Millions of Euro’s are at stake this weekend as Borussia Dortmund take on Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga. Both teams are battling it out for third place, which guarantees a place in the group stages of the Champions League.
Participation in the group stage of the Champions League translates to more than 12 million Euros in additional revenue for the teams. In contrast, fourth place in the league only gets four million Euros.
The top two positions in the league have gone to Bayern Munich, who have already secured the title, and RB Leipzig, the Red Bull team who sit in a comfortable second place with 63 points. There has been significant displeasure at the rise of RB Leipzig, which is considered less of a football team than a marketing entity.
Hoffenheim is in third place at present with 58 points, and Dortmund is one point down with three matches to go. Most observers expect that this match will determine which team finishes third.
There is an additional advantage for the team finishing third. Third place gives the team a longer off-season which is a welcome break for players who will only need to peak by August for the Champions League qualifiers. That extra rest time could result in better performances during the opening games.
Dortmund are confident they will prevail: “We have the form, the self-confidence and mentality to get a home win at this stage,” Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel said. “Our performances, the intensity is top. We will be prepared.”