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Bundesliga Matchday 34 Preview: Last Dash for European Football

The final matchday of the Bundesliga’s 2019/20 season kicks off on Saturday. This has been one of the most intriguing campaigns, not least due to the Coronavirus-enforced break. So, let’s take a look at what the teams will be playing for on Saturday:

Borussia Dortmund vs TSG 1899 Hoffenheim

Runners-up for the second-consecutive season, Borussia Dortmund face 7th-placed Hoffenheim for the last match of both sides’ respective campaigns.

What This Could Mean: Dortmund have absolutely nothing to gain or lose from this match, and they will be finishing second no matter what happens. Hoffenheim however, can move up to 6th if they pick up more points than Wolfsburg.

Last Results: Dortmund beat Leipzig 0-2 last weekend, a result which guaranteed them a second-placed finish. Hoffenheim also won, 4-0 against Union, giving themselves a shot at European football for next season.

Player to Watch: Erling Braut Håland – The Norwegian found his goal-scoring boots once again against Leipzig, as he netted twice – once in either half. He’s on 13 Bundesliga goals for the season (half-season), and wouldn’t mind ending on a high.

(Photo by RONNY HARTMANN/AFP via Getty Images)

Prediction: 2-0

Bayer 04 Leverkusen vs 1. FSV Mainz 05

5th-placed Leverkusen host 13th-placed Mainz, with the hosts looking to make one last-gasp dash for Champions League football.

What This Could Mean: Leverkusen have one last chance to qualify for the Champions League. If they win and Gladbach lose, they will finish in 4th spot. Mainz have already confirmed their top-flight status, and can go as high up as 11th if results go their way.

Last Results: Leverkusen faced a 2-0 reverse against Hertha on Saturday, one which put them in the passengers’ seat for Champions League Qualification. Mainz, on the other hand beat Bremen with a scoreline of 3-1 – ensuring their survival.

Player to Watch: Jean-Paul Boëtius – The Dutchman scored a goal last Saturday, and really impressed with his overall performance. He’s been involved in 9 goals this season, and would love to add to that tally.

Prediction: 2-1

Borussia Mönchengladbach vs Hertha Berlin

4th-placed Gladbach host 10th-placed Hertha at Borussia-Park, looking to secure Champions League football for next season.

What This Could Mean: As mentioned above, the Foals can ensure that the Champions League comes to Gladbach next season. They can do so with only a point, but in that case they’ll have to hope that Leverkusen don’t win by 10 goals. As for Hertha, they can’t go higher up than 9th, but will need a point to secure a spot in the top half of the Bundesliga table.

Last Results: Die Borussen beat Paderborn 1-3 last time around. At the same time, Hertha did them a massive favour, as they emerged 2-0 winners against Leverkusen.

Player to Watch: Lars Stindl – The 31 year-old bagged a brace last weekend, as he helped his side move one step closer to Europe’s greatest stage. He now has 9 goals and 3 assists this season, and if he adds to his tally for one last time this season, big things can happen at Borussia-Park in the latter months of 2020.

Prediction: 3-1

VfL Wolfsburg vs FC Bayern München

6th-placed Wolfsburg host the record-breaking champions for a grand finale to both sides’ Bundesliga campaigns.

What This Could Mean: Wolfsburg can secure a direct Europa League spot if they match what Hoffenheim do against Dortmund. Bayern don’t have too much more to achieve in the Bundesliga, but this could be a good warm-up for the imminent DFB Pokal final against Leverkusen scheduled for next Saturday.

Last Results: Bayern triumphed over Freiburg on Saturday, with the scoreline reading 3-1. Wolfsburg also took 3 points, as they won 1-4 at the Veltins Arena.

Player to Watch: Robert Lewandowski – Who would you watch if not him? He can break Gerd Müller’s record of 40 goals in a Bundesliga campaign if he nets another 8. Yes, it is a bit outlandish, but anything is possible when you have Robert Lewandowski, especially when he’s facing Wolfsburg.

(Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

Bonus Player to Watch: Wout Weghorst – Why settle with one prolific striker when you can see two? Wolfsburg’s number 9 has scored 16 Bundesliga goals this season, 5 of which came in the last 4 matches. He can help his side secure European football if he finds the back of the net against the mighty Bayern.

