Stuttgart’s 38-year stay in the Bundesliga could come to an end on Saturday when they face Hamburg.
Huub Stevens’ men have struggled throughout the season but boosted their hopes of avoiding demotion to the 2.Bundesliga with a 2-0 win over Mainz last weekend, which put them within a point of safety in the battle against the drop.
Yet Stuttgart will be relegated with a home defeat to Hamburg – themselves just a point clear of the drop zone – and wins for two of Paderborn, Hannover and Freiburg.
That trio, who are a point above bottom club Stuttgart, all face tough encounters. Freiburg host champions Bayern Munich and Hannover and Paderborn visit UEFA Europa League chasers Augsburg and Schalke.
Schalke welcome Paderborn to the Veltins Arena at the end of a tumultuous week that has seen them indefinitely suspend Kevin-Prince Boateng and Sidney Sam and ban Marco Hoger for a week following a 2-0 loss to Cologne.
Roberto Di Matteo’s Schalke hold the final UEFA Europa League qualification spot, but are just two points ahead of rivals Borussia Dortmund and Werder Bremen with two games to go.
Dortmund visit second-placed Wolfsburg, while Bremen take on a Borussia Monchengladbach side five points ahead of Bayer Leverkusen in the race for the final UEFA Champions League group stage qualification place.
Gladbach midfielder Andre Hahn told the club’s official website: “We know the dream is within touching distance. But we still need one more win.
“We still need one more good game, then we can look forward to the Champions League hymn in Borussia Park next season.
“What a story that is. This season has been a bit of a shock until now and we can be proud that we have performed so well so far.
“We’re certainly not expecting an easy game. Werder have been very good this year and despite a tricky start to the season, have established themselves in the top half of the league.
“You have to praise a team for that. I think people can expect an exciting match, as there is a lot at stake for both sides.”
Leverkusen will hope to capitalise on any slip-up by Gladbach by winning their final home game of the campaign against Hoffenheim.
Elsewhere, Hertha Berlin – three points above the drop zone – meet Eintracht Frankfurt as they aim to secure their top-tier status and Cologne travel to Mainz.
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