Hamburg - For fans of Hamburger SV and SV Werder Bremen, victory is the only thing that counts when north Germany's two big boys battle it out in the 101st Nordderby this Sunday (kick-off: 14:30 GMT/15:30 CET). previews the game that the two sets of supporters have had marked down in their diaries since the moment the fixture list was released...

As well as a valuable three points that would improve the tabular positions of both these clubs (HSV are currently 17th, Werder 16th), potentially the main motivation will be securing the local bragging rights until the next instalment of one of Germany's most tradition-laden and long-standing footballing rivalries.

The home side will be without versatility man Marcell Jansen - a veteran of 18 league matches against Werder - due to an adductor problem. Their only other absentee is attacker Maximilian Beister, who is yet to fully recover from a cruciate knee ligament sustained back in January.

Werder fans will be cursing their luck that star striker Franco Di Santo must sit this one out after he injured knee ligaments in training this week. Nils Petersen could be the man to step into the shoes of the Argentina forward, whose six goals have put him joint-top of the leader board.

The Bundesliga's only ever-present club have scored a paltry four goals in their eleven league games so far this term, but Rafael van der Vaart notched perhaps the most important of them: a match-winning penalty against Bayer 04 Leverkusen on Matchday 10. His form has been patchy for the best part of a year but the routined skipper can still inspire his team like few others.

Di Santo has grabbed most of the headlines for a struggling Bremen side in 2014/15, but Zlatko Junuzovic has arguably been just as effective. The Austrian international is yet to miss a minute of top-flight action this season, has provided five assists and also netted the winner the last time the sides met back in March.

Josef Zinnbauer (Hamburg head coach, r.): "Everyone knows what this game means, and we all know what we need to achieve."

Viktor Skripnik (Bremen head coach): "We want to go there with confidence and make sure our fans are celebrating come the final whistle."

Regular competitors in Europe until a few years ago, both clubs are now struggling near the bottom of the table, although Bremen have momentum on their side with three straight successes under new coach Skripnik. Hamburg, meanwhile, went down with a whimper at VfL Wolfsburg last time out but were winners in their last home game against Leverkusen.

In their 100 meetings so far, Bremen shade the historical head-to-head record with 33 victories to Hamburg's 31. The Green-Whites also won both derby encounters last season, preceding that success in March with a 2-0 triumph at the Imtech Arena, a result which signaled the end for Thorsten Fink as HSV coach.

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Possible line-ups:

Hamburg: Drobny - Diekmeier, Djourou, Westermann, Ostrzolek - Behrami, Arslan - Holtby, van der Vaart, Müller - Lasogga

Bremen: Wolf - Gebre Selassie, Prödl, Galvez, Garcia - Kroos - Hajrovic, Fritz, Junuzovic, Bartels - Petersen

Relive the top ten moments in the northern derby's history below courtesy of the official Bundesliga YouTube channel: