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Bundesliga final day preview
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What’s at stake on the final day of Bundesliga 2019-20?

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There are precious few things to play for on the final day of the Bundesliga season, though places in the Champions League and the relegation playoff are still available.

[ RELATED: Liverpool win title – everything to know ]

Bayern’s finishing first and Dortmund second, there won’t be a gate crasher to the Europa League, Robert Lewandowski will claim another Golden Boot unless he’s held scoreless and impending-Chelsea man Timo Werner scores eight, and no one can move from relegated to safe on the final day.

As for Americans abroad, one is guaranteed to be relegated, one will go to the relegation playoff, and another is either headed for the Europa League group stage of the qualifying rounds.

Champions League places

Bayern Munich is going back to the UCL as Bundesliga champions, where it will be joined by Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig unless the latter suffers a historic blowout loss and sees a rival score a historic blowout win.

That leaves one more spot (unless Bayern wins the UCL or Bayer Leverkusen wins the UEL).

Borussia Monchengladbach’s 62 points and superior goal differential have it in the catbird seat ahead of a visit from much-improved Hertha Berlin. Bayer shouldn’t have an issue with in-form but likely sated Mainz, but its 60 points means it likely needs a Gladbach loss.

Europa League places

This is pretty much settled aside from the team that finishes fifth, though there is some drama. Bayer or Gladbach will go to the UEL group stage.

One of either Wolfsburg or Hoffenheim will go to group stage and the other to the qualifying rounds. Both have 49 points and both face clinched but powerful sides. Wolfsburg hosts Bayern Munich while Hoffenheim travels to Dortmund.

Wolfsburg has a 10-goal pad in the goal differential tiebreaker.

Eighth place could be a UEL spot if Bayer wins the Europa League or Bayern wins the UCL, making fifth a UCL position.

If that happens, Freiburg (45 points, minus-3 goal differential) or Eintracht Frankfurt (42 points, minus-2 goal differential) is in luck. Freiburg hosts Schalke while Eintracht entertains Paderborn.

Relegation

Paderborn is going down. The only suspense is whether Fortuna Dusseldorf or Werder Bremen will go to 2.Bundesliga or have to meet the third-place team from the second-tier in the promotion/relegation playoff.

Fortuna has 30 points to Bremen’s 28, but is away to Union Berlin while Bremen is home to Koln. Bremen has not been relegated in nearly 40 years.

Who is coming up from 2.Bundesliga?

Arminia Bielefeld has run away with the league to return to the Bundesliga for the first time since being relegated after the 2008-09 season.

Stuttgart, relegated after 2016-17, is well-positioned to join them with a 3-point lead on third-place Heidenheim and a healthy advantage in goal differential.

Heidenheim is in third by a point over faltering Hamburg. The final day is far kinder to the fourth-place side, who boasts an eight-goal advantage in goal differential and hosts 12th-place Sandhausen. Heidenheim is away to Arminia. The hosts might’ve won the league but they aren’t a pushover.

Heidenheim is 173 years old and has never been in the top flight, while Hamburg had not been in the second-tier until 2018-19.

Americans Abroad

One USMNT player, Alfredo Morales (Fortuna) or Josh Sargent (Bremen), will be automatically relegated after Saturday’s matches.

John Brooks (Wolfsburg) will either go to the Europa League group stage or qualifying rounds.

Bundesliga wrap: Reyna assists as Dortmund clinches 2nd; Richards debuts

Reyna assist video
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The Bundesliga’s top four picture is a lot clearer on a day that Americans danced through many of the matches on the penultimate match day of the season.

[ MORE: Brighton-Arsenal recapSpurs-Man Utd recap ]

USMNT teen prospect Giovanni Reyna made his first start and got his first assist, 20-year-old Chris Richards saw his first Bayern Munich league minutes, and several other American mainstays logged minutes across Germany.

