Ondrej Duda, Stefan Ortega and Leonardo Bittencourt (l-r.) could hold the key for basement boys Cologne, Arminia Bielefeld and Werder Bremen. - © DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga
Ondrej Duda, Stefan Ortega and Leonardo Bittencourt (l-r.) could hold the key for basement boys Cologne, Arminia Bielefeld and Werder Bremen. - © DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga
bundesliga

Bundesliga 2020/21 relegation battle: Cologne, Werder Bremen and Arminia Bielefeld - who needs what on the final day?

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Schalke have already been relegated, but who from Cologne, Werder Bremen and Arminia Bielefeld will be joining them in Bundesliga 2? Which team will get a shot at redemption via the play-offs, and who will survive outright on the final weekend of the 2020/21 Bundesliga season?

bundesliga.com weighs up the permutations...

Arminia Bielefeld

Position: 15th
Points: 32 (33 games played)
Goal difference: -28
Remaining fixture: Stuttgart (a)

Bielefeld have lost only one of their last seven, but their inferior goal difference puts them in real danger ahead of an away game against a VfB Stuttgart outfit still in with an outside shot at European qualification. A win removes any reliance on other results. Matching the teams below them will also see them over the line. A draw will only be enough for outright survival if Bremen and Cologne fail to win. Defeat, coupled with a Cologne win and positive result for Bremen, will ensure an immediate return to the second tier. If Cologne don't win, but Bremen outdo Bielefeld, it'll be destination play-offs.

Key man: Stefan Ortega

Ortega had a big say in Bielefeld's 1-1 draw with Hoffenheim on the penultimate weekend in a display typical of his campaign. The 28-year-old has faced more shots than any other goalkeeper in this season's Bundesliga, repelling 70 percent of them.

Arminia Bielefeld No.1 Stefan Ortega boasts the third best save ratio in this season's Bundesliga. - INA FASSBENDER/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Werder Bremen

Position: 16th (relegation play-off)
Points: 31 (32 games played)
Goal difference: -19
Remaining fixture: Borussia Mönchengladbach (h)

Werder only survived last season's promotion/ relegation tie with Heidenheim thanks to the away-goals rule. If they stumble against Borussia Mönchengladbach, the Green-Whites could be going up against the third-placed Bundesliga 2 side once again. Victory would, at the very least, rule out automatic relegation. However, that's not something they've achieved since 10 March (D1, L8). A draw will secure outright survival if Bielefeld lose and Cologne don't win - but if they're held, Cologne win and Arminia lose, it'll be the play-offs. If second-bottom Cologne win and they lose - or if Cologne win, Bielefeld avoid defeat and they don't take maximum points - Bremen will be relegated automatically.

Key man: Leonardo Bittencourt

Leo Bittencourt was back in the side in the Matchday 33 defeat to Augsburg, and was Werder's best player by a long shot. The mercurial midfielder might be just what's needed to get Josh Sargent scoring again after an eight-game barren spell in front of goal.

Cologne

Position: 17th (automatic relegation)
Points: 30 (33 games played)
Goal difference: -27
Remaining fixture: Schalke (h)

Cologne have had chances to pull themselves above the waterline, but they haven't taken enough of them. The Billy Goats now need to beat Schalke at home, whilst hoping at least one of the teams above them doesn't reach 33 points. A draw - unless Gladbach absolutely trounce Bremen - or defeat will seal their fate.

Key man: Ondrej Duda

Without Duda, Cologne would already be down. He's scored five times in his last eight games, including a match-winning brace against Augsburg on Matchday 31. If the Slovakian turns it on against Schalke, the Cathedral City club have every chance.

Watch: Highlights of Cologne's Duda-inspired win over Augsburg

Schalke - 18th, RELEGATED

Remaining fixture: Cologne (a)

Schalke were relegated for the fourth time in their history following a 1-0 defeat to Bielefeld on Matchday 30.