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Looking Around the League: Survival Hopes Slipping Away for Hertha Berlin & Schalke

Despite their Rückrunde resurgence, Schalke have found themselves back at the bottom of the Bundesliga table.

TSG Hoffenheim v FC Schalke 04 - Bundesliga Photo by Christian Kaspar-Bartke/Getty Images

Every Saturday me and my pals put on a group bet that involves each of us picking one game to bet on and combining the choices as an accumulator that we all chuck a fiver on separately. We rarely win, because my friends are cowards that are petrified of picking a single winner in their sorry little lives (or because 8-10 game accumulators are always a bit of a long-shot, you decide), but they’re a good, fun group activity and every now and then we win a couple hundred quid and it’s a real thrill.

Anyway, there wasn’t as much football on in England on Saturday, due to the Easter holidays (the lower leagues play on the Friday and the Monday instead), which meant that we were much more limited in our choice for potentially easy wins. Because I’m a swell guy that is not only very thoughtful but also extremely worldly, I looked to the European leagues for my choice, giving my luddite gammon friends free reign of the few remaining Good Old British football games being played on Saturday. Being the Bundesliga expert that I am, covering it every single week and studying the league in great detail, I made the sensible, calculated choice to bet on the in-form European contenders, Mainz, to beat Werder Bremen. There’s no way this could possibly backfire, right?

I hope they cancel carnival.

Here’s how all the other games I didn’t bet on in Matchday 27 played out in the Bundesliga:


Freiburg 0-1 Bayern Munich

Borussia Dortmund 2-1 Union Berlin

Mainz 2-2 Werder Bremen

Augsburg 1-3 FC Köln

Leverkusen 3-1 Frankfurt

Hertha Berlin 0-1 RB Leipzig

Borussia Monchengladbach 2-0 Wolfsburg

VfL Bochum 2-3 VfB Stuttgart

Hoffenheim 2-0 Schalke


Schalke Slip Back to Bottom

Schalke’s hot run of form in 2023 seems to have come to an end, having lost their last two games. While the first loss came against an in-form Bayer Leverkusen, which was probably to be expected, they were also defeated by Hoffenheim over the weekend.

I honestly thought Hoffenheim were done for. They were in absolutely dire form, and with the likes of Schalke and Bochum constantly picking up points, it felt like Hoffenheim had played their way into the drop. Clearly, I simply do not know ball, because I did not see Hoffenheim going from losing what seemed like 300 games on the trot, to a 3-game winning streak that included vital wins against two of their relegation rivals.

The relegation dogfight has had multiple twists and turns this season. By now there is usually at least one team that is long gone, but at various stages in the second half of the season different teams have looked like they might be slipping away, only to turn things around.

Now, with three points separating 15th and 16th (in part thanks to Stuttgart’s 3-2 win over Bochum), it’s starting to look like we may have our three teams to fill the relegation places. Although three points isn’t enough to completely rule out Stuttgart catching Bochum, I think it’s very likely that Hertha Berlin and Schalke, at the very least, will both be in the bottom three at the end of the season. The big question now is who will get one more shot at staying in the league, in the Relegation/Promotion playoffs.

Your Thoughts?

Who will be in the bottom three come the end of the Bundesliga season? And which of the three will be pitted against the 2. Bundesliga’s third-best team (currently Heidenheim) in the playoffs?