So, the final weekend of the Covid-19 interrupted Bundesliga season is upon us. Bayern Munich have already been crowned champions while Paderborn are already relegated. There are however several questions still to be answered during the final round of matches this season. So here goes…
Can Werder Bremen achieve the Great Escape?
This is it- one game to save their season and prevent a first relegation from the Bundesliga since 1980. Will the Grün-Weißen be able to engineer the ‘Great Escape’ and give themselves at least a chance of staying in the Bundesliga via the play-off? We’re not talking Steve McQueen jumping over a barbed wire fence on a stolen motorcycle, we’re talking beating Köln and then praying to high heaven that Union Berlin can beat Fortuna Düsseldorf.
Fortuna have the advantage of a two-point lead going into the final game, but as long as there is a chance, Werder have to keep believing. Belief is one thing, but an actual performance on the pitch is what is required meaning that the likes of Davy Klassen, Maxi Eggestein, Jiri Pavlenka are going to have to step up and lead the way.
The Werder ship is sinking, but there is one last life raft.
Will Gladbach or Leverkusen secure the Champions League golden ticket?
We are not talking a Willy Wonka-style ticket to tour the chocolate factory, but a qualifying ticket for next season’s Champions League worth millions of Euros. The final weekend of the season sees both Borussia Mönchengladbach and Bayer Leverkusen in with a chance of finishing fourth and securing the much sought-after place in next year’s premier continental competition.
Gladbach go into their home game with Hertha Berlin with a two-point advantage over Leverkusen putting them firmly in charge of their own destiny. The Werkself take on Mainz at the Bay Arena knowing only a win will do, but even that might prove insufficient.
Speaking at his Thursday press conference Fohlen trainer Marco Rose said that the club wanted to determine their own future. “So far it’s been just like every other week. We have a long season behind us and don’t need to work on building up fitness anymore. Instead, it’s about making sure the players are as well-prepared as they could possibly be.
“We know what we need to do and that our fate is in our hands. The requirements are clear. On Saturday at 15:30 we will find out what path we’ll go down, but we want to determine this direction ourselves.”
Will Lewandowski and Müller go out with a bang?
Both Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Müller have enjoyed season bests in the goals and assists charts, but this weekend against VfL Wolfsburg they will get the chance to further embellish their records. The Polish striker has all-but secured the Torschutzenkanone ahead of Timo Werner but can add to his already hugely impressive league tally of 33 league goals (48 in all competitions).
If he scores against die Wölfe it will mean he has scored at least one goal against every Bundesliga side this season, except for Gladbach. Thomas Müller, who made his 350th Bundesliga appearance against Freiburg last week has 20 assists to his name this season and will want to add to that huge tally.
Bayern have scored 96 goals so far this season and would dearly love to reach the 100 mark. Both Lewandowski and Müller could have a major role to play in achieving that target.
Could it get any worse for Schalke?
The Rückrunde has been a disaster, the club have set a new winless record of 15 matches, the fans are voicing their disconcert at the club and are planning a demonstration at the club headquarters at the weekend. Things look pretty grim for the Königsblauen right now.
With a defeat at Freiburg and results elsewhere not going in their favour, David Wagner’s side face the prospect of dropping down from 11th place and finishing as low as 15th by the close of play on Saturday.
“It would do us all a lot of good to take a positive result into the summer break” Wagner said on Thursday at his press conference. “The only thing we can do is focus on Freiburg, look at their strengths and their game and find ways to play against it and be successful.”
How do you fancy €2.4 million for three points?
That is the question facing Eintracht Frankfurt and Hertha Berlin players this weekend as they play their final matches against Paderborn and Mönchengladbach, respectively. With the Eagles in 7th place in the TV rankings table, it is possible that they could be overtaken by Bruno Labbadia’s side this weekend.
Talk of having nothing to play for in the final match of the season is not an issue with Eintracht and Hertha both looking to secure a pretty hefty cash windfall.