bundesliga.com previews the 49-year-old's second debut at the helm of the only side never to have been relegated from Germany's top flight...
As much as it means for both clubs to get one over on their biggest local rivals, one of them needs the points far more than the other. While Bremen are ninth, Hamburg slipped to the bottom of the table last week and now have just six games left to stave off a maiden relegation to the second tier.
Bremen boss Viktor Skripnik will be without defensive duo Luca Caldirola and Santiago Garcia, while versatile attacker has been ruled out for six weeks with a foot problem. Franco Di Santo missed the season's first derby through injury, but will lead the line this time.
Dennis Diekmeier and Marcelo Diaz miss out with injury, while is suspended after his red card on Matchday 28. Pierre-Michel Lasogga will spearhead the attack, while Labbadia has said he will retain Rene Adler in goal for his first game in his second stint in charge of the Red Shorts.
will feel he has a point to prove after missing out at the Imtech Arena on Matchday 12. The Argentine striker has gone three games without finding the net - his longest goalless run of the current campaign - and will be particularly eager to break the cycle and write his name into Nordderby folklore.
Di Santo's opposite number certainly knows a thing or two about barren spells. Injury hasn't helped, but the fact remains that has scored just twice all season, with his last goal coming on Matchday 8 in the 1-1 draw with TSG 1899 Hoffenheim. He proved last season, however, that he is relegation saviour material.
Skripnik (head coach): "When I came to Werder as a player, the game was just like any other for me, but I quickly came to understand that this fixture is the most important [...] We're not paying any attention to what's going on at Hamburg. We want to win."
Labbadia (head coach): "It's a massive game. We have to see how we cope. The spark can only come from us. Everyone on the pitch must take responsibility. We have to be rock solid, with everyone defending and attacking as a team. We need a break."
Bremen's four-match winless streak is the longest under Skripnik (D2, L2). Indeed, they've only won one of their last five (against SC Freiburg). That's still an improvement on HSV's recent run: the port city club have lost their last four on the bounce and are without a win since squeezing past Hannover 96 on Matchday 20.
Hamburg took the spoils earlier in the campaign, but have lost six of their last seven on Bremen soil dating back to December 2007. The overall record is slightly more encouraging, though, with HSV winning 32 and Werder 36 of the two sides' 101 Bundesliga meetings to date (33 draws).
Bremen: Wolf - Gebre Selassie, Lukimya, Vestergaard, Sternberg - Bargfrede - Fritz, Junuzovic - Öztunali - di Santo, Selke
Hamburg: Adler - Westermann, Cleber, Rajkovic, Ostrzolek - Jiracek, Kacar - Stieber, van der Vaart, Ilicevic - Lasogga