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Bundesliga, Week 19 preview: The race for Europe is just getting started

While the title race is all but done (Congrats Bayern!), the battle for the remaining places in Europe is just heating up.

Lars Baron

Friday's match in the Bundesliga between Eintracht Braunschweig and Borussia Dortmund is very important for both sides. For Braunschweig, every point is critical from this point forward as they sit on the bottom of the table. They could find themselves off of the bottom of the table if certain things go their way. Dortmund could end up in sixth place if things went bad this weekend, and three points would go a long way to reestablishing their confidence after last week's disappointing draw with Augsburg.

The big match on Saturday is in Gelsenkirchen when Schalke hosts Wolfsburg. Die Königsblauen are coming off of a huge win over Hamburg to start the Rückrunde, while Die Wölfe put together one incredibly disappointing performance in their loss to Hannover. Schalke leapfrogged Wolfsburg in the table, and both are likely going to be in the race for a Champions League spot until the very end of the season.

It's kind of strange to say that the team in second place need a win, but Bayer Leverkusen really need a win when Stuttgart visits the Bay Arena on Saturday. They've now lost three league matches in a row, and the teams that they had a big advantage on are now creeping up on them. The real question heading into this match is if Stuttgart will be up for it after their midweek loss to Bayern, or if Thiago Alcantara's wondergoal will still have them reeling.

Bayern Munich will push for their 44th straight unbeaten match in the Bundesliga when they host Eintracht Frankfurt. Wednesday, in the match against Stuttgart, it looked like the Bavarians' unbeaten run was coming to an end, but with fifteen minutes remaining, they kicked things into gear. Two goals later, Bayern were celebrating a victory and looking to their next Bundesliga match.

Full Schedule

Friday, January 31

Eintracht Braunschweig vs Borussia Dortmund

Saturday, February 1

Hoffenheim vs Hamburg

Bayer Leverkusen vs Stuttgart

Schalke vs Wolfsburg

Augsburg vs Werder Bremen

Mainz vs Freiburg

Hannover vs Borussia Mönchengladbach

Sunday, February 2

Hertha Berlin vs Nürnberg

Bayern Munich vs Eintracht Frankfurt