Five things on offer in Bundesliga
BERLIN: Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig meet in a top-of-thetable clash, unrest rattles Borussia Dortmund while the battle to avoid relegation rages on.
Here are five things to look for in the Bundesliga today:
Hasenhuettl says his RB Leipzig have a score to settle at home to Bayern Munich.
Second-placed Leipzig were drubbed 3-0 in Munich last December and want revenge at the Red Bull Arena.
Both RB and 2016/17 Bundesliga winners Bayern have qualified for next season’s Champions League, but pride is at stake.
“There couldn’t be a better opponent to motivate us and to settle a score from the first match,” said Hasenhuettl.
“They will want to demonstrate their supremacy and will certainly be at their best.”
Leipzig hope to have defender Willi Orban fit after an ankle injury.
Bayern will field third-choice goalkeeper Tom Starke with Manuel Neuer (foot) and Sven Ulreich (elbow injured), while defender Javi Martinez is out with a fractured collarbone.
Dortmund are at Augsburg with speculation raging that head coach Thomas Tuchel may quit at the end of the season.
CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke has said their relationship is strained over the decision to play their Champions League quarter-final first-leg a day after a bomb attack on their team bus last month.
Tuchel, 43, complained after the 3-2 defeat by Monaco that he had not been involved in the decision “at all“, but Watzke has said that is not true.
“The rumours are spreading, but I’m not commenting on them at the moment, because I am concentrating with my team on the last few weeks,” said Tuchel, who has a contract until June 2018.
Third-placed Dortmund must beat Augsburg in their quest for a direct Champions League place as they are two points ahead of Hoffenheim.
teams are in the running for European places when Werder Bremen host Hoffenheim.
Fourth-placed Hoffenheim lag behind Dortmund in their hunt for a Champions League place.
Bremen, eighth, are just a point from a Europa League spot — an amazing turn around having been one place off the relegation places in mid March.
“We have achieved our big goal, anything else is just sensational,” said head coach Alexander Nouri, who is relieved to keep Bremen up.
Werder have dead-ball expert Zlatko Junuzovic and veteran striker Claudio Pizarro fit again after missing training on Wednesday.
narrowly avoiding the dreaded drop in 2014 and 2015, this is the third time in six years that Hamburg are battling relegation.
They are the only team in Germany’s top tier to have never been relegated from the Bundesliga.
“Despite the situation we have to trust ourselves and not just boot the ball upfield,” said Hamburg’s ex-Germany midfielder Aaron Hunt.
With two games left, the relegation fight will go to the wire.
Ingolstadt, who have 30 points, are 17th, an automatic relegation spot, and are four points behind Hamburg in 16th place, which carries a two-legged relegation play-off at the end of the season.
And Mainz, 15th, are level on 34 points with Hamburg, but out of the relegation places on goal difference.
coach Torsten Frings is demanding bottom-side Darmstadt go out with a bang when they host sixth-placed Hertha Berlin in their last Bundesliga home match before relegation.
Last weekend’s 1-0 defeat at Bayern confirmed Darmstadt’s drop.
Pal Dardai’s Berlin must beat Darmstadt to stay on course for a Europa League place, but Frings has other ideas.
“Of course, there will be sadness and it will be an emotional game, but like in the last few weeks, we will give it our all and give nothing away,” insisted the ex-Germany midfielder.
“We have already shown we can beat teams at that level,” he added after wins over Schalke, Hamburg and Freiburg in April
Leverkusen v Cologne, Schalke v Hamburg, Mainz v Frankfurt, Wolfsburg v M’gladbach, Augsburg v Dortmund, Bremen v Hoffenheim, Darmstadt v Berlin, Freiburg v Ingolstadt, Leipzig v Bayern.
Leipzig coach Ralph Hassenhuettl (third from left) and his players want to avenge their loss to Bayern Munich when they meet at the Red Bull Arena today.