With just five rounds of fixtures left to play, the 2016/17 Bundesliga campaign is proving to be a lot more entertaining than previous years. While Bayern Munich lead the table with 69 points, their 0-0 bore draw with Bayer Leverkusen last time out has offered second place RB Leipzig a glimmer of hope. Although, to claim their first ever top flight title, they will need to make up eight points over the coming weeks.
While Bayern seem likely to claim their fifth consecutive Bundesliga title next month, the teams most likely to finish at the bottom of the pack, and subsequently suffer relegation, are harder to predict.
Anything less than a draw for Darmstadt 98 in their Saturday clash against Hamburger SV will confirm their inevitable relegation. However, there is still another automatic relegation place available, as well as the relegation play-off spot for the team that finishes in 16th. Currently the two unfortunate sides are FC Ingolstadt and FC Augsburg, who occupy 17th and 16th respectively. However, there is still time for those two sides to recover over the final few weeks.
With just 10 points separating Ingolstadt from 10th placed Eintracht Frankfurt, there are plenty of teams that could end up suffering relegation, but all in all there are five teams for which it is a real possibility. Aside from Ingolstadt and Augsburg, there are also Mainz 05, Hamburger SV and Wolfsburg, all of which sit within five points of each other.
That will be particularly worrying for Wolfsburg. Despite currently standing in 13th place, the club are just one point above Augsburg and could find themselves in a much worse spot by the end of the week.
The struggling club face fifth placed Hertha Berlin on Saturday, with kick-off set for 2:30pm. Despite claiming an important 3-0 victory over Ingolstadt last time out, they aren’t likely to have much luck this weekend. Given their poor run of form, in which they have won just one of their last four, their chances of claiming a victory are very slim.
Things are unlikely to get easy over the last month of action either, with just one of their final four matches coming against a team in the bottom half of the table. Following their game against Berlin, they must then host league leaders Bayern Munich, before facing Eintracht Frankfurt and and Borussia Monchengladbach. They will be confident that they can take points from their final game against Hamburger, but that may well be too late for the club, should they struggle to find their form soon.
At the start of the season it would have been implausible to imagine a team that were crowned Bundesliga champions as recently as 2009 suffering relegation, but given their shocking displays this term, stature alone won’t save Wolfsburg from the ultimate defeat.