There is likely to be plenty of emotion on Matchday 31 in the Bundesliga. - © © gettyimages
There is likely to be plenty of emotion on Matchday 31 in the Bundesliga. - © © gettyimages

The Guide: Matchday 31

Reach for the hankies as the first tears could be shed on Matchday 31, both of the joy and the despair variety.

Title within reach for treble-chasing Bayern looks ahead to a weekend when the first verdicts of the 2015/16 Bundesliga season could be declared.

FC Bayern München have their first serve for championship point this weekend when they head to the capital for the first of two visits to the Olympiastadion in the coming month. A win at Hertha Berlin would see them clinch the Bundesliga title on Saturday (kick-off 15:30CEST/13:30GMT) if Borussia Dortmund lose at VfB Stuttgart. Any other combination of results would then give Bayern second serve when they host Borussia Mönchengladbach on Matchday 32, but now would be a perfect time for Pep Guardiola's men to deliver an ace and allow them to focus fully on their UEFA Champions League semi-final tie with Club Atletico de Madrid, and then think about their next trip to Berlin: for the DFB Cup final with Borussia Dortmund on 21 May.

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Relegation battle going down to the wire

A defeat at FC Ingolstadt 04 would see Hannover 96 become the first club to bid farewell to the Bundesliga and while it may seem only a matter of time before the Lower Saxony club are condemned to relegation, the battle not to join them in Bundesliga 2 next season involves an astonishing eight clubs. From 17th-placed Eintracht Frankfurt up to 1. FC Köln in tenth, there can be no leaning back with the trapdoor still wide open. Things will start to look a little clearer after Matchday 31 with a particularly important Nordderby between Hamburger SV and SV Werder Bremen, who are separated by just three points, and SV Darmstadt 98's trip to Cologne potentially seeing one of those sides secure their top-flight status prematurely. TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, VfB Stuttgart and Frankfurt face arguably the most difficult challenges against sides jostling for positions at the other end of the table, while FC Augsburg need to show their survival skills once again at VfL Wolfsburg with one of the tightest relegation battles on record keeping half of the Bundesliga on their toes.

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