Hans Deiter Flick will exit the Allianz Arena hot-seat with his head held high after guiding Bayern Munich to their seventh accolade in just over 18 months. The Bavarians have put aside a clash over technical direction between Flick and sporting director Hasan Salihadzimic to move within a solitary victory of the Bundesliga title. Victories over Wolfsburg and Bayer Leverkusen in the space of three days, coupled with RB Leipzig’s failure to pick maximum points from games with Hoffenheim and Koln implies the Bavarian juggernaut will clinch their ninth straight German top flight title if they avoid defeat at Mainz.
Bayern Munich have made light work of the enforced absences of 35-goal Robert Lewandowski, Serge Gnarby (Covid-19) and Corentin Toliso to open up a ten point cushion atop the standings with four rounds to go. The Bavarians begin the weekend program on 71 points, thanks to goals from Eric Chuopo Moting, who has scored in three consecutive games, and the rapid development of 17-year-starlet Jamal Musiala, whose brace at Champions League chasing Wolfsburg made him the first teenager ever to bag six Bundesliga goals. Lewandowski is primed to play a part in the game at Mainz.
Leipzig boss Julian Nagelsmann has been strongly linked with the managerial position vacated by Jose Mourinho at Tottenham Hotspur but he will have to be on top of his wits at home to Stuttgart if he is to arrest a slide that has seen the East German outfit pick up just one out of the last six available points. Nagelmann’s team selection at Koln raised eyebrows after he started without skipper Marcel Sabitzer, marksman Youssef Poulsen, creator in chief Daniel Olmo and seven-goal wingback Angelino. Currently on 61 points, Leipzig still need a couple of victories to sew up Champions League qualification.
Oliver Glasner’s high flying Wolfsburg host Borussia Dortmund in the pick of the matches. Edwin Terzic’s Dortmund are running out of matches to claw their way into a Champions League position and goals galore can be expected as in marksmen Erling Braut Haaland and Wout Werghost, the two sides boast marksmen who’ve already plundered over 40 goals between them. Frankfurt’s visit to Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday night will meanwhile be a stern test of their Champions League credentials.
At the opposite end of the table: with Schalke already relegated for the first time in 33 years attention switches to which club joins them in Bundesliga 2 next season. Twice runners up during the eighties, Koln have an early chance build on a memorable 2-1 win over Leipzig when they travel to Augsburg on Friday. Mainz, who host champion elects Bayern Munich, and Hertha Berlin, are the two sides within striking distance of the fallen giants. Koln boss Markus Gisdol will once again be counting on captain Jonas Hector. The Germany international was the two goal hero in the 2-1 win over Leipzig.
Augsburg v Koln
RB Leipzig v Stuttgart, Gladbach v Arminia Bielefeld