RB Leipzig 0-2 Borussia Dortmund

Giovanni Reyna’s first Bundesliga start was a good one, the 17-year-old American setting up Erling Haaland for the first of 2 goals that sealed BVB’s second-place standing this season.

Haaland’s second goal came off a Julian Brandt feed, as Dortmund’s team is loaded with youth even with Jadon Sancho seemingly set for a summer sale. Haaland had no mercy on his former Red Bull family and now has 13 Bundesliga goals in 14 appearances since arriving from Salzburg in January.

Leipzig will finish top four with a point at Augsburg next week or dropped points from Borussia Monchengladbach or Bayer Leverkusen.

Reyna went 81 minutes, completing 86 percent of his passes including his only long ball. He converted four of five dribbles, won 10 of 17 duels, drew three fouls, and was credited with three tackles (SofaScore).

American midfielder Tyler Adams was a halftime sub for Leipzig, entering with the score 1-0. He won 2-of-3 duels, connected on 3-of-4 distance passes, made two interceptions and two tackles.

Supreme calmness and smarts on the assist, as Reyna darts into the box and knows where to find Haaland with his first touch.

Paderborn 1-3 Borussia Monchengladbach

Gladbach continues to control its top four destiny following a straight-forward win over already-relegated Paderborn, who took a red card with less than a half hour to play.

The visitors led 2-1 at that point on goals from Patrick Herrmann and Lars Stindl, the latter adding another on a Ramy Bensebaini assist with 17 minutes remaining on the clock.

Hertha Berlin 2-0 Bayer Leverkusen

Dodi Lukebakio had a goal and an assist as Bruno Labbadia’s Hertha continued its fine post-pause play and limited Bayer’s top four hopes to just that with one week to play.

Bayern Munich 3-1 Freiburg

The champions indoctrinated some new blood after building a 3-1 halftime lead on two goals and an assist from Robert Lewandowski.

American center back Chris Richards, 20, made his Bundesliga debut in the 84th minute of the win, completing all four of his passes and losing his only duel. Ex-Southampton and Chelsea man Jamal Musiala, 17, also made his Bundesliga debut.

Joshua Kimmich scored Bayern’s other goal.

Here’s what Richards told CBS’ Roger Gonzalez after the game:

“I was very excited when I heard my name to come over to the bench. Once I got the instructions from the coach then the nerves started to kick in, but after my first action I felt right at home.”

 

Hoffenheim 4-0 Union Berlin

Four different players scored as Hoffenheim clinched a place in the Europa League. Union is guaranteed a bottom-half finish but won’t care: There will be a second season in the top flight.

Mainz 3-1 Werder Bremen

Bremen now needs help from Union Berlin to avoid its first season in the second tier since 1980 after three different Mainz players scored to key a 3-1 win.

In-form Davy Klaassen set up Bremen’s lone goal from Yuya Osako, and American forward Josh Sargent’s good day up top wasn’t enough to produce a result. Sargent took two shots, completed two of three dribbles, and won five of nine duels as center forward.

Fortuna Dusseldorf 1-1 Augsburg

Fortuna’s point coupled with Werder Bremen’s loss means the hosts need to match or better Bremen’s final week result to avoid automatic relegation and contest the playoff against 2.Bundesliga’s third-place finisher. USMNT midfielder Alfredo Morales was an unused sub in the draw, and Rouwen Hennings was again Fortuna’s scorer.

Schalke 1-4 Wolfsburg

Wolfsburg is headed back to the Europa League after clobbering woeful Schalke. Wout Weghorst scored two more goals to pace the visitors.

USMNT center back John Brooks made his 12th-straight start in the win, helping to limit Schalke to zero big chances (SofaScore). International teammate Weston McKennie went 90 minutes in the loss, picking up a yellow card, a blocked shot, an interception, and two tackles. He won 10 of 20 duels, drew two fouls, and fouled three times himself.

