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What to watch out for on Matchday 30 in the Bundesliga

It's all about the battle for Europe this weekend. Hoffenheim guaranteed Europa League last night while Schalke and Leverkusen are stranded. Dortmund look to continue their recovery but Darmstadt could be relegated.

The battle of the Borussias

After a turbulent two weeks for Borussia Dortmund which has featured an attack on their team bus and elimination from the Champions League, Thomas Tuchel's men now turn their attention to a busy domestic period. With a German Cup semi-final away at Bayern Munich looming on Wednesday, the Black and Yellows first make the short trip to Mönchengladbach.

Champions League AS Monaco vs Borussia Dortmund (REUTERS/Livepic/J. P. Pelissier)

Borussia Dortmund have endured a difficult two weeks

Dieter Hecking's "Foals" are closing in on the Europa League places and will be hoping to bounce back from last week's rollercoaster 5-3 defeat at Hoffenheim. Hecking won't change his approach though and believes his side's "best qualities are in attack." Forward Thorgan Hazard has a knee problem and is a doubt while defender Tony Jantschke, who signed a new deal with club on Thursday, will also miss out with a thigh injury.

Victory for Borussia Dortmund could guarantee a top-four finish, providing Hertha Berlin fail to win.

Schalke and Leverkusen stranded

Deutschland Bayer Leverkusen - Bayern München (picture alliance/dpa/F. Gambarini)

Nothing's going right for Bayer Leverkusen this season

Both Schalke and Leverkusen have fallen well short of expectations this season - at least domestically. Leverkusen coach Tayfun Korkut has only won one of his six Bundesliga games since taking over from Roger Schmidt in March and the Werkself are only four points clear of the relegation zone. Victory away at Freiburg, where defender Tin Jedvaj is suspended, is an absolute must if they are to have any chance of playing in Europe next season. 

Despite their Europa League campaign, Schalke have flattered to deceive in the Bundesliga. A 12-game unbeaten run before Christmas suggested that the new management duo of Christian Heidel and Markus Weinzierl was finally clicking but the Royal Blues have since slipped into mid-table mediocrity. Last week, they were beaten by bottom club Darmstadt. It doesn't get any easier with the visit of high-flying RB Leipzig on Sunday.

The relegation battle

Deutschland Hamburger SV v TSG 1899 Hoffenheim - Bundesliga (Getty Images/Bongarts/M. Rose)

HSV face a key run of games against their relegation rivals

Hamburg's home form has seen them negotiate a tricky period and it's now make or break for the Bundesliga dinosaurs. Four of their remaining five games are against direct relegation rivals, four six-pointers where Markus Gisdol will be hoping to secure survival for another year, beginning with the visit of Darmstadt on Saturday. Despite an upturn in form under Torsten Frings, the Lillies will drop into the second tier if they fail to win.

Elsewhere at the bottom, Mario Gomez and Wolfsburg face a tough trip to the capital (where Hertha have lost only twice all season) while second-bottom Ingolstadt host resurgent Werder Bremen.

Mainz showed they are ready for a relegation fight with a battling 1-0 win over Hertha last weekend and will be hoping to capitalize on a drop in moral in Munich following Bayern's mid-week Champions League exit.

Augsburg are looking for points at out-of-form Frankfurt - but two red cards in last week's 2-1 win over Cologne leave them without attackers Ja-Cheol Koo and Alfred Finnbogason. "If we've got no strikers, I'll go up front!" center-back Martin Hinteregger has offered, only half jokingly…


Bundesliga Matchday 30 in full:

Cologne 1-1 Hoffenheim (Friday 20:30 CET)

Hertha Berlin vs. VfL Wolfsburg (Saturday 15:30 CET)
Bayern Munich vs. Mainz 
Eintracht Frankfurt vs. Augsburg
Ingolstadt vs. Werder Bremen
Hamburg vs. Darmstadt 
Borussia Mönchengladbach vs. Borussia Dortmund (Saturday 18:30 CET)

Freiburg vs. Bayer Leverkusen (Sunday 15:30 CET)
Schalke vs. RB Leipzig (Sunday 17:30 CET)

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