One of Europe's top leagues is providing an interesting relegation battle, throwing some of the biggest German club names into the relegation mix.
Round 25 brought a few match-ups that certainly drew the attention of Germany's top division fans, particularly in the battle for relegation. Hamburger SV (HSV), looked left for dead about a month ago and seemed like the league's worst excuse of a club to battle for relegation. All of that has changed under new trainer Mirko Slomka, and the Bundesliga dinosaurs are now looking to stave off relegation. HSV, the only club in the top flight of Germany never to be relegated, find themselves in one of their most real battles to continue their legacy of never having played in the second division in Germany. HSV defeated Nuremburg 2-1 in a battle that found HSV leapfrogging their relegation rivals. HSV now sits out of the relegation zone.
Eintracht Braunschweig earned an important point against top club Vfl Wolfsburg in a 1-1 draw. Although many see Braunschweig as one of the teams certain to drop back into the second league, the league's caboose said "not so fast" this weekend. It appears Braunschweig is heading down, but they could still take points from teams in a few interesting battles to come.
Ah, VfB Stuttgart. What a fall from stardom after winning the league title in 06/07. The Swabian side boasts some promising young German talent, such as striker Timo Werner, who just penned a new deal with the club. The club, however, doesn't seem to boast that youthful exuberance throughout. Drawing 1-1 to Werder Bremen over the weekend, Stuttgart find themselves in an uphill climb in 17th place. Points are needed badly, but the Swabians haven't performed well in the second half of the season. Having gone through a carousel of trainers, VfB are hoping Huub Stevens can be the savior. Although the controversial trainer is not well loved in Hamburg or Gelsenkirchen, he could just be the right man of discipline to save VfB. Germans often compare Stevens to Felix Magath, who just took over Fulham. We shall see if the General's services save VfB.
Finally, in what had to be the most tasty pairing on the Sunday match-up of round 25, SC Freiburg thumped Eintracht Frankfurt 1-4. Christian Streich's men will be beaming with the points, as the result pulled Eintracht Frankfurt and trainer Armin Veh back into the relegation battle. Frankfurt seemed to be somewhat distancing themselves from the bottom of the pack, but the crushing defeat has put them back in the mix.
With all those results in mind, only 8 points separate 10th place and 17th place with nine games left to play. Conceivably, nobody is really immune from the drop from 10th place downward. The next three rounds of play should provide some clarity of who is going to battle to stay in the first league. Right now, many clubs are sweating it out, hoping to not catch the relegation bug. ALSO SEE:
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