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Is a title challenge possible for Man Utd?

Manchester United
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By ESPN Staff

Cologne in fight to avoid drop

The battle to avoid relegation is well under way in the Bundesliga with nine clubs still in danger, and this weekend is set to be an important one at the bottom of the table.

Cologne travel to Augsburg with their coach Stale Solbakken knowing a fourth straight defeat could bring an end to his time in charge of the club, and he is not expecting an easy match either.

Augsburg have not lost in five games while their last defeat at home dates back to November, but their good form of late could play into Cologne's hands, according to Solbakken.

The Bavarians have been written off as certainties for relegation since the season started, but only now - after moving out of the bottom three for the first time a fortnight ago - are they being taken more seriously and this could help Cologne, says Solbakken.

''Augsburg have not lost at home for a long time so it is going to be tough, but they have been playing for weeks without any pressure and now they have something to lose,'' he said in the Express newspaper.

Hamburg are also in danger after dropping into the bottom three last weekend and their record of never having been relegated from the Bundesliga is under serious threat.

They travel to bottom-placed Kaiserslautern on Saturday with the hosts knowing that, with just seven games of the season remaining, this could be their last chance to get out of trouble.

The Red Devils are currently seven points adrift of safety.

Nurnberg could also be dragged into danger and they have an unenviable task against in-form Bayern Munich, while 13th-placed Freiburg travel to Bayer Leverkusen having picked up 10 points from their last four games.

Elsewhere, Hertha Berlin host Wolfsburg, who appear to be safe on 37 points, while Hoffenheim probably need a few more points to guarantee their place in the top flight.

They host Schalke on Sunday while Werder Bremen play their second home game in a row against Mainz.

At the top of the table, Borussia Dortmund will be looking to extend their lead over Bayern to eight points with victory over Stuttgart tomorrow night.

The battle for third takes place on Sunday when Borussia Monchengladbach travel to Hannover and Schalke playing the last game of the weekend in Hoffenheim.

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