Relegation battle takes center stage in Germany

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Updated: May 10, 2013

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With the league title having been wrapped up long ago, the final two weeks of the Bundesliga campaign will be focused largely on the relegation battle.

Greuther Furth has already been assured of being sent down, but three other teams, Augsburg, Dusseldorf and Hoffenheim, will try to avoid joining them in Bundesliga 2 next season.

The three sides are separated by two points with two matches to play, which should provide much of the drama in Germany over the rest of the campaign.

Hoffenheim is in the most danger at the moment, sitting in 17th place and two points from safety.

The club hosts Hamburg on Saturday in need of three points, but if recent form is any indication, the home side should have a good chance to continue its survival fight.

With eight points from its last five games, Hoffenheim has put itself in position for a great escape, but a slip against Hamburg, which still is chasing a Europa League spot, could prove fatal.

A Hoffenheim loss coupled with wins for both Augsburg and Dusseldorf would see Hoffenheim’s fate sealed, but Augsburg will face the daunting challenge of a trip to Bayern Munich.

Bayern will finally lift the trophy after the match and could be a bit preoccupied, but it will still take a big effort from the visitors, who have lost four of their last six games.

Dusseldorf is in the best position having a home match against a Nurnberg side with little incentive, and a win could just about clinch a place in the Bundesliga for next season.

Bayer Leverkusen clinched a top-three spot and will host Hannover, while second-place Borussia Dortmund needs just one point to lock up second place at Wolfsburg.

Schalke holds the fourth and final Champions League spot by three points, and a win at home over Stuttgart would be a big step toward a place in Europe’s premier club competition next season.

Eintracht is three points behind Schalke and needs a win against Werder Bremen to keep up the pressure, Freiburg aims to strengthen its hold on a European spot with a win against Greuther Furth and Monchengladbach tangles with Mainz in a battle of mid-table sides.