Augsburg, VfB Stuttgart, Hertha Berlin and Arminia Bielefeld are all trying to avoid joining Greuther Fürth in the second division next season.. - © /
Augsburg, VfB Stuttgart, Hertha Berlin and Arminia Bielefeld are all trying to avoid joining Greuther Fürth in the second division next season.. - © /

Bundesliga 2021/22 relegation battle: The run-in


Arminia Bielefeld, VfB Stuttgart and Hertha Berlin are fighting to avoid joining Greuther Fürth in being relegated from the Bundesliga.

With just one round of fixtures remaining, who will survive outright, who will be relegated automatically and who has a chance of a reprieve via the play-offs? takes stock of the season run-in…

Hertha Berlin
Current position: 15th
Games played: 33
Points: 33
Goal difference: -33
Remaining fixtures: Dortmund (a)

Hertha have taken seven points from a possible 15 since Felix Magath came in as head coach. They missed the chance to secure top-flight football for another season in defeat to Mainz, but still hold a three-point lead over Stuttgart heading into the final weekend. The Old Lady will only drop into the play-offs if they lose in Dortmund and Stuttgart beat Cologne. Anything else, and they're safe.

Key player: Kevin-Prince Boateng

Boateng was restricted to just four starts before Magath was parachuted in. He's made as many across Hertha's last four games, the decorated and homegrown midfielder's experience and monster mentality driving Hertha ever closer to the safe house.

Watch: The return of Felix Magath

VfB Stuttgart
Current position: 16th (relegation play-off against third-placed team in Bundesliga 2)
Games played: 33
Points: 30
Goal difference: -19
Remaining fixtures: Cologne (h)

Stuttgart picked up a crucial point in Munich on the penultimate weekend to all but relegate Bielefeld automatically, given their superior goal difference. If they win at Cologne on the final day and Hertha lose in Dortmund, VfB will bypass the play-offs and be safe.

Key player: Sasa Kalajdzic

Stuttgart have to deal in victories now, and the only way to win is to score goals. Step forward Kalajdzic, who struck 16 times in his maiden top-flight campaign last year, only for injury to reduce him to just 14 Bundesliga appearances so far this term. He has underlined his quality in the box in recent weeks, hitting the net five times in his last 10 games and the 24-year-old could well be the difference between staying up and going down.

Arminia Bielefeld
Current position: 17th (automatic relegation)
Games played: 32
Points: 27
Goal difference: -26
Remaining fixtures: Leipzig (h)

Three points behind Stuttgart and with the inferior goal difference, Bielefeld need to win by at least seven clear goals when they take on Leipzig - and hope VfB lose big - to avoid automatic relegation.

Key player: Patrick Wimmer

Wolfsburg-bound Wimmer has had a direct hand in almost half of his team’s goals (scoring three himself, with eight assists), while his 54 shots are considerably more than anyone else at the club (Fabian Klos is next with 38). With Masaya Okugawa having gone off the boil, Wimmer is Arminia's most likely route to goals on Matchday 34.

Greuther Fürth
Current position: 18th (relegated)
Games played: 33
Points: 18
Goal difference: -53
Remaining fixtures: Augsburg (a)

It has been a tough return to the top flight for Fürth, whose only previous Bundesliga campaign in 2012/13 ended in relegation, and the same fate was sealed on Matchday 31 in defeat to Bayer Leverkusen.