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Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Hertha can confirm Europa spot by beating Leverkusen in Berlin

The best football bets around Europe

Hertha Berlin celebrate their win over Borussia Dortmund
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Bundesliga 2.30pm & Ligue 1 8pm

It's all about survival Saturday on the final day of the German and French domestic league championships a a famous Bundesliga club look likely to be heading for a relegation playoff.

Hamburg host Wolfsburg needing a win to avoid the playoff and if they get the three points it will probably send last season's Champions League quarter-finalists into a two-legged nerve-jangler against the third-best side in Bundesliga 2.

However, there is a situation where a low-scoring loss for Wolfsburg and a heavier defeat for Augsburg could see the Bavarians tumbling into playoff. That is a runner with Augsburg heading to Hoffenheim, who themselves need a high-scoring success to leapfrog Borussia Dortmund for the third automatic Champions League spot.

Eintracht Braunschweig are likely to be waiting in the playoff with bet365 offering 2-1 that Hamburg are relegated, 9-2 about Wolfsburg and 10-1 Augsburg.

Fifth and sixth will guarantee Europa League qualification, although that could go down to seventh if Dortmund beat Eintracht Frankfurt in the German Cup final. Either way, fifth-placed Hertha can confirm their spot by beating Bayer Leverkusen in Berlin.

Hertha have won 12 home matches - as many as champions Bayern Munich - and look to be taking on Leverkusen at the perfect time.

It has been a shambolic campaign for Bayer, who made one of the worst decisions in recent football history when they replaced manager Roger Schmidt with the awful Tayfun Korkut.

Their only win in 11 games under Korkut came against tailed-off Darmstadt and Hertha's hungry attitude may be enough for victory.

Bookmakers have cut veteran Bayern duo Philipp Lahm and Xabi Alonso in the goalscorer markets. The world-class performers play the final match of their careers so unfortunately there does not seem a worthwhile angle to exploit at home to Europa League-chasing Freiburg.

No teams have yet been relegated in France, where two sides go down automatically and the side in 18th will face a playoff against the team finishing third in Ligue 2.

Bastia, who are 19th, have it all to do at Marseille and basement boys Nancy host St-Etienne knowing the best outcome for them is to qualify for the playoff.

Caen are in the safety zone in 17th but are at Paris St-Germain and look hugely vulnerable with 18th-placed Lorient only one point behind with a better goal difference and facing Bordeaux at home. 

In theory Bordeaux need a win to stand a chance of getting into next season's Europa League but their current position of sixth will be good enough if PSG justify their short-priced status against Angers in next week's French Cup final.

Hertha Berlin
1pt 21-20 general

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Hertha have won 12 home matches - the same as champions Bayern Munich - and look to be taking on Leverkusen at the perfect time
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