Prediction: 2-9 (Lewandowski to score 8)

Alternate Prediction: 1-3

Eintracht Frankfurt vs SC Paderborn 07

9th-placed Frankfurt welcome last-placed Paderborn, in a match of minimal consequence for both sides.

What This Could Mean: Eintracht have effectively booked a spot in the top 10 of the Bundesliga, and can go up to 8th if they win and Freiburg lose. Paderborn will inevitably finish at the foot of the table, but 3 points can take their tally up to 23.

Last Results: The Eagles settled for a 1-1 draw with Köln on Saturday, when Paderborn lost 1-3 to Gladbach.

Player to Watch: Sven Michel – The 29 year-old bagged a brace got his 4th Bundesliga goal against Gladbach, and will look to go down with a bang, as he can become his club’s joint top-scorer for the season if he finds the net.

Prediction: 3-0

SV Werder Bremen vs 1. FC Köln

17th-placed Bremen face 14th-placed Köln, with a slim chance of staying in the Bundesliga.

What This Could Mean: Bremen need a lot of things to go their way if they want to maintain a spot in the German top-flight. Obviously, they have to win, and also hope that Fortuna lose their match. That will only book them a relegation play-off spot. As for the Billy Goats, they can finish as high as 11th if other results go their way.

Last Results: Die Grün-Weißen suffered a major 3-1 reverse against Mainz, one which may have buried their survival hopes. Köln managed to get a point last weekend, as they tied 1-1 with Frankfurt.

Player to Watch: Yuya Osako – The Japanese international scored his 6th goal of that Bundesliga campaign in that 3-1 defeat, and will need to find the net yet again if his side wish to stay in the Bundesliga.

Prediction: 3-2

SC Freiburg vs FC Schalke 04

11th-placed Schalke 8th-placed Freiburg, hoping to end their 15-match long winless streak in the Bundesliga.

What This Could Mean: Freiburg cannot finish higher than 8th, and need no more than a point to secure their current spot. As for Schalke, this is the first time that they find themselves out of the top half of the table, and they will need to win and pray that Hertha lose if they want to finish in 10th spot.

Last Results: Freiburg succumbed to Bayern last Saturday, as the Champions beat them 3-1. The Royal Blues also lost their fixture against Wolfsburg, with a final score of 1-4.

Player to Watch: Rabbi Matondo – The Welsh teenager finally got his second Bundesliga goal after some impressive performances since the restart, and will look to continue converting good performances into something more substantial.

Prediction: 1-0

FC Augsburg vs RB Leipzig

15th-placed Augsburg face 3rd-placed Leipzig, who are yet to mathematically book their place in next season’s UEFA Champions League.

What This Could Mean: Die Fuggerstädter have done enough to secure their spot in another campaign of the Bundesliga, and can finish as high as 11th with a win. As for Leipzig, they can’t finish higher than third, and need a point to bring Europe’s best teams to the Red Bull Arena in the 2020/21 season of the Champions League.

Last Results: Augsburg settled for a 1-1 draw with Fortuna last time around, when Leipzig lost 0-2 to Dortmund, ending their hopes of a 2nd-place finish.

Player to Watch: Florian Niederlechner – He got his 13th goal of the Bundesliga season in the 1-1 draw with Fortuna, and will look to add to his impressive tally against high-quality opponents.

Prediction: 1-2

1. FC Union Berlin vs Fortuna Düsseldorf

The Bundesliga rookies, who currently occupy 12th place in the table, face relegation-threatened Fortuna, who are 16th for the final fixture of both teams’ Bundesliga season.

What This Could Mean: Union cannot finish higher than 11th, and will need a win if they wish to do that. A lot more is on the line for Fortuna, though, as they need a minimum of 1 point to book a relegation play-off against either Heidenheim or Hamburg.

Last Results: Union played out a 4-0 loss against Hoffenheim, while Fortuna managed a 1-1 draw with Augsburg last Saturday.

Player to Watch: Rouwen Hennings – Despite not being a regular starter recently, the 32 year-old has already scored 15 times in the Bundesliga, impressing many in the process. He’ll look to help his side stay up, but if the contrary happens, many Bundesliga clubs will certainly try to get his signature.

(Photo by MARIUS BECKER/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Prediction: 0-0

And that brings yet another exciting season of the Bundesliga to an end. After uncertainty at both ends of the table, we know which clubs will occupy 1st and 20th spot, but what will happen between them? Stay tuned to find out.

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