to bounce back from last week’s defeat to Wolfsburg and put in a performance their fans can be proud of. Guardiola and his side will be looking to finish the season in style and they’ll be aiming for a similar performance to the one they produced last week against Hamburg. Bayern Munich 3-0 Stuttgart.

Schalke vs Nürnberg

The hosts Schalke have Champions League football in the bag after an impressive Rückrunde and Keller’s men will be aiming to put on a show in their last home game of the season. Schalke suffered two defeats against Stuttgart and Gladbach in recent weeks but they responded last week with a 2-0 victory away to Freiburg. The visitors to the Veltins-Arena are struggling Nürnberg who have lost their last six games (they’ve won once in eleven games). Things aren’t looking good for Nürnberg ahead of this game and they’ll be hoping they catch Schalke on an off day as they look to take Hamburg’s play-off spot.

Prediction: Nürnberg have a very tough task in front of them and they will need to produce one of their best performances of the season in order to defeat this Schalke side, they haven’t won away to Schalke since September 1993. It’s very hard for me to see Nürnberg grabbing anything from this game and I think Schalke will comfortably see off their visistors. Schalke 2-0 Nürnberg.

Bayer Leverkusen vs Werder Bremen

A win for Leverkusen will confirm their place in the Champions League next season and they enter the game against Bremen in great form, they’ve managed three wins out of four. Robin Dutt’s side have dragged themselves away from danger and could find themselves finishing as high as ninth, to achieve this they’ll have to defeat Leverkusen and hope that Hoffenheim, Hertha BSC and Hannover all lose.

Prediction: Bremen will be aiming to do the double against Leverkusen for the first time since the 2007/2008 season and finish the season strongly. Leverkusen are under threat from clubs below them for the last Champions League place but with Wolfsburg playing Gladbach I fully expect Leverkusen to win this game and claim that last spot. Bayer Leverkusen 2-1 Werder Bremen

Hannover vs Freiburg

Both sides earlier in the season were struggling to perform but they’ve turned things around and they’ll be playing Bundesliga football next season. Hannover have recovered brilliantly from their four defeats in a row, the last of which saw them lose 3-0 to rivals Braunschweig. Since that unforgivable result Hannover have moved up to eleventh place thanks to three wins and one draw in their last four games. Freiburg have been much improved in the Rückrunde, largely due to their Europa League exit. Their last four games have seen them wining twice, drawing once and losing once.

Prediction: Freiburg haven’t tasted defeat against Hannover in theier last five meetings, drawing twice and winning the last three. However Hannover find themselves in good form and I expect them to finish the season on a high. Hannover 2-1 Freiburg

Wolfsburg vs Borussia Monchengladbach

The biggest game of the weekend sees fifth place Wolfsburg hosting sixth place Gladbach. Both have secured Europa League football for next season but providing Leverkusen lose against Bremen one of them could claim that last Champions League spot. Both sides head into the game looking confident, Gladbach have won their last two by defeating tough sides in the shape of Schalke and Mainz, while Wolfsburg have won two and drawn once.

Prediction: The meeting between the two earlier in the season provided us with an entertaining 2-2 draw and it’s going to be hard to call once again. Despite both needing a win for a chance of Champions League football I think they won’t separated. Wolfsburg 1-1 Borussia Monchengladbach

Hoffenheim vs Eintracht Braunschweig

Two sides not in the best of form. We all know Hoffenheim don’t have the best defence in the league and this has seen them ship in six goals in their last three games, one of those games was a goalless draw against Frankfurt. Last week they were defeated by Dortmund 3-2 and they’ll be looking to respond and end their season on a high. Braunschweig sit in bottom place but a win against Hoffenheim will see them climb up into the play-off spot providing Hamburg and Nürnberg both lose. They’ll need to stop their bad form in order to have a hope of surviving, they’ve lost four games in a row since their derby day victory against Hannover.

Prediction: As the saying goes there’s always goals when Hoffenheim play, I don’t think we’ll see a ton of goals in Hoffenheim’s game this week and call me crazy but I fancy Braunschweig to sneak a win. Hoffenheim 1-2 Eintracht Braunschweig

Mainz vs Hamburg

Mainz have enjoyed a great season under Tuchel and despite missing out on Europe they can look back on the season with pride. Hamburg however can’t, they’ve had a poor campaign and they’ll need win to see off the threat from below. Mainz’s form recently has been up and down, they win one week and then lose the next, last week saw them suffer a 3-1 loss at the hands of Gladbach. Hamburg haven’t looked like winning in recent weeks and last weeks defeat against Bayern Munich extended their losing streak to four games.

Prediction: Mainz’s last three wins have all come at home and I expect them to continue their good home form against Hamburg. I can’t see a surprise happening tomorrow especially as Slomka’s away record has transferred over to Hamburg. Mainz 3-1 Hamburg

Augsburg vs Eintracht Frankfurt

Augsburg have had a tremendous season under Weinzierl and it’s going to be very interesting to see where this young coach takes this side next season. Augsburg currently sit eight points ahead of Hoffenheim and a win against Frankfurt could see them moving up to seventh place if Hamburg manage to defeat Mainz. Frankfurt go into this game on the back of a 2-0 defeat against Leverkusen, this means they haven’t won since week 29 when they defeated Mainz.

Prediction: Augsburg have been a joy to watch this season but I feel they could be in for a tough game against Frankfurt, it’s Veh’s last game in charge of The Eagles and his players will be aiming to give him a great send off. Augsburg 1-0 Eintracht Frankfurt

Hertha BSC vs Borussia Dortmund

Hertha finally ended their terrible form a couple of weeks ago against Braunschweig but they then went on to lose away to Bremen last week. This week they have the task of stopping Dortmund. Klopp’s men travel to the capital on the back of an impressive run which has seen them win six of their last eight games, while also drawing twice. Dortmund have suffered an injury hit campaign but they’ve still managed to secure a second place finish and they’ll be looking to finish the season in fashion.

Prediction: Hertha won the last meeting between the two clubs but I can’t see this happening this time around. Dortmund are in fantastic form and they don’t look like slowing down. Hertha BSC 0-3 Borussia Dortmund

Article for VAVEL Bundesliga

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