By Sammy Wejinya
The 2021-22 Bundesliga title race is well and truly back on track as the top four race to qualify for next season’s UEFA Champions League is also heating up, alongside the battle to survive relegation.
League leaders Bayern Munich had their lead cut to four points as second-placed Borussia Dortmund closed the gap thanks to Wednesday’s win at FSV Mainz 05.
Hence, with Dortmund breathing down the neck of Bayern, Julian Nagelsmann’s side will look to get nothing short of a win to add to their 60-point tally, when they welcome eighth-placed FC Union Berlin to the Allianz Arena in what is Saturday’s tea-time kickoff.
Although the Bavarians are unbeaten in six games in all competitions, it is due to their recent inconsistencies that Dortmund have been able to catch-up with them in the title race as that run has included three draws — one in the Champions League. It is also worthy to note that they have dropped points on four occasions in their last nine Bundesliga games, losing twice and sharing the spoils twice also.
However, Bayern have been recently comfortable playing against their Saturday opponents as they are unbeaten against them in five games but Union have also had a say in this contest as both teams have scored four times in the last five games.
Last time out: Union Berlin 2-5 Bayern Munich – 30/10/2021
Dortmund, on the other hand, will travel to the RheinEnergieStadion to face seventh-placed FC Köln.
The Yellow and Black have blown the title race back open due to their recent good form as they are unbeaten in five games and they will be focused as they do not have any European affiliations anymore this term following their exit from the Europa League.
Dortmund are also unbeaten in five Bundesliga games, however, Köln have only lost thrice in 13 home games this season.
Last time out: Borussia Dortmund 2-0 FC Köln – 30/10/2021
12th placed VfL Wolfsburg will play host to third-placed Bayer 04 Leverkusen on Sunday.
Leverkusen are not in the best form right now as they have suffered three straight losses and they winless in four games.
Wolfsburg on the flip side, have been disappointing this season considering their exploits last term and a win against a Leverkusen side, who they are yet to lose against in four games, this Sunday will be their 10th of the campaign as they look to complete the double over Gerardo Seoane’s team.
Last time out: Bayer 04 Leverkusen 0-2 VfL Wolfsburg – 30/10/2021
Fourth-placed RasenBallsport Leipzig will welcome ninth-placed Eintracht Frankfurt to the Red Bull Arena.
Leipzig are hot favourites to take the fourth and final Champions League ticket. Die Roten Bulen are unbeaten in eight games in all competitions and they have slipped to just one loss in their 13 games in all competitions.
Hence, Domenico Tedesco’s side will be expected to take maximum points against an inconsistent Frankfurt team, however, the last three results of this contest have ended in a share of the spoils.
Last time out: Eintracht Frankfurt 1-1 RB Leipzig – 30/10/2021
Fifth-placed SC Freiburg will be guests of bottom placed SpVgg Greuther Fürth.
Both sides have different aspirations and are in contrasting form.
Freiburg are level on points with Leipzig, with only goals difference separating them, as they chase for a place among Europe’s elite. They are currently unbeaten in six games.
Meanwhile, Fürth are 11 points away from safety as they are winless in four games.
Freiburg have had the recent edge in this contest. They are on a winning streak of five games and they are yet to taste defeat in seven games.
Last time out: SC Freiburg 3-1 Greuther Fürth – 30/10/2021
Sixth-placed 1899 Hoffenheim will visit Olympiastadion to face 17th placed Hertha BSC.
Hoffenheim are also level on points with Freiburg and Leipzig, but they have the worst goals difference amongst the trio.
However, this is a perfect opportunity to take advantage of any slip-up by their rivals as they are facing the worst team on current form in the division.
Hertha are on a losing streak of five games, they are yet to keep a clean sheet in eight games and they are winless in 10. This bad form has seen them slip into the automatic relegation place, two points adrift the safe zone.
Hence, facing a Hoffenheim team who are unbeaten in five games in all competitions and are on a winning run of three games against them could be a difficult task.
Last time out: 1899 Hoffenheim 2-0 Hertha BSC – 29/10/2021
10th placed FSV Mainz 05 will trade tackles with 15th placed Arminia Bielefeld at the Opel Arena.
Bielefeld are just two points away from the drop zone due to their recent form of three straight losses and they also failed to hit the back of the net in those games.
Add their failure to beat Mainz 05 in their last three meetings with their current form, Bielefeld might be in for one tough day at the office.
Last time out: Arminia Bielefeld 1-2 FSV Mainz 05 – 30/10/2021
It is also a big matchday at the lower end of the log as 16th placed VfB Stuttgart trade tackles with 14th placed FC Augsburg and Friday night football sees 11th placed VfL Bochum lock horns with 13th placed Borussia Möchengladbach.
Matchday 27 Fixtures
Friday, March 18, 2022
VfL Bochum vs Borussia Möchengladbach – 8:30pm
Saturday, March 19, 2022
Hertha BSC vs 1899 Hoffenheim – 3:30pm
VfB Stuttgart vs FC Augsburg – 3:30pm
SpVgg Greuther Fürth vs SC Freiburg – 3:30pm
FSV Mainz 05 vs Arminia Bielefeld – 3:30pm
Bayern Munich vs Union Berlin – 6:30pm
Sunday, March 20, 2022
RasenBallsport Leipzig vs Eintracht Frankfurt – 3:30pm
VfL Wolfsburg vs Bayer 04 Leverkusen – 5:30pm
FC Köln vs Borussia Dortmund – 7:30pm