With two rounds of fixtures remaining in the 2015/16 Bundesliga season, the battle to avoid relegation is a tightly-contested battle.
Hannover 96 have already been consigned to the drop, but with just four points separating FC Augsburg in 12th and VfB Stuttgart in 17th, it’s far from clear who will be joining the Reds in 2. Bundesliga next season and who will have to survive the relegation/promotion play-off.
Stuttgart currently sit in the second relegation position, and Jürgen Kramny’s side have hit a rough patch of form at the worst possible time – they have claimed just two points from their last seven matches, and seem to be in freefall.
Stuttgart welcome Mainz 05 to the Mercedes-Benz Arena this weekend before rounding off their campaign with a trip to VfL Wolfsburg. It’s a testing run of fixtures, with Mainz eyeing a spot in Europe, while Wolfsburg will be looking to end a disappointing league campaign on a high.
It’s goal difference that separates Stuttgart and Eintracht Frankfurt in 16th spot. A 2-1 win over fellow relegation candidates SV Darmstadt 98 last time out – a result which ended a run of four consecutive defeats – lifted Niko Kovac’s side out of the relegation places, but with a testing visit from Borussia Dortmund next on the agenda, their respite may only be temporary. In a cracking final day fixtures, Frankfurt face SV Werder Bremen in a match that could well decide who stays up and who goes down.
Bremen are just a point clear of Frankfurt, with a 6-2 hammering of VfB Stuttgart last week seeing Viktor Skrypnyk’s men move clear of the drop zone after three weeks in the red. Prior to their meeting with Frankfurt, Bremen will need to navigate their way past 1. FC Köln who saw their hopes of a spot in Europe all but ended by a goalless draw with Augsburg.
After grabbing seven points from their opening three fixtures in April, it appeared that SV Darmstadt 98 were set to steer clear of relegation. However, back-to-back defeats to FC Köln and relegation rivals Frankfurt have seen the Lilies fall to just two points off the relegation places.
TSG 1899 Hoffenheim are heading in the opposite direction, with four wins in their last six games propelling Julian Nagelsmann’s side climb to 13th in the standings on 37 points. Nagelsmann has worked wonders at the Wirsol Rhein-Neckar-Arena since replacing Huub Stevens in February, with Hoffenheim having looked destined for relegation after languishing in the bottom two sine mid-October.
It would take quite a turnaround for Hoffenheim to be relegated now, and they same can be said for Augsburg who have also found form when it mattered most. Prior to a 0-0 draw with Mainz last time out, Fuggerstädter won three on the trot, a run which has vaulted them to 12th, with four points between themselves and Frankfurt in the relegation play-off spot.
Bayern may wrap up the title on Saturday, but the relegation battle is set to go down to the wire.