Still much to play for - and to predict - as Bundesliga reaches its finale | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 13.05.2011
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Still much to play for - and to predict - as Bundesliga reaches its finale

Match day 34, the end of the 2010-2011 Bundesliga season, is here. Far from being an anti-climax, there is still a lot up for grabs - including points for DW's pundits who are finishing the campaign in good form.

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Have DW's pundits done enough to win the crystal ball?

They think it's all over … and it is after this weekend. In truth, the Bundesliga is already over if you consider the title fight to be the main attraction. But there is still much to play for this week despite the crown being awarded to Borussia Dortmund two weeks ago. There's Europe to play for, and relegation to avoid. And for DW's pundits, it's our last chance to get some points on the board this season. So let's get on with our final predictions for this season…

Saturday, May 14

Bayern - Stuttgart

Who would have predicted Bayern sticking eight past St. Pauli last week? Well, we didn't … It's unlikely they'll run riot like that against Stuttgart, however, but we can expect Bayern's last home game of the season against their southern rivals to be a tempestuous affair. Bayern can still claim the runners-up spot if Leverkusen lose on Saturday as their goal difference is far superior, so the Bavarians will be up for it. Stuttgart are safe from relegation, so will be playing mostly for pride. Bayern's motivation should give them the win.

Prediction: Bayern 3-1

Dortmund - Frankfurt

BVB celebrate winning the Bundesliga

Frankfurt hope Dortmund will still be in party mode

Maybe BVB had a little bit of a hangover against Bremen last week after celebrating winning the league the week before and Frankfurt, who are in big trouble, will be hoping that the champions will party right through 'til Saturday. Frankfurt must get a result and hope the two teams above them lose to avoid finishing in the automatic drop slots. They've shown nothing to suggest in the last few games that they have what it takes to beat a Dortmund side wearing eye shields and ice packs let alone one with a modicum of motivation. We predict a gloomy weekend for Eintracht fans.

Prediction: Dortmund 2-0

Hamburg - Gladbach

This particular pundit has been ringing the death knell for Gladbach all season and has to hold his hands up and say: "you've really surprised me of late, Supposed Worst Team in the League." They still need Wolfsburg to lose and for Hamburg to roll over for them to be all the way in the clear, but Gladbach could actually be the subject of multiple articles using the headline 'The Great Escape' come Saturday night. Hamburg will miss out on Europe again next season so will have one eye on the summer and a rebuilding program. Hopefully that'll be enough for Gladbach to capitalize on. Humble pie will be on the menu if they manage it.

Prediction: Gladbach 1-0

Mainz - St. Pauli

St. Pauli fans

St. Pauli fans will say goodbye to the Bundesliga

The thrashing by Bayern last week merely added massive insult to injury. Pauli are down and will soon be out of the Bundesliga after sliding through the table to the bottom for most of the season. There's no way clear for them and even a win at Mainz won't save them from their fate. Mainz are safely in the Europa League places and should be very pleased with that accomplishment. It's been a great season for them and can only be seen as a disappointment by those who saw their early dalliance with the top of the league as a genuine title challenge. It couldn't last but they've maintained enough of their good form to qualify for Europe. A final home win should spark well-earned celebrations.

Prediction: Mainz 3-0

Hoffenheim - Wolfsburg

There's no room for a collapse for Wolfsburg in this final match of the season. They are currently safe but only on goal difference - and given Gladbach's penchant for getting humiliated earlier in the season, even if the points stay the same, Wolfsburg will be safe. But if Gladbach win and Hoffenheim triumph here, the Wolves will have to play-off for their survival with the third-placed team from the second division. Hoffenheim can determine Wolfsburg's destiny and could force them into an all or nothing clash with either Bochum or Greuther Fürth.

Prediction: 1-1

Cologne - Schalke

Lukas Schmitz frrom Schalke

It's been a rough season for Schalke in the Bundesliga

It's not unusual to talk about Cologne narrowly avoiding relegation at the end of a season but for Schalke, who are one point below them in the league, it's an unsettling new experience. If Schalke win on Saturday, they would complete the season only eight points clear of the relegation zone. While the sorry start to the season under former manager Felix Magath can be blamed for getting them into this mess, Ralf Rangnick has not been able to get them fully out of it. Schalke are still losing points and making stupid mistakes. Cologne have been here and hereabouts all season so should be satisfied at least with survival, and mooted new coach Stale Solbakken will have an uphill climb to overhaul this team.

Prediction: 2-2

Freiburg - Leverkusen

Leverkusen don't like feeling the breath of a rival on their necks and with Bayern ending the season in blistering form, the runners-up spot and automatic qualification for the Champions League looks far less certain than it did a month ago. Bayern's habit of running up cricket scores means that their goal difference is far superior so should Leverkusen lose and Bayern win, the Bavarians will snatch it. Leverkusen look their typically shaky selves as the season ends and even though Freiburg have gone completely off the boil, an away win to secure second place is not assured for Leverkusen. However, Jupp Heynckes' boys should still have enough to grab the point which will make it all academic.

Prediction: 1-1

Hannover - Nuremberg

Trainer Mirko Slomka

Mirko Slomka and his team can be proud of their campaign

It's a shame that Hannover failed to maintain their good form to reach the Champions League as they've been a revelation this season. They can take solace in their Europa League spot but will regret the slip-ups that cost them a third-place finish. They can slip to fifth from fourth if they lose on Saturday and Mainz win, but with Nuremberg just seeing out the season, the balance of motivation should be with Mirko Slomka's side. Fourth place will be their best-ever finish so Hannover should have enough left in the tank to get the result which at least sees their campaign end with a European place and a finale worth celebrating.

Prediction: Hannover 2-0

Kaiserslautern - Bremen

Both teams will be going through the motions here with nothing really to gain or lose. Bremen will be happy to have avoided being sucked further into a relegation fight that they really had no right to be part of while Kaiserslautern will be resigned to the fact that their late climb up the league table came far too late to achieve anything other than a credible mid-table finish. For Kaiserslautern, it will be a summer of hoping for more of the same next season but for Bremen it should be a summer of taking a long, hard look at the team, the attitude and the management structure which seemed to have failed so spectacularly during this campaign.

Prediction: Bremen 3-1

Last week's results: 10

Total for the season: 153

Schalke - Mainz 1-3 (DW Prediction: 2-3)

Bremen - Dortmund 2-0 (DW Prediction: 0-2)

Leverkusen - Hamburg 1-1 (DW Prediction: 1-1)

Stuttgart - Hannover 2-1 (DW Prediction: 2-1)

Wolfsburg - Kaiserslautern 1-2 (DW Prediction: 1-0)

Frankfurt - Cologne 0-2 (DW Prediction: 0-0)

Gladbach - Freiburg 2-0 (DW Prediction: 2-1)

Nuremberg - Hoffenheim 1-2 (DW Prediction: 0-2)

St. Pauli - Bayern 1-8 (DW Prediction: 1-4)

Three points for a correct score prediction

Two points for a correct margin prediction

One point for a correct winner prediction

Author: Nick Amies
Editor: Matt Hermann

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