Makoto Hasebe will look to help transform the fortunes of 17th-place Nürnberg
Makoto Hasebe will look to help transform the fortunes of 17th-place Nürnberg

Time on the side of struggling Bundesliga duo

Munich - 'Must-win', 'all or nothing', 'do or die': call it what you will, Eintracht Braunschweig and 1. FC Nürnberg desperately need the points on Matchday 5.

The example

As two of the Bundesliga's three sides still to win this term, the situation at the foot of the table is far from rosy for Sunday's combatants, but as finds out, there is still a long, long way to go.

Since the Bundesliga's 1963 inception, 13 sides have experienced a four-match winless start to campaign. However, a hearty nine have successfully fended off the trapdoor come the season's end.

Nürnberg, for one, have form in that department, having beaten the drop on five occasions in which they have failed to register a win in their opening four outings. It goes without saying, der Club, currently only two points better off than pointless Braunschweig, will be hoping to repeat the feat in 2013/14.

Woodwork woe

Ironically enough, Nürnberg are again the source of inspiration when it comes to breaking the winless cycle. In 2008/09 and a year later in 2010, the Franconians were again rather slow out of the blocks and had to wait until Matchday 5 to register their maiden win of the season. Only a dollop of misfortune in front of goal has put them in exactly the same position this time around.

Indeed, Michael Wiesinger's men - incidentally the only outfit to have struck the post and/or crossbar at least once in all four Bundesliga assignments so far this season - would be five points better off were it not for the woodwork.

Long way to go

As it is, Nürnberg have found the net just four times this season, and Braunschweig only once. However, in a bid to stem the tide, both clubs have brought in reinforcements, who can expect to play pivotal roles on Sunday evening and beyond.

For Nürnberg, 2009 Bundesliga winner Makoto Hasebe brings a much-needed stabilising factor to the midfield, while Braunschweig have turned to a familiar face in forward Karim Bellarabi. Both will require a period of acclimatisation, but fortunately for them, not to mention their new employers, time is very much on their side.

Sebastian Blome/ Christopher Mayer-Lodge