Koln 1-1 Eintracht Frankfurt

Eintracht had the better of play but needed a 72nd-minute Bas Dost goal to take a point after Florina Kainz gave the hosts a lead before halftime. Neither team is going to Europe nor the second tier.

STANDINGS

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Bayern Munich 33 25 4 4 96 32 64 13-2-2 12-2-2 79
 Borussia Dortmund 33 21 6 6 84 37 47 11-3-2 10-3-4 69
 RB Leipzig 33 17 12 4 79 36 43 7-8-2 10-4-2 63
 Mönchengladbach 33 19 5 9 64 39 25 11-2-3 8-3-6 62
 Bayer Leverkusen 33 18 6 9 60 44 16 8-4-4 10-2-5 60
 VfL Wolfsburg 33 13 10 10 48 42 6 4-7-5 9-3-5 49
 1899 Hoffenheim 33 14 7 12 49 53 -4 7-1-9 7-6-3 49
 SC Freiburg 33 12 9 12 44 47 -3 8-2-6 4-7-6 45
 Eintracht Frankfurt 33 12 6 15 56 58 -2 7-4-5 5-2-10 42
 Hertha BSC Berlin 33 11 8 14 47 57 -10 6-3-8 5-5-6 41
 FC Schalke 04 33 9 12 12 38 54 -16 5-7-5 4-5-7 39
 1. FC Union Berlin 33 11 5 17 38 58 -20 7-3-6 4-2-11 38
 FSV Mainz 05 33 11 4 18 44 64 -20 5-2-10 6-2-8 37
 1. FC Köln 33 10 6 17 50 63 -13 6-4-7 4-2-10 36
 FC Augsburg 33 9 9 15 44 61 -17 5-5-6 4-4-9 36
 Fortuna Düsseldorf 33 6 12 15 36 64 -28 4-6-7 2-6-8 30
 Werder Bremen 33 7 7 19 36 68 -32 1-3-12 6-4-7 28
 SC Paderborn 33 4 8 21 35 71 -36 2-2-13 2-6-8 20

Weghorst heads Wolfsburg past Bremen (video)

Werder Bremen v. Wolfsburg recap and video
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Wolfsburg got a late goal from Wout Weghorst to send hosts Werder Bremen closer to a first relegation in almost four decades following a 1-0 match at the Weserstadion on Sunday.

Sixth-place Wolfsburg insured its Europa League hopes with the win, now two points ahead of Hoffenheim and four clear of Freiburg.

Bremen is deeper into relegation danger and no longer controls its own destiny. The hosts are six points back of safety and three points behind the playoff spot.

[ LIVE: Bundesliga scores, stats ]

Wolfsburg’s goal came after an under-hit pass was picked off by ex-Newcastle man Kevin Mbabu, who has been fantastic this season.

Mbabu dribbled into the final third and laid off for Felix Klaus, whose cross was nodded home by Weghorst for the 27-year-old Dutchman’s 16th goal in all competitions this season.

Americans Abroad

Josh Sargent had a hard time with Wolfsburg’s John Brooks(and the American’s strong counterpart Marin Pongracic). The Bremen center forward played 76 minutes and had a shot blocked while completing his only dribble. Sargent was again very busy and charged into 14 duels, winning six. He fouled three times, was fouled four times, and picked up a yellow card.

Brooks was pretty good, with three interceptions, two tackles, a blocked shot, and two clearances. He won seven of 13 duels and completed six of 13 long balls as part of 72 percent passing.

Bundesliga: Schalke lose again; big wins for Bremen, Hertha, Frankfurt

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The four Bundesliga games early Saturday were tight, tense encounters as the battle for Europe and against relegation continues to take twists and turns with some intriguing results.

One thing we know by now in the Bundesliga: away teams are on fire, with just six home wins from 32 games after the 2019-20 season restart.

