Hertha Berlin and Hamburg will contest the Bundesliga's promotion/relegation play-off. - © Christian Verheyen/Christian Verheyen
Hertha Berlin and Hamburg will contest the Bundesliga's promotion/relegation play-off. - © Christian Verheyen/Christian Verheyen
bundesliga

Hertha Berlin to face Bundesliga 2's Hamburg in 2021/22 promotion/relegation play-off

whatsappmailcopy-link

Hertha Berlin will take on Hamburg in the two-legged promotion/relegation play-off to determine which side will play in the Bundesliga next season.

Hertha finished 16th in the Bundesliga, dropping into the play-off position on the final day, on goal difference alone. Hamburg placed third in the final Bundesliga 2 standings, missing out on automatic promotion by three points.

The first leg will take place in Berlin on 19 May (kick-off: 8:30pm CEST), with the second leg in Hamburg scheduled for 23 May (kick-off: 8:30pm CEST). The winner of the tie will play Bundesliga football in 2022/23. The loser will be part of the 18-team Bundesliga 2.

Greuther Fürth and Arminia Bielefeld finished in the Bundesliga's automatic relegation places, while Schalke and Werder Bremen secured an immediate return to the top flight as Bundesliga 2 champions and runners-up respectively.

Relegation play-offs explained

At the end of each season, the bottom two clubs in the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 are relegated to Bundesliga 2 and the 3. Liga respectively. A two-legged promotion/relegation play-off is played between the club that finished third-last in the Bundesliga and the club that finished third in Bundesliga 2, and similarly between the club that finished third-last in Bundesliga 2 and the club that finished third in the 3. Liga, to determine whether the club from the higher division retains its status or whether the club from the lower division is promoted in its place.

The matches are played using the knock-out format used in the European club competitions ('European Cup system'). The clubs play each other at home and away. Home advantage in the second leg is given to the club that had fewer match-free days prior to the first leg based on the fixture list for the past season.

In line with recent UEFA rule changes affecting the Champions League, Europa League and Europa Conference League, the away-goals rule has been scrapped. The rule was applied to determine the winner of a two-legged knockout tie in instances where the two teams had scored the same number of goals on aggregate over the two games. If one team had scored more away goals, they would prevail.