Bundesliga Preview: Eintracht Braunschweig, Hannover look to frustrate Bayern
Eintracht Braunschweig and Hannover stand in the way of Bayern Munich defending their Bundesliga title against Mainz this weekend.
Pep Guardiola's side are on the verge of being crowned champions of the German top flight and could win the league this weekend with victory over UEFA Champions League hopefuls Mainz.
However, bottom side Braunschweig and mid-table Hannover would have to beat Schalke and Borussia Dortmund respectively to make Bayern's title mathematically secure.
Given that Bayern have scored more league goals than Braunschweig and Hannover combined, Guardiola may have to wait before clinching the Bundesliga in his debut season at the Allianz Arena.
Dortmund and Schalke also have plenty to play for, regardless of the task they face chasing Bayern, with the local rivals eager to secure the two remaining automatic Champions League qualification spots.
The rivals also contest the Revierderby next week and will be eager to go into the clash off the back of a victory.
Schalke will be without captain Benedikt Howedes after he picked up a muscular problem in Tuesday's Champions League exit at Real Madrid while Dortmund will look for a response after a below-par defeat to Borussia Monchengladbach on Saturday.
Monchengladbach coach Lucien Favre will be eager for Raffael and Max Kruse to help bolster their hopes of European football next season with victory over an out-of-sorts Hertha Berlin while Wolfsburg and Mainz, hosting Augsburg and Bayern respectively, can pile the pressure on Bayer Leverkusen in fourth - with Sami Hyypia's men on a dismal run of form.
Leverkusen have not won any of their last eight matches in all competitions and have been knocked out of the Champions League. On Sunday, they host Hoffenheim - themselves beaten in their last two outings.
A first win for Huub Stevens as Stuttgart manager could move them out of the drop zone as they host fellow strugglers Hamburg - who have taken seven points from 12 since replacing Bert van Marwijk with Mirko Slomka in February.
And Eintracht Frankfurt could be brought back into the relegation battle against Nurnberg while Freiburg welcome the visit of Werder Bremen.