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Bundesliga: Direct duels as an additional spice in the relegation battle

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Bundesliga: Direct duels as an additional spice in the relegation battle

As of: April 23, 2024 12:58 p.m

Seven teams in the Bundesliga are in the very vulnerable zone of the relegation battle. There are still many direct duels between them, including on the last match day.

If a participant in the Champions League plays an internal tournament against six relegation candidates, he is the favorite. 1. FC Union Berlin has lived up to this role. The club from Köpenick leads the table by two points over Borussia Mönchengladbach, despite playing two fewer games.

Table of direct duels between relegation candidates Club Games Goals Points 1. 1. FC Union Berlin 9 17:9 19 2. Bor. Mönchengladbach 11 26:19 17 3. VfL Wolfsburg 10 10.15 14 4. 1. FSV Mainz 05 10 14:11 13 5. 1. FC Köln 10 12:13 13 6. VfL Bochum 11 17:20 12 7. SV Darmstadt 98 11 9:18 7

The placements, goal differences and points in the table are all correct, 1. FC Union Berlin is actually a participant in the Champions League (even though they were eliminated in the group phase), and they also have a good chance of winning the tournament.

The problem for the Berliners is that the tournament only exists as a “tournament”. It is a special table from the direct duels between the relegation candidates, which the Unioners were already one of when they were still playing in the Champions League.

The fact that the situation for the Berliners is not as dramatic as for the Cologne team and especially SV Darmstadt 98 (which recently celebrated its only victory in the “tournament” in Cologne) is solely because it scored so well against its direct competitors .

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Union now in Gladbach, against Bochum and in Cologne

In this respect, it is good news for Union that the games against Borussia Mönchengladbach, against VfL Bochum and against 1. FC Köln are now scheduled one after the other. On the other hand, defeats hurt twice as much because they would inevitably result in competitors getting three more points on the relevant match day.

Bundesliga, table arrow right Bundesliga, 31st matchday arrow right

If Union lost on Sunday (April 28, 2024, from 3:20 p.m. in the audio live stream at sportschau.de) in Mönchengladbach, their rivals would have been five points ahead in just three match days. The Berliners could even slip into relegation place on matchday 31. Whether this would be the worst case is a matter of interpretation. There are likely to be Union players hoping for a Cologne victory in the other direct duel between two relegation candidates at 1. FSV Mainz 05. Then a lead over the relegation place would be maintained, and the Cologne team would still be four points behind the Berliners.

There are also Union players who are hoping for a draw or even a win for Mainz, because then the danger of direct relegation would most likely be averted.

Outstanding direct duels matchday pairing 31 Bor. Mönchengladbach – 1. FC Union Berlin 1. FSV Mainz 05 – 1. FC Köln 32 VfL Wolfsburg – SV Darmstadt 98 1. FC Union Berlin – VfL Bochum 33 1. FC Köln – 1. FC Union Berlin 34 VfL Wolfsburg – 1. FSV Mainz 05

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The fight against relegation is extremely exciting, even if Darmstadt only has a theoretical chance of staying in the league. The “Lilien” can still have an important influence – as happened in Cologne – because their last direct duel against a competitor takes them to VfL Wolfsburg on matchday 32. The Lower Saxony team, who started the season with completely different ambitions, recently won against VfL Bochum after losing the previous home game against Borussia Mönchengladbach despite taking the lead.

The game plan stipulates that Wolfsburg’s last home game could also be a direct duel. On the last matchday, VfL will face 1. FSV Mainz 05.

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