[ MORE: Bundesliga scores, stats

There were huge wins for Werder Bremen and Eintracht Frankfurt towards the bottom of the table, while Hoffenheim and Hertha Berlin continued their fine form with wins to boost their European hopes as the Bundesliga results continue to be hard to predict.

As for Schalke, well, David Wagner is overseeing a huge slump for the Bundesliga giants as they’re now in 10th place after spending the first half of the season around the top four.

Below we take a look at the action across the four Bundesliga games on Saturday and break down the results.


Schalke 0-1 Werder Bremen

An absolutely massive win on the road for Bremen as they breathed new life into their battle against relegation with seven points from the last nine available. As for Schalke, that is now 11 games without a win for David Wagner’s side and they have now lost all four of their games since the league restarted. USMNT midfielder Weston McKennie was subbed off after picking up a yellow card in a typically combative display, while fellow American Josh Sargent was also subbed off for Bremen after putting in a shift up front.

Leonardo Bittencourt’s sublime goal was enough to seal all three points for Bremen as they started well then battled hard in the second half to keep hold of their advantage. Bremen have now dragged Fortuna Dusseldorf, Mainz and a host of other clubs into the relegation battle and they have plenty of momentum heading into the final five games of the season.

Wolfsburg 1-2 Eintracht Frankfurt

In another game which saw USMNT players go head-to-head, Timmy Chandler’s Eintracht Frankfurt won on the road at John Brooks’ Wolfsburg to ease any relegation fears they had. Chandler and Brooks both started and after Frankfurt took the lead via Adrien Silva’s penalty kick, sixth-place Wolfsburg equalize through Kevin Mbau. Frankfurt won it late on as Daichi Kamada scored with five minutes to go to give the Eagles their first victory since the restart. Check out the highlights from the game below.


Hertha Berlin 2-0 Augsburg

Hertha Berlin have been on fire since the restart with three wins and a draw in their four games. Javairo Dilrosun set them on their way against Augsburg and substitute Krzysztof Piatek scored for the second-straight game to seal the win in stoppage time. Hertha are now in ninth place, just four points off sixth-place Wolfsburg and the Berliners are well in the hunt for Europa League qualification. What a job Bruno Labbadia is doing. As for Augsburg, they are looking over their shoulders at the relegation situation as Werder Bremen and Fortuna Dusseldorf keep winning.

Mainz 0-1 Hoffenheim

Hoffenheim are rolling too as they sit in seventh place on 42 points, only behind sixth-place Wolfsburg on goal difference. Ihias Bebou scored just before half time as they won away at Mainz to make it two wins on the spin and they are now unbeaten in three. Mainz are now in real relegation trouble after picking up just one point from their four games so far. Hoffenheim have three relegation candidates plus Dortmund and Leipzig left to play this season, so they may have the upper hand in the race for sixth with Wolfsburg, who have a tougher schedule on paper.

Bundesliga Week 29 predictions, preview, schedule

Bundesliga Week 29 predictions
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The Bundesliga title is all but Bayern Munich’s following a midweek which saw the Bavarians beat Borussia Dortmund and all other chasers drop points, but the fight for Champions League places remains fierce.

[ MORE: Key issues ahead of Premier League restart ]

Dortmund now must turn its attention from a title fight that isn’t quite over to holding and building upon its four-point advantage on fifth.

RB Leipzig and Borussia Monchengladbach sit third and fourth, the latter ahead of Bayer Leverkusen on just two goals of differential.

[ BUNDESLIGA: Week 28 takeaways, Team of the Week ]

So, yes, there will be plenty of drama moving forward. And we’ll start this week’s preview and predictions with a Friday match-up of two teams who took a step out of the catbird seat at midweek and will hope to firm up European plans with a win in Freiburg.

