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What to watch out for on Bundesliga Matchday 29

One player will return after six weeks out, two sides battle it out for surprising European spots, and a derby between two relegation-threatened clubs. Matchday 29 is a busy one in the Bundesliga - except on Friday.

A special return

After the terrifying events midweek, Borussia Dortmund are to return to Bundesliga football on the weekend, welcoming Marco Reus back to action for the first time since he sustained his hamstring injury in their 6-2 win over Leverkusen at the start of March.

"Marco will start on Saturday and that will release a lot of energy," head coach Thomas Tuchel said in his prematch press conference on Thursday.

The 27-year-old's return in front of the home crowd against a side on a bad run of form has all the makings of the kind of Saturday BVB could really do with. Football will rightly remain somewhat of a secondary subject around the club while everyone continues to digest Tuesday night's events. With six games left (including Satruday's) and third-placed Hoffenheim just one point ahead, Tuchel knows what his side must do to reach the BVB chairman's stated minimum goal - third place and direct qualification for the Champions League. Saturday's match will provide a good opportunity to take another step along that path. 

European tiers

Barring a remarkable change in form, Hoffenheim will be playing Champions League football next season. It's a competition Borussia Mönchengladbach have tried to become regulars in of late but will likely miss out on this season. A Europa League spot though, remains on the radar as Dieter Hecking aims to end the club's 2017 turnaround on a high. Without Raffael, Fabian Johnson and Tony Jantschke, Gladbach are perhaps weaker than they'd like to be. After beating Bayern, Hoffenheim had the stuffing taken out of them in Hamburg. Defeat for Gladbach would put a serious dent in their Europa League hopes, while Julian Nagelsmann knows Dortmund want third. This one is definitely worth a watch.

A northern derby

The northern derby ended in a 2-2 draw in their first encounter of the season and 17 matchdays later, both Werder Bremen and Hamburg still find themselves in a relegation battle. Along with all the passion, fight and intensity that comes with a derby and a relegation batte, is the two team's sparkling form of late. Since the restart, Werder and HSV have collected the third and sixth-most points in the Bundesliga. Ten-goal-scorer Serge Gnabry is to return to action for Werder Bremen, but Thomas Delaney will be a notable absence.

"We have to work our backsides off for the win," Bremen striker Max Kruse said.

The outcome of this one will show who wants more than just bragging rights in the north.

Battle at the bottom

After Wolfsburg's defeat to Schalke, the relegation battle has become a far more sobering reality for the boys in green and white. This weekend they face Ingolstadt, a team who have collected 10 points from their last five games and have clawed their way back into survival contention from what had been a seemingly hopeless position but a few weeks ago.

"Every run of form comes to an end at some point," Wolfsburg head coach Andries Jonker said of Ingolstadt's recent resurgence.

Wolfsburg need to make sure that point is this weekend, otherwise the relegation battle will become more than something just looming over their shoulder.

Matchday 29

Saturday, April 15, 15:30 CET

Dortmund vs. Eintracht Frankfurt

Mainz vs. Hertha Berlin

Wolfsburg vs. Ingolstadt

Augsburg vs. Cologne

Hoffenheim vs. Gladbach

RB Leipzig vs. Freiburg

18:30

Leverkusen vs. Bayern Munich

Sunday, April 16, 15:30

Werder Bremen vs. Hamburg

17:30

Darmstadt vs. Schalke

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