Relegation-Promotion playoffs: Nuremberg and Werder Bremen both survive

The German football relegation/promotion playoffs concluded this weekend, and on both occasions, it was the higher division team that kept their league status intact. In both cases, the higher ranked team won on the away goals rule.

The first one saw Werder Bremen take on Heidenheim. The first leg in Bremen ended in a 0-0 draw, and the second one saw late drama (two penalties in second half extra time), before finishing 2-2.

The 2.Bundesliga v 3.Bundesliga playoff was even more entertaining. Nuremberg seemed to have had it wrapped up after winning the first leg 2-0 at home, only to go down 3-0 in the return leg against their 3.Liga opponents. However Fabian Schleusener played spoilsport for Ingolstadt by grabbing an injury time goal, which made it 3-1, and saw Nuremberg take the tie on the away goals rule.

FCI FCN

Manuel Neuer in Team of the Week

Only one Bayern player in this weekend’s Team of the Week, and that was goalkeeper Manuel Neuer. The Bavarian giants had a 1-0 win over Werder Bremen over the weekend, and Neuer, who was also Bayern’s best rated player in the Bild newspaper, finds himself as the team’s sole representative. Fair spread of players, but the most come from Borussia Monchengladbach, who remain in the hunt for a CL spot.

Kicker Team of the Week Round 32 2020-21

Bild ratings Werder-Bayern

Neuer

Spurs v United- Kane available to face the Red Devils

Manchester United’s first league game in nearly 100 days sees the Red Devils travel to London to take on former boss Jose Mourinho’s Spurs side on Friday night. This will be United’s first ever PL clash at the new Tottenham Hotspur stadium- the 58th different venue they’ve visited on the road in the top flight.

Given the three month plus gap, this fixture feels like the first of a new season, rather than one in the final third of the current season. The break has aided both sets of players- in particular Spurs, who have a stronger side to choose from than they would’ve originally had this fixture been played in March.

Harry Kane, Heung-Min Son and Moussa Sissoko are all expected to start for the Lilywhites, with Mourinho expected to take a late call on the availability of Argentine star Giovani Lo Celso.

United have only two first team players- Phil Jones and Axel Tuanzebe, unavailable, which gives manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer plenty of options to choose from as he seeks to extend their 11 game winning streak across all competitions.

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