Bundesliga: What to watch out for on Matchday 27 | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 03.04.2017
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Bundesliga

Bundesliga: What to watch out for on Matchday 27

The heat has been turned up on the teams at the bottom end of the Bundesliga but some are coping much better than others, including Leverkusen and Ingolstadt. Here's what to look out for midweek.

Deutschland Bayer Leverkusen - VfL Wolfsburg | Kai Havertz (picture alliance/dpa/R. Vennenbernd)

Kai Havertz is the youngest scorer for Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga

The pressure cooker heating up further  for Leverkusen

Different manager, same team. Bayer Leverkusen's 3-3 draw with Wolfsburg followed a script all-too-familiar to most regular Bundesliga onlookers. Despite leading 2-0 with 10 minutes left, Tayfun Korkut's side gave up three goals in seven minutes and were eventually forced to save the day late on through teenager Kai Havertz.

The decision to sack Roger Schmidt last month hasn't had much of an effect on Leverkusen. No other team in the Bundesliga has a record as poor as them over the last five games. Relegation would be an extraordinary twist in the Bundesliga story this season, but the players should be warned: there are still eight games to go and only three points seperate them from Augsburg in the relegation playoff - they are far from safe.

Darmstadt, all but relegated at the bottom, won't be a pushover for Leverkusen on Wednesday night but it's a game that a team who made the last 16 of the Champions League should win. Korkut fielded Leverkusen's oldest starting line up for 10 years at the weekend, but they didn't make their experience count - he now badly needs his more senior players, like Chicharito and Omer Toprak, to step up to the mark. If they don't, the season could be memorable for all the wrong reasons.

Ingolstadt's hopes very much alive

With a 2-1 win over Mainz at the weekend, Maik Walpurgis' Ingolstadt gave themselves a lifeline in the battle for survival. But if they don't beat Augsburg, the team immediately above them, on Wednesday, it could all be for nothing. So often this season, the Bavarians have been on the harsh end of refereeing decisions at crucial times, but they still have hope. The way they responded to going behind to Levin Öztunali's highly-questionable set piece on Sunday shows there is still spirit in this side.

A primary reason for that is Walpurgis, who has turned things around enormously at the Audi Sportpark since he succeeded Markus Kauszczinski in November. However, the real challenges begin now for Ingolstadt. Wednesday's clash with Augsburg comes before a home game with Darmstadt, who are stranded at the foot of the table. Wolfsburg, Werder Bremen and RB Leipzig are Ingolstadt's next opponents after that, which should give them hope of cutting back at the seven-point gap at the bottom.

Away blues holding Hertha back

Hertha Berlin have a widely-publicized case of travel sickness. The Berliners haven't won any of their last six away games in all competittons, and have won just two from 10.

Fifth placed and seven points behind the top four, Hertha's slip hasn't quite been as catastrophic as the one which Pal Dardai oversaw last season. After racking up one of their best Hinrunde's ever, Hertha descended into chaos and qualified for Europe through the skin of their teeth.

Hertha's trip to Borussia Mönchengladbach won't get the juices going, if you're a Berliner. The Foals' resurgence has stalled slightly, but under Dieter Hecking, Gladbach are playing at home with a spring in their step. To get anything, Dardai's team will need to produce a display on the road worthy of the excellent support they receive week-after-week.

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