Bundesliga: Who needs what on the last day? | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 10.05.2018
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Bundesliga: Who needs what on the last day?

With the last day of the Bundesliga season fast approaching, more than half of the league still has something to play for. From the Champions League to relegation, DW takes a look at the Matchday 34 permutations.

Once again, this season, the Bundesliga's title race quickly became a procession, though Bayern Munich's eventual stroll to their sixth in a row did get off to a false start, forcing the club to replace Carlo Ancelotti with Jupp Heynckes.

But further down, Germany's top flight has been much more competitive. Schalke have secured one of the country's four Champions League spots, leaving two more up for grabs on the final day while at the bottom, Cologne's horrific start to the season cost them their Bundesliga status. But there's a three-way dogfight to avoid joining them. Here's what you need to know ahead of Matchday 34, when all the games will be played on Saturday.

Champions League

It's two from four in the race to join Bayern and Schalke. All eyes will first turn to Sinsheim, where Hoffenheim (fourth with 52 points, a goal difference of 16) host Borussia Dortmund (third, 55, 19). The hosts have surged up the table in recent weeks but slipped up last weekend, falling 2-0 to a Mario Gomez-inspired Stuttgart. If either side wins, they're guaranteed a place in the Champions League but a draw would be good enough for Dortmund.

Whether a point would be enough for Julian Nagelsmann's side depends on how Bayer Leverkusen (5th, 52, 13) fare. The Werkself host Hannover, one of a small clutch of lower mid-table teams with nothing to play for. Should they win and Hoffenheim win, goal difference will prove decisive.

So, Heiko Herrlich's men will be hoping for a Dortmund win. In that eventuality, Leverkusen require just a point. But a Hoffenheim win would likely prove fatal, whatever Leverkusen do, with a goal difference swing of four required in that case.

Last season's runners up, RB Leipzig (6th, 50, 0) are a long shot to clinch a second season of Champions League football and need to beat Hertha Berlin in the capital and hope Leverkusen and Hoffenheim both lose. Eintracht Frankfurt's possiblities are only mathematical. A win for them and losses for Leverkusen, Leipzig and Hoffenheim would be enough in terms of points but they'd need a double-digit swing in goal difference.

DFB-Pokal Halbfinale | FC Schalke 04 - Eintracht Frankfurt | Niko Kovac (Getty Images/Bongarts/A. Grimm)

Niko Kovac's team have two chances to qualify for the Europa League

Europa League

Frankfurt will have two shots at Europa League qualification, the first away to Schalke this Saturday and the second against Bayern Munich in the German Cup final. If they win on Saturday they will finish at least 7th, which will qualify them even if they lose the May 19 final because if Bayern win the showpiece, 7th will be good enough for the Europa League.

A loss for them, or for Leipzig, opens the door for Stuttgart (8th, 48 -3) and Borussia Mönchengladbach (9th, 47, -4).Both sides need to win, away at Hamburg and Bayern Munich respectively and hope Leipzig and Frankfurt slip up - twice in the latter case.  

Relegation

For Freiburg (14th, 33, -26), things are simple. Christian Streich's men need just a point from their home clash with Augsburg to be absolutely certain of extending their stay in the top flight. Even if they lose, only an 11-goal swing to Wolfsburg's (16th, 30, -15) advantage could send them into the relegation playoff with Holsten Kiel. Given that the Wolves have only scored more than once in a game in 2018, this seems unlikely.

Bruno Labaddia's side will contest a second succesive relegation play off with a win and, almost certainly, with a draw too. They host Cologne. But their result will be academic unless Hamburg (17th, 28, -17) can give themselves a chance with a home win over Gladbach. If they don't, the only club to compete in every Bundesliga season will find themselves in the second tier for the first time.  

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