Robben replaces Ribery as Bayern's key man

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Whilst attempting to use as many footballing clichés as possible, the Fundesliga has come up with this short but frank preview of the key games of round 28 in the Bundesliga…

With Hertha Berlin seemingly destined to finish in the drop-zone, the question remains about just who will join them.

Nerves are sure to be shattered at the AWD Arena on Saturday (that stands for the Allgemeiner Wirtschaftsdienst, or, German Economic Service, by the way) when Hannover face German hotshot Lukas Podolski's FC Köln.

With the away team dropping down the Bundesliga faster than Tiger Woods pants, you can bet both clubs' fans will be on the edges of their seats all afternoon.

At the business end of the table, though, there's another proverbial six-pointer in store at the BayArena, as Bayer Leverkusen, hoping to stop the rot of just one win in five, play Schalke 04, with both teams still harbouring genuine aspirations of winning the title.

Leverkusen's Stefan Kiessling prays for a much-needed win

Bayern München, after an unexpected defeat in round 27 against over-achieving Eintracht Frankfurt, will be looking to build up a head of steam when they welcome 2008 title-winners Stuttgart to the hi-tech Allianz Arena.

Bit of trivia for you, by the way: Did you know that the outside of their stadium is made up of over 80,000 monitors that can change colour as and when necessary? Cracking ground.

Last season’s champions, VfL Wolfsburg, with their quite frankly shambolic defence (51 goals conceded; more than any other team in the division), must surely have to win a tricky encounter against FSV Mainz if they want to make the Europa League places.

Will they win? Negative, I'd say. Although they do have plenty of firepower in the form of Edin Dzeko, Grafite and Obafemi Martins.

After a humiliating 1-5 spanking by table anchor's Hertha Berlin last week, trainer Lorenz-Günther Köstner had this to say: “The defeat really angered me, and, as a trainer, you don't tend to forget such things.” They'll only have pride to play for if they can't defeat Mainz, though, that's for sure...

The weekend's other fixtures are, as usual, found at the bottom of the page.

In other news, there were two league cup games this week. The semi's of the DfB Pokal took place, and, truth be told, both games were distinctively average.

Bremen strolled to victory over massive underdogs Augsburg, while Schalke and Bayern pretty much cancelled each other out, before Arjen Robben predictably scored the game's only goal in extra time to send his team into the final. Goal below.

Robben - more important than Ribery...and marginally less ugly too...

Robben, in my opinion, is player of the season in Germany. Easily. In fact, Messi, Drogba and Rooney aside, he's up there with anybody in Europe.

If Bayern do, as many expect, lose Franck Ribéry at the season's end, they should be thankful they already have somebody equally as talented in the Oranje winger.

German national newspaper Die Welt also reckons this, reporting “Arjen Robben schon wertvoller als Franck Ribery” - in English “Robben is already more important than Ribery”. Hard to argue against it, I'd say.

Robben has said this week that he loves life in Münich; Will he help die Bayern damage Manchester United's chances of progressing to the Champions League semi finals when the two clubs meet in the in a week's time?

Here's to another nail-biting weekend in the Bundesliga!

This weekend's fixtures, along with The Fundesliga's predictions:

VfL Bochum 1-2 Eintracht Frankfurt

FSV Mainz 1-1 VfL Wolfsburg
FC Bayern München 3-1 VfB Stuttgart
Hertha Berlin 1-2 Borussia Dortmund
Hannover 96 1-0 FC Köln
Werder Bremen 2-0 FC Nürnberg
Bayer Leverkusen 2-2 Schalke 04

1899 Hoffenheim 1-1 SC Freiburg
Borussia M’gladbach 0-2 Hamburger SV

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