The final round of Bundesliga matches are set to be played out on Saturday with plenty at stake near the bottom of the table.
With Bayern Munich confirmed as title winners and the remaining Champions League places secured, the focus will be on the wrong end of the table.
Three clubs – Cologne, Werder Bremen, and Arminia Bielefeld – are vying to retain their Bundesliga status, with one automatic relegation spot and the relegation play-off position yet to be decided.
Salvation On The Cards For Cologne
Cologne start the day in 17th and must win in order to give themselves a chance of avoiding straight relegation.
It has been a tricky season for the club that are looking to maintain their top-flight status for a third consecutive season.
In April, the board decided a change of manager was necessary as Friedhelm Funkel replaced Markus Gisdol.
He has done a respectable job, picking up seven points from a possible 15, including a 2-1 home win over second-placed RB Leipzig last month.
In many ways, they face the ideal opponents in Schalke – the former Champions League regulars have endured a diabolical season, earning a paltry 16 points from 33 games.
Cologne should have enough to at least do their part of the bargain and get the three points, and they can be backed at
1/3 to win and
7/4 to win to nil against the joint-lowest away scorers in the division.
Bremen to Plummet Further
It has been a nightmare 2021 for Werder Bremen who looked relatively comfortable as recently as March.
A run of one point in nine games saw coach Florian Kohfeldt lose his job on Sunday and now they face a huge task to pick themselves up and grab three points.
In that nine-game stretch, they have conceded at least three goals on four occasions, which sums up their defensive fragility.
It hasn’t been much better at the other end of the field – Niclas Fullkrug and Leonardo Bittencourt are their joint-top Bundesliga goalscorers this season with just four goals apiece – the duo can be backed at
3/1 respectively to score anytime.
Their opponents Borussia Monchengladbach have nothing to play for but are a fast, exciting team on their day, with only three clubs in the division netting more goals than them.
29/20 to beat Werder Bremen and pile the pressure on the beleaguered former Bundesliga winners.
Goal-Shy Bielefeld Set to Be Undone
The third protagonist in the Bundesliga relegation battle is Arminia Bielefeld, who are seeking to stay in the top flight following promotion last season.
Like Cologne and Werder Bremen, there has been a change of coach this season – Frank Kramer replaced Uwe Neuhaus in March.
He has made a decent impact, losing just three of 11 games in charge but too many draws could ultimately be their undoing.
That is partly down to a dearth of goals – Bielefeld have scored just 24 Bundesliga goals all season, the lowest in the division.
They face an away trip to Stuttgart, who have no problem where that is concerned having netted 56 times this campaign.
Stuttgart can be backed at
7/5 to win, which would leave Bielefeld sweating on other results.
*All odds correct at time of writing