By Michael Kryschak@michaelkryschak

"Ones to watch" for Bundesliga Matchday 34

Good form, lucky match-up or just a special situation - here are five players you need to look out for on matchday 34 of the Bundesliga!

1. Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund)

How could we have not started with one of Dortmund's biggest modern day legends, Marco Reus? The 34 year old will leave the club at the end of the season - making this week's game against Darmstadt his last ever Bundesliga game for Dortmund and maybe even in general.

Last week, Dortmund have suffered a surprising 0-3 defeat to Mainz. Two weeks before their Champions League final, BVB want to get back on track. Here are three reasons, why Marco Reus will be the player to help them to more success:

  1. Reus will be extremly motivated to end his last home game for Dortmund with a win - especially after last week's loss. You can expect a lot of emotions in this game!
  2. Darmstadt, unlike Mainz, are on a losing streak and have nothing to play for at this moment in time - Reus however could still get into the starting eleven for Dortmund's CL final if he performs accordingly!
  3. Reus already scored against Darmstadt this season, helping Dortmund to a 3-0 success in the first half of the season. After his stellar performance against Augsburg two weeks ago, Reus will show Germany one last time why he was the face of the Bundesliga for many years!

2. Michael Gregoritsch (SC Freiburg)

Freiburg's last game in this Bundesliga season will also be an emotional one. Even though they officially said goodbye to their head coach Christian Streich last week at home against Heidenheim, this will be his very last game of his career.

Let's not forget that Freiburg are very much fighting to get into the Europa League - they need a win against the struggling Union Berlin this weekend in order to achieve this last goal and send Streich happy into his retirement.

A player Streich was always able to rely on in the last few months is Michael Gregoritsch - here are three reasons why the Austrian will be the one to watch this week:

  1. “Gregerl” is a proven and consistent goal threat for every Bundesliga side. He was responsible for 50% of Freiburgs goals in their last five matches.
  2. Seven goal contributions in the second half of the season are a solid return in a Freiburg side which was having problems with scoring many goals - only Vincenzo Grifo was more successful for Freiburg.
  3. Union Berlin have lost five out of their last seven matches, underwent a managerial change two weeks ago and conceded 14 goals in their last five games - a dream for the opponent's striker.

 

3. Linton Maina (1. FC Köln)

Nobody can predict Köln this season! They went into the season with coach Baumgart dreaming of the European places - then everybody wrote them off and it looked like they were heading straight into the 2. Bundesliga.

After last week's miracle victory against Union Berlin (3-2), Köln can overtake “die Eisernen” in the Bundesliga table - and hop onto relegation spot 16. Köln have three points and three goals less than Union Berlin - but could achieve the unthinkable and save themselves from direct relegation!

One reason for last week's turn around was the substitution of Linton Maina. Here are three reasons why he will help save Köln against Heidenheim:

  1. As just mentioned, Maina came into the game last week when Köln was 0-2 down - only to help them win 3-2 in the end! It was his assist for Damion Downs that won his team the game.
  2. As with every Köln player this season, the goal output is not great. Maina has only scored once this season and assisted three. But with him in the squad, Köln didn't lose any of their last three games!
  3. In an end-of-the-season relegation battle like this, the most important things are current form and momentum - with those two factors, everything is possible, like Köln proved last week. Maina will help Köln to another miracle this weekend.

 

4. Mitchell Weiser (Werder Bremen)

Everything seems to be going well in Bremen! After a period of uncertainty a few weeks back, Bremen now find themselves fighting to get into a European competition next season - what a year in the Bundesliga!

Just before the last game against Bochum, Bremen have announced the contract extension of rightback Mitchell Weiser - that's a crucial deal for the Werderaner! Weiser has been one of their stand-out players this season.

In a best case scenario, Bremen could get 8th place in the Bundesliga, which would gurantee them a spot in the qualification for the UEFA Conference League (at least!). Here are three reasons why Mitchell Weiser will be the one to watch for this game:

  1. Weiser is Bremen second best player when it comes to goals and assists this season - as a rightback! Ten goal contributions helped his team to get into this position.
  2. Weiser has the most assists in the Bundesliga for Bremen with seven. He has proven to be a key player in transition for Bremen and is not shy of scoring important goals as well (he scored the only goal in the U21-Euros final in 2017).
  3. The confirmation of a newly-signed contract usually gives players a boost in their performance - their future is clear and they can concentrate on the goals of their respective club. 

 

5. Arthur (Bayer Leverkusen)

We had to mention a Bayer Leverkusen player in what could be the most historic season of a Bundesliga club ever. If Leverkusen don't lose against Augsburg on Saturday, they will have won the Bundesliga without being beaten a single time!

One can't point out and highlight only one position or one section of the squad - every player has given it his all and made sure that Leverkusen are still fighting for the (small) treble! But one player who only got to show his potential last week is Bayer's defender Arthur.

Arthur was brought in before the season for €5m, but was only able to play four games in the league due to a muscle injury. Last week, however, the Brasilian gave us three arguments for him being the player to watch in Leverkusen's last Bundesliga game of the season:

  1. Leverkusen will play Atalanta four days after this weekend's game against Augsburg; that means Xabi Alonso will rotate the squad and let players play who are likely to miss the Europa League final - a chance for Arthur to show himself.
  2. Against Bochum a week ago, Arthur provided two assists in his teams 5-0 victory, proving that he is in great form in just about the right time.
  3. With rumours about Frimpong possibly leaving Leverkusen after this season, this could be Arthur's chance to prove to Alonso that he deserves to be his successor next season.

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