Bundesliga Preview: Hamburg, Wolfsburg in crucial clash
By Football News
Hamburg's hosting of Wolfsburg on Saturday will see both sides playing for plenty, in the twilight of the Bundesliga season.
Mirko Slomka's men occupy the relegation play-off spot in 16th, but are equally close to safety as they are to being assured of the drop to the second tier.
Stuttgart sit one place and one point above them, while Nuremberg are one point below in 17th.
With four games to play, Hamburg must string together some consistent results to escape the danger zone, as they have failed to go unbeaten in consecutive games across their past six fixtures.
Wolfsburg, meanwhile, are one point outside a UEFA Champions League play-off spot, currently occupied by Bayer Leverkusen.
Leverkusen also have a crucial clash of their own on Sunday, on the road at Nuremberg in a double-edged sword for the competing sides.
Nuremberg have lost their past three, while Sascha Lewandowski's Bayer a draw, a loss and a win in their most recent league fixtures.
Also on Sunday, Schalke will look to further consolidate their UEFA Champions League spot, when they travel to take on relegation-threatened Stuttgart.
On Thursday night, Eintracht Frankfurt welcome Hannover in a battle of two bottom-half teams.
Eintracht Braunschweig welcome champions Bayern Munich on Saturday, in a battle pitting bottom against top.
Braunschweig will be hoping Bayern's lax form of late - winless in three, losing their past two - continues, as they remain three points from safety.
Also on Saturday, Augsburg host an out-of-form Hertha Berlin, Freiburg welcome Borussia Monchengladbach, Hoffenheim travel to Werder Bremen and second-placed Borussia Dortmund are at home to Mainz.