Round 29 action
The Bundesliga title race may not be over after all. RB Leizig have reduced the gap to Bayern Munich to five points again after their 4-1 win at Werder Bremen and Bayern Munich’s surprise 1-1 draw with Union Berlin. But with only six rounds left there is little time for Leipzig to complete a dramatic comeback and pip Bayern to the title.
But Paris Saint-Germain’s Champions League win midweek throws a further spanner into Bayern’s works. Both legs against Mauricio Pochettino’s side exposed the defensive frailties that have hovered throughout their season, and the disappointment now affecting the camp could mean further dropped points this weekend.
Further down the table, Mainz 05 won at FC Koln to all but seal their escape from relegation; a run of 10 points collected from their last four games has saved their season.
Here are three previews ahead of the weekend games.
RB Leipzig v Hoffenheim
Julian Nagelsman’s side kick off the weekend on Friday night, giving them an opportunity to move within two points of Bayern. They simply have to take it, especially given Hoffenheim have won a meagre one point from their last four matches. The visitors are in a rotten spell of form as their season unravels, taking the club from the prospect of a top ten finish to somewhere near the bottom.
What’s more, they have the fourth worst away record in the Bundesliga, while Leipzig’s four-goal haul last time out could be the catalyst for a strong end to the season. Prior to that win they had looked profligate in front of goal, but now Leipzig can expect a powerful finish.
Wolfsburg v Bayern Munich
This may be one of the hardest games of the season for the league leaders, and the timing could hardly be worse following their elimination from the Champions League. Wolfsburg are third in the table and surging - but more significantly, are still unbeaten at home, winning nine and drawing four of their 13 fixtures to date.
Clearly Bayern have been derailed by the loss of Robert Lewandowski to injury, because while Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting has played well, they've only managed to score five times in their last four matches across all competitions. This inability to convert chances without their No.9 further suggests that Wolfsburg will hold on to their unbeaten record, standing firm against a Bayern onslaught.
Mainz 05 v Hertha Berlin
Separated by just two points near the bottom of the table, a defeat for either side would plunge them back into trouble. Mainz are clear favourites after winning three of their last four matches, and yet Hertha’s 3-0 win over Bayer Leverkusen has triggered their own small unbeaten run.
Two teams playing with confidence, and happy to take a point to extend their unbeaten run will most likely see this game drift towards a draw.