Running the rule over Werder Bremen, Fortuna Düsseldorf, FC Augsburg and 1899 Hoffenheim, bundesliga.com looks at just what the run-in holds for this precariously-perched quartet.
Without a win in seven, Bremen have picked up just three points from the last 21 on offer. Never before have the Green-Whites fared so poorly under Thomas Schaaf - their 31-point return from 28 matches being their worst since 1998/99. Fortunately for folk on the Weser, Bremen have scored more goals than any other side in the lower half of the table, already hold a seven-point headstart on Augsburg in the relegation play-off spot and, with six games remaining, face only one outfit from the upper echelons of the league ladder in Bayer 04 Leverkusen (Matchday 31).
Fortuna's recent form is alarming to say the least. Norbert Meier's men have collected only two points from their last six encounters, with two of their seven defeats since the winter break coming against fellow relegation contenders Augsburg and Hoffenheim. The Rhine club are yet to occupy a place in the bottom three, but that could soon change unless they can put right their six-match winless streak. Fortuna next face Bremen in a crunch clash at the foot of the table, while their remaining five fixtures involve four sides chasing UEFA Europa League football as well as Borussia Dortmund.
Augsburg have experienced anything but the winter blues, having picked up more points (15) than any of the other three relegation candidates in 2013. Amongst those teams to fall to Michael Wiesinger's resurgent minions were Düsseldorf, Bremen and Hoffenheim, with the club now only five points shy of the relatively safe haven that is 15th in the standings. A dauting trip to Bayern on the penultimate day of the campaign notwithstanding, Augsburg can expect to add to their tally against the likes of Borussia Mönchengladbach, VfB Stuttgart and bottom club Fürth before the season's up.
That brings us to Hoffenheim, eight points clear of luckless Fürth, only a point behind play-off place occupants Augsburg and six adrift of struggling Fortuna. The Sinsheim club somewhat surprisingly sit seventh in the latest form table (W2, D1, L2), with one of their six wins all season coming last week against Düsseldorf - an impressive one at that under new coach Markus Gisdol. Hoffenheim will do well to take points off Leverkusen and Dortmund, but it's the Matchday 32 showdown in Bremen that could really shape the final standings.