Round 23 action
Eintracht Frankfurt’s 2-1 victory over Bayern Munich has breathed fresh life into the Bundesliga. Hans Dieter Flick’s side have come away with just one point from their last two matches, while RB Leipzig extended their winning streak to four - which means the gap at the top of the table has narrowed to just two points.
Frankfurt, having won their last five matches, now sit fourth - level with Wolfsburg, but just behind them by one goal difference - look increasingly likely to secure a Champions League spot, which would break an incredible 60-year absence from the top-flight of European football competition.
Things are suddenly shaping up for a superb end to the campaign, especially after Borussia Dortmund’s win last weekend kept them to within six points of the top four.
At the other end, once again Mainz 05 gained ground on their competitors with a 2-1 win at Borussia Monchengladbach; they have now won three of their last five games and are within one point of safety.
Here’s a look at three of the biggest games this weekend.
RB Leipzig v Borussia Monchengladbach
Monchengladbach are suffering a dreadful run of form at the moment, dropping from Champions League hopefuls to mid-table mediocrity after a four-game winless run. Their problems, which are largely around a very porous defence, have been compounded by the news that manager Marco Rose is set to leave at the end of the season to join Dortmund.
That has seen heads drop in the dressing room, and puts the team in a very weak position ahead of their trip to Leipzig this weekend. Julien Nagelsmann’s side seemingly won’t stop winning, and in their finely-tuned 3-4-2-1 formation there seems very little chance Monchengladbach will cope with the speed and fluidity of the hosts’ front line.
Bayern Munich v FC Koln
Another potential banana skin for Bayern, who are in danger of losing their tentative grip on the Bundesliga title. After failing to win each of their last two, Bayern are certainly not at their most confident, with the forwards in particular struggling to break down organised opposition defences. And although FC Koln sit mid-table, and have lost their last two matches, they are fairly well suited to nullifying stronger teams.
In the reverse fixture back in October, which Bayern won 2-1, Koln managed to reduce them to just six shots on goal despite conceding 63% possession. This is the template to follow, and it may well prove to be successful; they were unlucky last time, but could be luckier this time.
Mainz 05 v Augsburg
Mainz are in superb form, collecting 10 points from their last five games, including really tough wins against RB Leipzig and Borussia Monchengladbach, as well as grinding out results against the likes of Union Berlin and Bayer Leverkusen. They have shown good tactical flexibility, and with their tails up ought to be able to dispatch an Augsburg side without a win in four.
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