Tricky affairs as Bundesliga rally for continental soccer gathers steam

Tricky affairs as Bundesliga rally for continental soccer gathers steam

A banana peel awaits Borussia Monchengladbach as VfL Wolfsburg plays host to Gladbach at the Volkswagen Arena. The Wolves, on 34, are only five points behind their visitors, as the race for European participation heats up, what with six teams, from third placed Hertha Berlin, separated by only eight points.

Wolfsburg have had a topsy-turvy start to the calendar year, winning two Bundesliga matches from seven, losing three games in the process. However, midweek’s 4-0 victory at bottom-hugging Hannover 96 will have buoyed them when facing a much stiffer opponent.

Borussia, as well, did prepare for this tie with a similar 4-0 home victory over VfB Stuttgart. However a previous defeat to Hamburger SV and a draw with FC Augsburg, sandwiching victory over FC Koln, have brought pressure on the Foals, given the fighting spirit of their peers.

With these two teams trading victories over the years, it will be anyone’s call as to who will win. The rivals may desire a Borussia defeat, but that will only serve to rope in Wolfsburg into the coveted territory of European seekers.

FSV Mainz 05 will be hoping that the shock victory at Bayern Munich will boost their chances to qualify for Europe, when the O-Fives welcome Darmstadt 98 to the Coface Arena. In addition to Bayern, Mainz has already taken the scalps of Schalke 04, Bayer Leverkusen and Monchengladbach during this calendar year. Darmstadt shouldn’t be a hard three-point sell.

It’s Leverkusen who have a lot to show for after a mini collapse. Wednesday’s 4-1 defeat to lowly Werder Bremen added to consecutive defeats at the hands of Mainz and Borussia Dortmund, pushing Bayer down to seventh. The BayArena side has a chance to redeem itself when it travels to FC Augsburg. Three points is the minimum ask, a defeat is unfathomable.

Schalke, on 38 points, one behind Mainz, will be trying to hold on to the tails of the latter, with the visit to 10th-placed FC Koln, while Hertha can wrap up some more points if they win at Hamburger and jump to 45 points.

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