The league is talking about it: Champions League and relegation battle

Berlin (AP) – FC Bayern Munich is waiting for the bold 1. FC Union Berlin after the defeat and before the second leg against Paris Saint-Germain in the Bundesliga.

The front runner has to keep the table seventh in check, despite personnel worries, in order not to encourage rival RB Leipzig to fight for the title again. From the point of view of the basement children FC Schalke 04, 1. FC Köln and FSV Mainz 05, these are luxury problems.

BAVARIA TO AND BEFORE PARIS: After the 2: 3 in the quarter-final first leg of the Champions League, 1. FC Union Berlin is just one stopover for FC Bayern Munich on the way to the second leg at Paris Saint-Germain. Coach Hansi Flick will try to distribute the burden on his team. He doesn’t have too many choices in his squad, especially since Leon Goretzka and Niklas Süle are injured after the PSG duel on Wednesday. In the championship, Munich are on course with seven points ahead of RB Leipzig.

BVB HOPES FOR CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FORM: The good performance at Manchester City gives Borussia Dortmund the hope of being able to meet their own demands again in the Bundesliga. After recently weak performances against Eintracht Frankfurt and 1. FC Köln, the renewed qualification for the premier class and a win against VfB Stuttgart on Saturday evening is mandatory. In the first half of the season BVB lost 5-1 at home to the Swabians – coach Lucien Favre had to leave. The fluctuations in performance of the team made him “partly at a loss,” said sports director Michael Zorc. What shouldn’t be missing now: tension and body language on the pitch.

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A TOUCH OF KING CLASS: Dortmund with Erling Haaland, Borussia Mönchengladbach with successful coach Marco Rose and Bayer Leverkusen with a strong offensive were considered hot Champions League contenders before the season. The trio is now clearly behind Frankfurt and VfL Wolfsburg, both of which are clearly heading for the premier class. VfL’s cushion is already eleven points, and Eintracht has also escaped their pursuers since the 2-1 win in Dortmund. “We know where we’re headed: It’s heading for the Champions League course,” emphasized Frankfurt coach Adi Hütter. With a win against Wolfsburg on Saturday (3:30 p.m. / Sky), the Hessians would move up to one point on their rivals.

GISDOL VS SVENSSON: Markus Gisdol has to keep fighting for his job at 1. FC Köln, Bo Svensson is beyond any doubt at FSV Mainz 05. Since the turn of the year, the Dane has scored better with the 05ers than top teams like BVB or Leverkusen. But that was sorely needed to forget the weak first half of the season. On Sunday (6 p.m. / Sky) there will now be a direct duel between the table neighbors. With a win, not only Gisdol managed a small liberation, but also Cologne (23) jumped in the table past Mainz (25).

SCHALKE BEFORE THE NEXT NEGATIVE RECORD: If it doesn’t work out against FC Augsburg with a victory for FC Schalke 04, relegation to the 2nd division is not only very close – there is also another negative record: After the last five goalless home games the Revierclub could set an unpleasant record in the Bundesliga if the goal was low on Sunday: In the 2009/10 season, SC Freiburg failed to score in six home games in a row, and VfB Stuttgart in the 2014/15 season. Schalke already have another ungrateful record. With just one win from the past 43 games, the club has achieved a series that has never been seen before in Bundesliga history.

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© dpa-infocom, dpa: 210408-99-131053 / 2

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