German Bundesliga preview

Markus Weinzierl: Augsburg look for victory

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The battle to avoid relegation comes into focus in the Bundesliga this weekend, with two matches which could go a long way in determining which sides will be playing second division football next season.

Augsburg, fresh from two crucial victories against fellow strugglers Hoffenheim and Werder Bremen, have the chance to move to within four points of safety when they host Nurnberg.

Markus Weinzierl's side have already exceeded their points' haul from the first half of the season in just seven matches so far in 2013, making what seemed like an impossible dream at Christmas appear more realistic with 10 games of the campaign to go.

"We know our way around in a relegation battle," said Weinzierl ahead of the pivotal clash with Hoffenheim a fortnight ago, and his players have demonstrated that in their last two fixtures.

"This is not a final for us," said his Nurnberg counterpart Michael Wiesinger. "There are many to follow."

However, going into the run-in with a 10-point cushion over the relegation play-off berth and being just four ahead would make a big difference to the mood in two Bavarian cities.

"Our aim is to be 10 clear tomorrow," added Wiesinger.

Another Bavarian club showing signs of life are Greuther Furth, who have drawn their two games since coach Mike Buskens was sacked.

They host Hoffenheim on Saturday, and there could hardly be a better time to celebrate their first home win in the top flight.

"We've played two good games against Champions League and Europa League candidates, and now we need three points against Hoffenheim," said midfielder Felix Klaus.

A victory for the Bavarians would take them above Hoffenheim and give them just a glimmer of hope that they could catch Augsburg in 16th place.

Elsewhere this weekend, champions-elect Bayern Munich can go 20 points clear, and to within just two wins of the title, by defeating Fortuna Dusseldorf while Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen will be keen to keep the title race as alive as possible with tough away games in Schalke and Mainz respectively.

Europa League-chasing Freiburg host Wolfsburg while Borussia Monchengladbach aim for a place in the top six when they host Werder Bremen.

On Sunday, Hannover host Eintracht Frankfurt, whose fourth position is coming under threat, and Stuttgart entertain Hamburg in another intriguing match in view of European qualification.