Bundesliga 2013, Week 30 preview and fixtures: Relegation battle is getting intense

Alexander Hassenstein

There are five weeks left in the Bundesliga season and the relegation battle looks like it'll come down to the wire.

This weekend in the Bundesliga could see several things wrapped up by a few teams. Two of the big ones to watch: Borussia Dortmund will clinch a place in next season's Champions League with a win or a Freiburg loss, and Greuther Fürth will be relegated with anything other than three points and a Düsseldorf loss.

Friday, April 19

Borussia Mönchengladbach vs Augsburg - 2:30 PM ET / 20:30 CET
Borussia Mönchengladbach failed to pick up any points last weekend against Stuttgart. Their opponents on Friday, Augsburg, assisted Gladbach by beating Eintracht Frankfurt to keep Gladbach within easy striking distance of the Europa League race. The hosts can move back into a Europa League and really put pressure on their rivals for the positions. Only four sides have been better than Augsburg in the second half of the season, and they mean to continue their run to escape relegation on Friday with a win.
Prediction: Borussia Mönchengladbach 1 - 2 Augsburg

Saturday, April 20

Borussia Dortmund vs Mainz - 9:30 AM ET / 15:30 CET
If Borussia Dortmund can manage a victory against Mainz on Saturday, they'll secure a spot in next season's Champions League. With that nearly secured, manager Jürgen Klopp can focus his team's energy on next Wednesday's massive Champions League Semifinal clash against Real Madrid. Mainz have fallen a little behind in the race for the Europa League, but they could find their way right back into the thick of things with a big win against BVB.
Prediction: Borussia Dortmund 2 - 0 Mainz

Hannover vs Bayern Munich - 9:30 AM ET / 15:30 CET
Bayern have yet to drop any points in the league since returning from the winter break. They've dealt with Champions League and DFB Pokal matches during the week and still look unbeatable. I'll be honest with you: I'm not picking against Bayern for the remainder of the season. I'm sorry Hannover, but I don't see you winning this one.
Prediction: Hannover 0 - 3 Bayern Munich

Hamburg vs Fortuna Düsseldorf - 9:30 AM ET / 15:30 CET
Hamburg are one point out of a spot in next season's Europa League and have the opportunity to move up the table when they face relegation-threatened Fortuna Düsseldorf on Saturday. It's going to take a lot of work for Düsseldorf to stay out of the relegation zone now. Augsburg have been in excellent form and have crept all the way back from the dead to just three points behind Düsseldorf.
Prediction: Hamburg 2 - 1 Fortuna Düsseldorf

Eintracht Frankfurt vs Schalke - 9:30 AM ET / 15:30 CET
After a brilliant start to the 2012-13 season, Eintracht Frankfurt have slowed down tremendously in the last few months and have fallen down the table. Since suffering a severe dip in form throughout November and December, Schalke have turned around their fortunes and are now in the fourth Champions League place for the Bundesliga. Jens Keller's ability to get his side to continue trudging along after selling Lewis Holtby in January and losing Klaas-Jan Huntelaar to injury in February has been nothing short of impressive.
Prediction: Eintracht Frankfurt 1 - 2 Schalke

Bayer Leverkusen vs Hoffenheim - 9:30 AM ET / 15:30 CET
Bayer Leverkusen can move ever closer to clinching a place in the group stage of next season's Champions League if they can take three points against Hoffenheim on Saturday. Sami Hyypiä and Sasha Lewandowski have the club on the verge of qualifying for the Champions League in their first full season in charge. Hoffenheim need three points in order to stave off relegation. They desperately need it.
Prediction: Bayer Leverkusen 2 - 0 Hoffenheim

Werder Bremen vs Wolfsburg - 12:30 PM ET / 18:30 CET
Both of these teams need points in the worst way. They're both flirting just north of safety, but three points would go a long way to guaranteeing their last few weeks won't be as stressful.
Prediction: Werder Bremen 1 - 1 Wolfsburg

Sunday, April 21

Stuttgart vs Freiburg - 9:30 AM ET / 15:30 CET
Stuttgart edged Freiburg 2-1 midweek in the DFB Pokal to advance to the final where they get the opportunity to lose to Bayern Munich. Freiburg missed out on an opportunity for guaranteed European football next season, but they're in a dead heat with Schalke for the fourth and final place in next season's Champions League. Christian Streich won't have his men lose twice in one week in the same building.
Prediction: Stuttgart 1 - 2 Freiburg

Nürnberg vs Greuther Fürth - 11:30 AM ET / 17:30 CET
Der Club get their second Bavarian derby in a week when they host seemingly-doomed-to-relegation Greuther Fürth this weekend. Fürth is going to battle until the end, but this will be the weekend that they get officially relegated.
Prediction: Nürnberg 1 - 0 Greuther Fürth

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