Bayern hosts Freiburg, Dortmund plays Frankfurt

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 13, 2014 at 6:40 am •  Published: February 13, 2014
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FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Second-place Bayer Leverkusen hosts fourth-ranked Schalke, while Borussia Dortmund plays Eintracht Frankfurt as the Bundesliga weekend can produce some reshuffling behind the runaway leader Bayern Munich, which is at home against Freiburg. But the match of the day could be the showdown between the two bottom clubs, Hamburger SV and Eintracht Braunschweig.

Here are five things to know going into the 21st Bundesliga round:

HAMBURG'S TROUBLES

With the championship all but decided, it was Hamburg's self-destruction that hogged the headlines the past week. Hamburg is the only team never to have been relegated since the Bundesliga's inception in 1963. But that proud record is in danger following six straight league defeats that dropped the club to next-to-last.

On Wednesday, Hamburg was easily swept away 5-0 at home by Bayern in the German Cup quarterfinals and the gap in class must have been frightening for Hamburg supporters.

The club's complicated leadership structure hasn't helped, with board members apparently split on coach Bert van Marwijk's future. It's far from certain that the Dutchman will be on the bench when Hamburg plays in Braunschweig, which he has described as "the match of the year" for his team.

Braunschweig is four points behind Hamburg but another defeat for Hamburg would mean an uphill battle to avoid relegation.

Hamburg has already conceded a league-high 47 goals and could be without midfielders Rafael van der Vaart and Milan Badelj .

LEVERKUSEN LOSING

Leverkusen is already 13 points behind Bayern and its priority now is to hold on to second place. It has lost three out of its past six, but the most recent two were victories — until a German Cup quarterfinal 1-0 loss at home to second-division Kaiserslautern.

Schalke, on the other hand, has won four of its past five, with one draw. Leverkusen is still safe, four points ahead of Dortmund and six over Schalke, but another home defeat would tighten the race for second and third — the Champions League slots.

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