'We'll do all we can to finish fourth'

It couldn't be more exciting! On the last day of the Bundesliga season, the race for the title and the battle for European places will be decided this weekend. Bayer 04 are away to Hertha Berlin at the Olympic Stadium on Saturday (15.30 CET, live text commentary and web radio in German at in competition with Borussia Mönchengladbach and Eintracht Frankfurt for fourth spot in the table and a ticket to the Champions League next season.

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The current situation: Just two points separate fifth-placed Werkself from the main target for the season, qualification for the Champions League. So there's all to play for. Particularly as fourth-placed Borussia Mönchengladbach are level on points and Eintracht Frankfurt have a point less but a three-goal better goal difference, and they both face challenges in the season finale: Gladbach are at home to Borussia Dortmund and Frankfurt are away to league leaders Bayern Munich. While only a win can secure the title for Dortmund due to their worse goal difference (along with FC Bayern losing their game), the top team from Munich only need a draw to secure a seventh league title in succession. The title race could well play into the hands of the Werkself – provided the Bosz Boys pick up three points at Hertha or win by two goals more than Borussia Mönchengladbach.

The head coach on the game: "I'm very happy we can talk about still having a chance of fourth place ahead of the last game of the season. It didn't look like that would happen when I started here at the beginning of January. Now we can really talk about playing a final. And as we are so close then we must have the desire to do the job. We'll do all we can to finish fourth," said Peter Bosz ahead of the game at Hertha Berlin who do not have much to play for Saturday. Nevertheless, the Bayer 04 head coach expects a motivated opponent as it is their last home game of the season. But Bosz is not really interested in the question of how Hertha will approach this game. "As ever, I’m fully focused on my team. And in terms of how we play, there will be no changes in Berlin. We want to dominate the game, we want to have the ball and if we lose the ball then we want to win it back straightaway. That's what we're concentrating on. We know we have to win on Saturday and if possible by several goals," said Bosz, who will be kept up-to-date with the scores at Gladbach and at Bayern but will not let himself be influenced by that. "We can go through ten scenarios about everything that might happen. But there's no point in that. We're concentrating on what we have to do. And our strategy is: To win!"

Squad update: Leon Bailey, Karim Bellarabi, Joel Pohjanpalo and Panos Retsos have all started training again after their injuries but are unavailable for the match in Berlin. Julian Baumgartlinger, who went off in the game against Schalke after being kicked on the foot and had to take it easy at the start of the week, was able to train without any problems on Thursday. "I think he'll be fit," said Peter Bosz in assessing the availability of his midfielder.

The referee: Marco Fritz has been appointed referee for the game at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin. For the 41-year-old it will be the 16th time he has been involved in a Werkself match. The banker will be assisted on Saturday by Dominik Schaal and Marcel Pelgrim with Sven Waschitzki the fourth official. The VAR referees are Guido Winkmann and Thorben Siewer.

The fans: Over 3,000 supporters are making their way to the capital to get behind the Werkself at the Olympic Stadium on Saturday. Most of them will contribute to the atmosphere by being dressed completely in red in tune with the maxim 'Finally Red'. Anyone without a ticket can go to a ticket office for away fans at the ground two hours before kick-off. Seats are available in the upper tier. 

The previous meeting: Two days before Christmas, the Werkself had a positive end to the year with a 3-1 win against Hertha (then in eighth place) in front of a 28,000 crowd at the BayArena. Kevin Volland gave the dominant Werkself the lead after just six minutes with a low drive before Kai Havertz doubled the lead on 23 minutes with his fifth goal of the season. Shortly after that, Hertha's Jordan Torunarigha put his team back in the game with a headed goal. It was an evenly balanced encounter at that point but the Werkself were able to hold onto a 2-1 lead at half-time. Soon after the restart, it was Havertz who extended the lead to 3-1 with a high-quality, if not cheeky, lob. Hertha refused to give up but the Werkself stood firm and held onto the two-goal lead, also due in part to a great save by Lukas Hradecky in the closing stages. With the third home win in succession and points 11, 12 and 13 from the last six games, Heiko Herrlich's team was able to reduce the gap to the Europa League places to one point – and set the Werkself up for the second half of the season.


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