Bremen - SV Werder Bremen and VfL Wolfsburg are in serious need of the points to satisfy two rather contrasting agendas at the Weser Stadion on Tuesday (kick-off 19:00 GMT/ 20:00 CET).
'We still need points'
With eight rounds of fixtures left on the 2013/14 Bundesliga calendar, 13th-placed Bremen are by no means out of the relegation woods just yet, while European candidates Wolfsburg are beginning to look like being all bark and no bite.
Robin Dutt's men missed the opportunity to haul themselves further away from the drop zone at the weekend, surrendering their five-match unbeaten run in a comprehensive 3-1 defeat at SC Freiburg. It was a far cry from the level of performance the Werder fans have become accustomed to of late, with die Grün-Weißen sliding to within six points of the bottom three as a result.
"We played well in recent games and we need to continue to do so," explained Bremen defender Luca Caldirola, slyly skirting around the issue of his side's sorry display on Matchday 26. "Although the opponents are getting better, we still need points to improve our own position in the table. That’s something we are working on each and every day."
'Wolfsburg have a good team'
Caldirola will be aiming to put his words into action at home to a Wolfsburg side still to shake off the psychological damage of consecutive six-goal drubbings at the hands of 1899 Hoffenheim and FC Bayern München. Dieter Hecking's wolf pack could only manage draws against Eintracht Braunschwieg and FC Augsburg in the weeks that followed, but will require a significant improvement if they're to break into the top four before the season's out.
"Wolfsburg are a good side, but so are we at home," Caldirola warned. "We will have the fans behind us, giving their all to spur us onto victory and making sure that we leave the pitch as the winning team. As long as we are focussed and approach the game with the right mentality like we have done in recent weeks, then we have a chance."
'We need to improve'
The Italian has every reason to be confident, with Tuesday's visitors now without a win since trumping fading top-four outfit Bayer 04 Leverkusen on Matchday 22. What's more, die Wölfe's prized winter acquisition Kevin De Bruyne will play no part at his former, one-season stomping ground after being sent off against Augsburg last weekend.
"We need to improve," admitted ex-Bremen and current Wolfsburg sporting director Klaus Allofs. "Our approach work in attack isn't quite there and we need to create more openings. We're going in search of all three points - like we always do. We're looking forward to a decent game and a great atmosphere."
Bremen: Wolf - Fritz, Prödl, Lukimya, Caldirola - F. Kroos - Junuzovic, Obraniak - Hunt - di Santo, Petersen
Wolfsburg: Benaglio - Träsch, Naldo, Klose, Rodriguez - Luiz Gustavo, Junior Malanda - Perisic, Arnold, D. Caligiuri - Olic