Werder Bremen and Fortuna Düsseldorf are fighting it out for a stay of execution via the relegation play-offs. - © DFL
Werder Bremen and Fortuna Düsseldorf are fighting it out for a stay of execution via the relegation play-offs. - © DFL
bundesliga

Bundesliga 2019/20 relegation run-in: fixtures, form and key men

Werder Bremen and Fortuna Düsseldorf are fighting it out for a stay of execution via the relegation play-offs. Who will live to fight another day? Who will follow Paderborn through the trap door?

bundesliga.com weighs up the make-or-break finale...

Fortuna Düsseldorf

Position: 16th (relegation play-off spot)
Points: 30 (-28)
Remaining fixture: Union (a)

If Fortuna hadn't drawn against Hertha Berlin and Cologne from winning positions, they would already be safe. As it is, the best Düsseldorf can hope for is a shot at redemption via the relegation play-offs. Happily, their fate is in their own hands following back-to-back draws with RB Leipzig and Augsburg. As long as they better Bremen's result on the final weekend, they will face Bundesliga 2's third-placed team for the right to play in Germany's top flight next season. A win against a Union Berlin team already assured of their Bundesliga status is the best-case scenario; even a draw might be enough unless Bremen beat Cologne by a four-goal swing. Defeat could send them down.

Key man: Erik Thommy

Erik Thommy was on the winning side when former club Jahn Regensburg avoided relegation to the third tier following a play-off win over 1860 Munich in the 2016/17 play-offs. Injury deprived VfB Stuttgart of the talented midfielder last season as they dropped out of the Bundesliga after losing their two-legged shot at redemption on away goals to Union. He took his time to get going at Fortuna, but has assumed something of talisman status ahead of faltering striker Rouwen Hennnigs in recent months. All but one of his six goals have resulted in positive results - the same applies to three of his four assists.

Erik Thommy has become a key piece in the Fortuna Düsseldorf puzzle under Uwe Rösler. - DFL

Werder Bremen

Position: 17th (automatic relegation)
Points: 28 (-32)
Remaining fixtures: Cologne (h)

It was Thommy's brace of assists that contributed to Bremen's opening-day loss to Fortuna, in turn setting the tone for a hair-raising campaign for the four-time Bundesliga champions. There was a momentary upswing following the Bundesliga restart in May, but defeat in their relegation six-pointer with Mainz on the penultimate weekend has left the Green-Whites on the brink of joining Paderborn in the second tier. Werder have to beat Cologne - Fortuna's fierce regional rivals - and hope Düsseldorf lose in Berlin. Three points coupled with a Fortuna draw will only take them into the play-offs, but only if they can win by four clear goals. As the league's second-worst for goals scored and conceded, the odds of that happening appear slim to none.

Key man: Davy Klaassen

Davy Klaassen has been one of precious few Bremen constants throughout an uneasy campaign. The Dutchman isn't Werder's chief goal threat - that honour goes to Milot Rashica - but his commitment levels and ability to provide the bridge between a steadily improving defence and under-performing attack make him one of the first names on coach Florian Kohfeldt's teamsheet. He has captained the side in the absence of Niklas Moisander, clocked up the most minutes of any outfield Bremen player, and had a hand in 10 of 36 goals from midfield - including his very own double in the 5-1 drubbing of Paderborn on Matchday 31. Where there's Klaassen, there's hope...

Watch: Klaassen the Redeemer was the hero for Bremen in Paderborn

Paderborn

Position: 18th (relegated)
Points: 20 (-34)
Remaining fixtures: Gladbach (h), Frankfurt (a)