Klopping off in the top six

There was drama at the bottom end of the German Bundesliga as an injury time goal from Hamburg denied Freiburg the chance to leap over Hamburg. It would’ve dropped Hamburg into the relegation zone following Hannover’s point at home to Werder Bremen whilst Stuttgart also made up the ground with a 2-0 victory at home to Mainz that now makes it just 2 points separating the bottom 5 with 2 games remaining.

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Stuttgart v Hamburg

Hamburg face another crunch clash in the league as they make their way to basement boys, Stuttgart. Stuttgart picked up a crucial 3 points at home to Mainz which has closed the gap to safety dramatically.

Hamburg have picked up 7 points from their last 3 games which has also been a crucial period for them as despite having a squad more than worthy of holding their own in the Bundesliga they’ve significantly underperformed. There has been a sending off for the away side in the last 3 meetings between these 2 sides and tempers could once again boil over with so much at stake for these 2 reputable sides.

Valon Behrami has completed his 3 match ban for Hamburg after picking up a red card against Werder Bremen but his side have triumphed in his absence so the Swiss midfielder could only make the substitutes bench. Ashton Gotz, Ronny Marcos, Ivo Illicevic and Cleber are fringe players for Hamburg out injured whilst Nicolai Muller and Jaroslav Drobny are more serious concerns for Hamburg and will be missing.

Stuttgart are unlikely to alter too much from the side that won against Mainz and will be hoping to build on their 5 match unbeaten run at home in the league.

Freiburg v Bayern Munich

Pep Guardiola’s side had lost 4 matches on the spin before their 3-2 victory over Barcelona in the Champions League 2nd leg on Tuesday night but it wasn’t enough to see them overturn a 3-0 deficit they picked up in the 1st leg. It was a much better performance for Munich after suffering successive defeats to Borussia Dortmund, Bayer Leverkusen, Barcelona and Augsburg.

Freiburg haven’t beaten Munich in 26 attempts and are also winless in their last 6 competitive matches. The last time Freiburg managed to defeat Munich was way back in 1996.

Munich’s injury troubles were highlighted as the main reason why they couldn’t put up a fair fight against Barcelona with Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery both ruled out for the season. David Alaba and Holger Badstuber are also out through injury. Pepe Reina was sent off 13 minutes into the Augsburg defeat so Manuel Neuer will be back in league action.

Freiburg were desperately unlucky not to get all 3 points at Hamburg and they’ll likely keep with the same side that started.

Wolfsburg v Borussia Dortmund

Nothing separates these two sides in their past 6 meetings with 2 victories for Wolfsburg, 2 victories for Dortmund and 2 draws. The past 5 times they’ve met in the Bundesliga both teams have scored on every occasion which is an unusual statistic.

Wolfsburg are looking over their shoulders very tentatively as Borussia Monchengladbach are just 2 points behind them and in fine form. Wolfsburg will be under a lot of pressure to beat a Dortmund side that are also looking to break into the Europa League qualification spots at the expense of Augsburg or Schalke.

Wolfsburg have a fully fit squad to choose from and will be delighted to have Bas Dost back amongst the goals after a dry spell. He’s now scored 3 goals in 2 matches and will be looking to provide the fire power to keep Wolfsburg in runners up spot.

Jurgen Klopp hasn’t been quite as fortunate with his selections in recent weeks. Marco Reus and Jakub Blaszczykowski are injured whilst Adrian Ramos is also ruled out through injury. Lukasz Piszczek did recently return from a lengthy lay off and will be looking to regain his right back spot from Erik Durm.

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