Last chance for 3 clubs to stay in Bundesliga

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 8, 2014 at 5:46 am •  Published: May 8, 2014
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BERLIN (AP) — The Bundesliga comes to a close on Saturday with three teams battling to avoid relegation and four with hopes of reaching the Champions League.

All nine games will be played at the same time. Bayern Munich, which secured the title weeks ago, is looking forward to a party, while other sides are already looking ahead to next season.

Here are five things to know about the final round of games:

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LAST STRAW

Three sides have their hopes pinned on finishing 16th in the 18-team league. That secures a two-game playoff against the third-place finishers from the second division for a place in the Bundesliga next season.

Hamburger SV, the only side to have played every Bundesliga season since the league was formed in 1963, currently occupies the playoff spot, but can be overtaken by Nuremberg, one point behind, and Eintracht Braunschweig, a point further back.

Despite being in the best position, Hamburg faces a visit to Mainz, which needs a win to hold off the challenge of Augsburg for the last Europa League qualification place.

Nuremberg has a tough task at third-place Schalke and seems resigned to its Bundesliga record eighth relegation after losing 10 of its last 11 games. Not even the firing of Gertjan Verbeek as coach with three games to play jolted a reaction from the demoralized side.

Braunschweig visits Hoffenheim, which has nothing but pride to play for, and is taking encouragement from positive performances despite losing its last four games.

Braunschweig, back in the Bundesliga after a 28-year absence, is arguably best placed to send the other two down.

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BAVARIAN PARTY

Bayern Munich has asked its fans to show up in traditional Bavarian dress for the side's title celebrations against Stuttgart.

That means lederhosen, or leather trousers, for the men, and a dirndl, a traditional Alpine-style dress, for the ladies.

Bayern secured the title with a Bundesliga-record seven games still to play but has not yet received the championship shield. It will be handed over after the game, when the celebrations get underway with events in the city and a team procession through the streets before the players are received at town hall.

From there, the trophy will be presented once again from the balcony to fans below, prompting celebrations expected to last into the night - with or without the players.

They might be encouraged to refrain from too much wheat beer with the German Cup final against Borussia Dortmund in Berlin the following week.

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