With only five matches left, it's time for clubs to either step up to the challenge or fall down the table. The other option is the results work out and it makes the remaining weeks EVEN BETTER! Okay. Enough of this. Here's your Bundesliga Matchday 30 Preview.
Friday, April 15
Mainz 05 v Borussia Mönchengladbach
The Friday night showcase will feature a team battling for a spot in Europe next season, and a team battling to stay in the top flight. A win by Mainz could see them push further away from Nürnberg in ensuring that they qualify for next season's Europa League. A win by Mönchengladbach could see them pull ahead of St. Pauli and Wolfsburg if those results go their way. Mönchengladbach has been playing some exciting soccer lately, including last week's 5-1 destruction of
Saturday, April 16
Hamburg v Hannover 96
Hamburg held on for dear life last week. Just when they thought they had defeated the league leaders, they had to settle for only one point. Hannover continued their miracle run last week to the Champion's League. This is a team that only barely escaped relegation last season. A win by Hannover would begin to put distance between them and Bayern Munich for the final Champion's League spot for next season. If Hamburg were able to pull out the victory, then the race for the Europa League becomes even tighter.
Wolfsburg v St. Pauli
A "massive relegation six pointer" will take place on Saturday. Both clubs are sitting on 28 points, and the winner can push up out of the relegation zone. The real question is how will the St. Pauli players react in their first match since the announcement that their head coach will be leaving the club at the end of the season?
Hoffenheim v Frankfurt
Hoffenheim are sitting comfortable mid-table at the moment. Frankfurt sit just five points out of the relegation zone. Frankfurt have been up and down this season, and they now seem to be settling into where there groove is just north of the relegation zone
Köln v Stuttgart
After being embarrassed over the weekend by Mönchengladbach, Köln will be looking to rebound. Stuttgart are sitting in 15th place, just two points ahead of the 16th. All three points would be nothing short of a miracle for Stuttgart at this point.
Kaiserslautern v Nürnberg
Nürnberg are sitting just two points out of a Europa League place for next season. If they're able to overtake Mainz, it would be quite the accomplishment. Kaiserslautern will be looking for a point or three to get them as far away from the relegation zone as possible.
Werder Bremen v Schalke 04
Schalke are currently mid-table. They have no worry in the world about relegation or Europe through league qualification. Their focus is now going to be 100% on the Champion's League semifinal match against Manchester United coming up. Bremen are closer to the drop zone than they would like to be. I don't see them falling any closer.
Sunday, April 17
Bayern München v Bayer 04 Leverkusen
A massive match will go down in the Allianz Arena on Sunday. Both teams have so much to play for still. Leverkusen have battled back for a late season run for the title, and they are now hoping to push forward on the back of the returning Michael Ballack. They have five matches left and five points to make up on leaders Borussia Dortmund. Bayern München enter this match behind Hannover for the final Champions League spot. They will be hoping for a victory to force there way back into the third position. Bayern will be without Arjen Robben, who is suspended. Of note: Current Bayer Leverkusen manager Jupp Heynckes has already signed a pre-contract to start in the summer as the new manager of Bayern München.
Borussia Dortmund v Freiburg
The league leaders will be counting on a victory at home against Freiburg. They will have to do without leading goalscorer Lucas Barrios who has been ruled out with a groin injury. Dortmund still do have the class to win this match and stay five points clear of Leverkusen. The question of "will they do it?" remains to be seen. Dortmund does have a young team, and Freiburg will be coming in and looking for all three points.