With the top European leagues coming to an end this season, much has been decided across the continent. However, final day drama is guaranteed at the foot of the Bundesliga, as Hamburg and Wolfsburg face the potential of a play-off with the third-place team from Bundesliga 2. Lose the play-off and its relegation to the second tier of German football.
Wolfsburg currently sit in 15th place, 2 points above the relegation play-off position. Hamburg are the team who currently occupy 16th place, with 35 points and will not want to finish in that position for third time in four seasons.
The twist to the tale is the fact Hamburg and Wolfsburg will play each other on the Saturday afternoon, in a huge match. Hamburg know a win will guarantee their place in the Bundesliga for next season, whereas Wolfsburg need to take a point from the game to ensure survival.
Hamburg vs. Wolfsburg
Bundesliga – Saturday 20th May 2017 – 2:30pm
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As one would expect from a team in 16th place in the Bundesliga, Hamburg’s form has not been good.
Marcus Gisdol’s team have won 1 of their last 7 Bundesliga games, with 3 defeats and 2 draws coming in their last 5 outings. Without a win in 5 games is hardly the sort of form you want coming into a match like this but there is a crumb of comfort for the club.
Hamburg have lost only 2 of their previous 12 games at the Volksparkstadion and will be happy this game it at home. During that run of 12 home games Hamburg have defeated Bayer Leverkusen, Hertha Berlin, Borussia Monchengladbach, Koln and Hoffenheim.
Four of those teams are in the top half of the table, which shows what Hamburg are capable of when playing at home.
Wolfsburg almost reached safety last weekend but a late goal from Hamburg means they must now face a trip to the Volksparkstadion needing a point.
Andries Jonker’s team have won 2 of their previous 8 Bundesliga games, one of which was at home to Ingolstadt and the other away to Eintracht Frankfurt. Wolfsburg have suffered heavy defeats at the hands of Schalke and Bayern Munich recently, results which has seen them drop down the Bundesliga.
Wolfsburg were competing in the quarter-final of the Champions League last season but now find themselves in a battle to remain in the German top flight.
Hamburg are waiting on the fitness of Nicolai Muller, Mergim Mavraj, Aaron Hunt and Tom Mickel. The latter is unlikely to start the game anyway but the other three players would be in contention for the starting XI if fit. Dennis Diekmeier is suspended.
Wolfsburg will be without the suspended Riechedly Bazoer and Jeffrey Bruma who is injured. Ricardo Rodriguez is a fitness doubt but given the situation may be asked to play through the pain barrier.
Top Betting Tips
Given the situation, this is a very difficult match to call. Based on the form of Hamburg at home and Wolfsburg’s away record, you would have to side with the home team and Ladbrokes offer 6/4 for Hamburg to win the match and climb out of the bottom three.
All four of Hamburg’s most recent wins at home have come by a 1 goal margin and you can get 16/5 with PaddyPower for Hamburg to win this game by the same margin.
If Wolfsburg at to win the match or get the point they need to stay above Hamburg, Mario Gomez will be key. The German striker has scored 11 goals in his previous 12 games for club and country and is available at 9/2 with Ladbrokes to score the first goal of the game.