Strugglers Nuremberg will fight to the very end as they aim to avoid relegation from the Bundesliga.
Nuremberg sit second from bottom in the standings after Sunday’s 4-1 drubbing at the hands of UEFA Champions League hopefuls Bayer Leverkusen.
After four consecutive defeats, Gertjan Verbeek’s men are one point adrift of the relegation play-off spot and five short of safety with three games remaining.
But with a trip to seventh-placed Mainz coming up on Saturday, Argentinean defender Javier Pinola says the club have not consigned themselves to second-tier football next season.
“We don’t have many points,” said the 31-year-old. “But we don’t need to talk about this much.
“We have to seize these last three games, fight until the death and not give up.
“The experienced players must pick up the team again. We shouldn’t let our heads slip.”
Nuremberg, who have conceded 13 goals from their past four games, will take heart from the fact that they are unbeaten in two games against Mainz.
Fellow relegation candidates Eintracht Braunschweig and Hamburg are also facing a defining weekend as they look to avoid the drop.
Braunschweig are at the foot of the table after back-to-back defeats left them on 25 points ahead of their clash against Hertha Berlin.
Hamburg occupy the relegation play-off position and are away to high-flying Augsburg, knowing a win would move them within a point of safety if Stuttgart lose to 14-placed Hannover.
In other fixtures across the weekend, second-placed Borussia Dortmund can do arch-rivals Schalke a favour if they beat Bayern Leverkusen.
Schalke are clinging onto the final automatic qualifying spot for next season’s UEFA Champions League, four points ahead of Leverkusen.
If Schalke suffer defeat at home to fellow European hopefuls Borussia Monchengladbach, their buffer would be cut to one point on the back of a Leverkusen triumph.
Champions Bayern Munich are at home to Werder Bremen, who are nine points clear of the danger zone having collected seven points from a possible 12.
Elsewhere, Freiburg are on the road against in-form Wolfsburg, while Hoffenheim and Eintracht Frankfurt go head-to-head.
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