Bundesliga Matchday 25: Four talking points

Richard Hazeldine Richard Hazeldine

The battle at the bottom of the Bundesliga continues to heat up as Hamburger SV attempt to avoid a first-ever relegation, while at the top the gap just keeps on growing.

FOX Sports Asia takes a look at the major talking points from Matchday 25 in Germany.

Stuttgart heading to Europe?
The remarkable run of results for VfB Stuttgart continued at the weekend as Tayfun Korkut’s men recorded a fourth successive Bundesliga win with a 3-2 success over bottom-club FC Koln. From looking like relegation candidates just over a month ago, the Swabians now lie just two points off the final Europa League place. A remarkable turnaround considering up until Sunday they had not scored more than one goal in a game since Korkut took over at the end of January.

That changed on Sunday as club legend Mario Gomez hit the back of the net twice (the second thanks to a howler from Koln keeper Timo Horn) with Andreas Beck adding a third. The question now is that with their survival all but secure, can Korkut inspire the Reds onto greater things and help them secure a place on the continent? Should he do so it would be one of the stories of the Bundesliga season.

Muller back to his best
If anyone has benefited from the return of Jupp Heynckes to Bayern Munich it would be Thomas Muller. The Munich stalwart suffered under Carlo Ancelotti, struggling to fit into the Italian’s formations while the goals dried up. Muller even publicly questioning his worth to the coach last year amid rumours he could leave the club. Fast forward six months and Muller is back to his bamboozling best, the captain leading the Bayern line at the weekend in devastating fashion as they ripped Freiburg apart in a convincing 4-0 win.

The return of the coach who arguably made Muller into the player he is has reinvigorated the German forward. With six goals and two assists in his last 10 games this can only be good news for Bayern and Germany this summer, although it’s not good news for the rest of the Bundesliga.

Muller makes immediate Mainz impact
If FSV Mainz manage to stay up this season, then they may have to thank 20-year-old Florian Muller. The rookie goalkeeper was sensational on his first-team debut on Saturday, earning the strugglers an arguably undeserved point in a relegation six-pointer at Hamburger SV. Muller made a string of fine saves to keep the Red Shorts at bay, while saving his best for the second half when he stopped a penalty from Filip Kostic to deny Hamburg a first win under coach Bernd Hollerbach. The result means Mainz remain seven points above their rivals in the survival battle with just nine games to go. First choice keepers Rene Adler and Robin Zentner had better watch out!

Reus to Russia?
The call is growing for Borussia Dortmund star Marco Reus to be included in Germany’s World Cup squad for Russia this summer and if he continues in his current form then it makes perfect sense. The 28-year old bagged his third goal in three games in Dortmund’s draw with RB Leipzig at the weekend with a classy finish that earned his side a valuable draw. The talented Reus faces stiff competition from the likes of Manchester City’s Leroy Sane and Julian Draxler of PSG for a place in Joachim Low’s team, but his pedigree cannot be questioned.

In fact, the only thing probably standing between Reus and a World Cup appearance is Reus himself, and whether he can stay fit. The injury-prone star has missed the last three major tournament with a variety of unfortunate injuries, but a fit Reus can be a game changer for Low. Germany and Reus will be hoping that history doesn’t repeat itself.