Friday

Freiburg v. Bayer Leverkusen: The scrappy hosts tossed away a 2-goal lead in drawing Eintracht, while Bayer saw its red-hot form cooled off with an exclamation point in a 4-1 loss to Wolfsburg. Freiburg’s now four points out of sixth and Bayer’s outside the top four on goal difference. That said, Kai Havertz’s Bayer has weapons for days and the creativity to get through the compact, physical Freiburg formation. Will the trip down south hamper them? 2-0 Bayer.

Kai Havertz
Kai Havertz (Photo by Jörg Schüler/Getty Images)

Saturday

Hertha Berlin v. Augsburg: Bruno Labbadia has Hertha playing as well as it has since the brief bump the club saw under Jurgen Klinsmann in December. The draw against RB Leipzig is enough to think that they’ll be able to keep it up against a game but undermanned Augsburg. 2-1 Hertha.

Mainz v. Hoffenheim: Led by Christoph Baumgartner’s Player of the Week performance, Hoffenheim finally looked itself at midweek. Mainz has a chance to move clear of the bottom three with a win, as the trio below them all face traditional powers. It’s not a long trip for the visitors, who should really come away with a win. Mainz’s defending is poor. Hoffenheim 2-0 is more an indicator of not being able to rely on the visitors’ consistency.

Schalke v. Werder Bremen: If you’d only watched the Bundesliga since the restart, you’d think these sides would be flipped in the table. Bremen has ground out results and has hope of avoiding its first relegation in 40 years, while ninth-place Schalke has looked like, frankly, one of the worst teams in the league. Winless in 10 with just three goals — two from USMNT mid Weston McKennie — there’s no guarantee David Wagner’s men show up with any vigor and that’s a problem. Bremen still isn’t a potent attack, though, so this one has 0-0 written all over it. We’ll aim for positivity and desperation: a 1-1 draw.

Wolfsburg v. Eintracht Frankfurt: Eintracht would love a match against a bottom-half side given its four-match winless streak, which has included only top eight sides. Enter sixth-place Wolfsburg, who looked dynamite in blowing out in-form Bayer. It’s been difficult to break down the defense of Wolfsburg, who hasn’t lost since the calendar turned to February. That doesn’t change Saturday, as Wolfsburg wins 1-0.

Bayern Munich v. Fortuna Dusseldorf: Sixteenth-place Fortuna kicks off a four-match run against top four contenders with the need for a surprise or two along the way to the two winnable fixtures at the end of the season. Bayern has pretty much quit losing under Hansi Flick, and its 15-match losing streak isn’t going to end here. Robert Lewandowski didn’t score in a league match for just the sixth time this season in Tuesday’s Der Klassiker win. Figure that changes at home. Bayern 3-1.

Bundesliga team of the week
Robert Lewandowski (Photo by Federico Gambarini/Pool via Getty Images)

Sunday

Borussia Monchengladbach v. Union Berlin: Union heads across the country to meet a Gladbach side who’s disappointed in consecutive matches. It would be surprising if that extended into a third match, especially with second place a realistic goal and so many talented attackers including Marcus Thuram and Alassane Plea. Given a terrible performance versus Bremen, they wake up. Gladbach 2-0.

Paderborn v. Borussia Dortmund: Paderborn has been playing well for a last-place side, and Dortmund might be reeling a bit after performing well enough to get a result from Bayern but losing on a Joshua Kimmich wondergoal and wondering what would’ve been if VAR reviewed an apparent Jerome Boateng handball in the box. Still, there’s too much talent here even at a desperate host. In a non-coronavirus world the home crowd changes our opinion a little on the score line. Dortmund 4-0.

Monday

Koln v. RB Leipzig: Alright, so anything could happen here, really. Leipzig is unbeaten in nine since a Feb. 1 draw with Gladbach, but only three wins have kept them from embracing their place in the title fight. Now out of the picture, they meet a Koln who was the worst team in the league for four months, then the hottest for three, and is now winless in four. In the end, the Dayot Upamecano-led Leipzig back line is too strong and will be enough. Leipzig 3-0.