Will Darmstadt be champions? Who will grab the second automatic promotion slot? Who will join Sandhausen in the 3.Liga? So many questions and the answers will be found on matchday 34 of another exciting 2.Bundesliga season. Here we preview the weekend action…
Greuther Fürth v Darmstadt
Darmstadt travel to Fürth on the final matchday looking for the point that will see them crowned champions. Last week’s win over Magdeburg unleashed ecstatic scenes at the Böllenfalltor with Torsten Lieberknecht’s side clinching guaranteed promotion, and they just need the icing on the cake when they travel to northern Bavaria on Sunday.
The Kleeblätter lost at Hamburg last weekend, but still managed to secure the Bundesliga survival for another season. In their last game of the season at the Sportpark Ronhof I Thomas Sommer, they have a chance to have a big say in the destination of the Meisterschale.
St. Pauli v Karlsruhe
It’s been a case of- so near, yet so far for St. Pauli. Their amazing charge up the table under Fabian Hürzeler has seen them exceed most people’s expectations and they will want to finish on a high at the Millerntor and secure fourth place in the table. They are unbeaten since their defeat in the Hamburg derby with three wins and a draw.
KSC are looking to secure a top ten finish this season, but are experiencing a topsy turvy end to the season with three wins and three losses in their last six matches. 38-year-old veteran Daniel Gordon was given an emotional send-off last week, but will be required to go again one more time before retirement.
Paderborn v Nürnberg
Nürnberg may have passed the financial test to get a playing license ahead of next season, but they still have to pass the test on the pitch this weekend in order to be playing in the 2.Bundesliga next season and not the 3.Liga. Currently just two points ahead of 16th place Bielefeld but with a far worse goal difference, der Klub know that a point is potentially not going to be enough and only a win will do. Much depends on the Arminen, but Nürnberg have their destiny in their own hands.
Paderborn’s push for the top three fell short and they will go into their final home game of the season without their coach Lukas Kwasniok on the bench after he the incident in Mallorca. The home side will have their eye on fourth spot, but will face a fired-up Nürnberg fighting for their lives.
Hannover v Holstein Kiel
Hannover have already achieved their pre-season target of finishing in the top nine and will be looking to send their fans off with a win. The mood at the club has greatly improved over recent weeks and a bumper crowd is expected at the Heinz von Heiden Arena for the visit of Kiel.
The Storks could finish as high as seventh by the end of the weekend and will be doing all they can to achieve that. For a club the size of Kiel with a host of players leaving in the summer, the extra money a higher finish would generate would be most welcome.
Hansa Rostock v Eintracht Braunschweig
Braunschweig find themselves in the same boat as Nürnberg as they try to avoid being overtaken at the last minute by Bielefeld and condemned to the relegation play-off spot. Eintracht simply have to deliver a performance in Rostock if they are to avoid the nail-biting situation of having to rely on the Bielefeld result to bale them out.
Rostock were in celebratory mood last weekend after securing survival with a point away at Nürnberg, but have to come back to earth and remain competitive for the visit of Braunschweig.
Sandhausen v Hamburg
It will be a final bow in the 2.Bundesliga for Sandhausen after their relegation was confirmed last week. They still however could have a major role to play in the season with Hamburg the visitors this weekend to the Stadion am Hartwald.
The Rothosen still have chance of automatic promotion if they win and Heidenheim bottle it and lose at Regensburg. HSV are guaranteed a play-off spot against the 16th placed Bundesliga side, but recent years have not been kind to the 2.Liga side in the play-off so they would of course prefer to finish second. It would however just be typical of Hamburg to lose to the bottom side.
Jahn Regensburg v Heidenheim
Regensburg know that their time is up, but are just waiting to be put out of their misery. They would need to win and Bielefeld to lose with a 15-goal swing in the goal difference to just make the play-off position. Their goose is cooked, it just needs removing from the oven.
Heidenheim will be in no mood to help them out as they look to cement their second place and secure a first-ever promotion to the Bundesliga. They know that HSV are still hot on their trail so have no time to relax.
Magdeburg v Arminia Bielefeld
It seems ironic that promoted side Magdeburg are the ones enjoying safety, while Bielefeld, relegated from the Bundesliga, are the ones struggling for survival. The Arminen know that even with a win their fate is not in their own hands if both Braunschweig and Nürnberg do their jobs. A second successive season ending in relegation will be a bitter pill to swallow for Bielefeld.
Kaiserslautern v Fortuna Düsseldorf
The Red Devils will finish as the highest placed of the teams promoted from the 3.Liga and have to be well pleased with a top ten finish in their first season back in the second tier. A rammed Betzenberg will give them a good send off into the summer before they look to build on this season next year.
Fortuna also want to go out on a high after being denied a win at home to Hannover last week in the final minute. From 2-0 down to 3-2 up with a minute left looked the ideal finale at the Merkur Spiel-Arena, but they were denied. The club bids farewell to two strikers in Rouwen Hennings (Destination unknown)and top-scorer David Kownacki (joining Werder Bremen).