Stick around as bundesliga.com keeps you bang up to date with all the latest from the six clubs scrapping for their lives at the foot of the table this weekend...
KEY MATCHDAY 34 FIXTURES:
Saturday 23 May 2015 (kick-off 15:30 CEST/13:30 GMT)
Hamburger SV - FC Schalke 04
SC Paderborn - VfB Stuttgart
TSG 1899 Hoffenheim - Hertha Berlin
Hannover 96 - SC Freiburg
Wednesday 20 May
Thanks and bis morgen!
That brings to an end our relegation battle live updates for today. We'll be back on Thursday with all the latest from the Bundesliga sextet fighting relegation, plus quotes from all sides' pre-Matchday 34 press conferences!
Hamburg have arrived at their Malente training camp. Valon Behrami (r.) did not make the trip to the northern town, however, a knee injury ruling the Swiss out, while 27 other players, including the suspended Raffael van der Vaart and Johan Djourou (l.), back from injury, have joined up with their team-mates.
Thanks for all the messages. We will celebrate my bday on Sunday as today we are in the hotel with the team. pic.twitter.com/W3wjLtnMSs— Marcelo Guedes (@MarceloGuedes02) May 20, 2015
A Bundesliga champion with VfB Stuttgart in 2007, Timo Hildebrand believes his former club has what it takes to save themselves. “For a long time it looked like VfB were almost dead and buried and heading for the second tier,” the former Germany international told SSNHD. At one point it seemed like there was no hope - especially considering the home form. But they’ve bounced back phenomenally and have a created a very reasonable situation going into the final day.”
Hamburger SV and KSV Hessen Kassel have decided to postpone their friendly game on May 26 as a result of HSV’s current situation. Both clubs were hoping to give the fans something to cheer about in an interesting encounter with a strong HSV side, however, that will not be possible should the Red Shorts be relegated or forced to compete in the relegation play-off.
2014/15 has been a troublesome season for VfB Stuttgart, but ahead of their relegation six-pointer with SC Paderborn 07, the Schwaben can take heart from the fact that, even though points have been hard come by, they've always picked up positive results when they've needed them most, namely against the fellow relegation threatened sides. Indeed, Huub Stevens' side haven't lost a single game against any of teams who currently join them in the bottom five at present.
Hannover hoping for a final day pick-me-up
Following their 2-1 win over FC Augsburg last weekend, Hannover's fate is in the own hands as they gear up to close out a disappointing campaign against SC Freiburg. Standing on the shoulder of giants, like Joselu is trying to do, may not be the best way to go about it though. Hopefully the Reds won't have to look back in anger!
Wakey, wakey rise and shine!
The Bundesliga season may be almost over, but it promises to go out with a bang on Matchday 34 and for the six outfits currently entrenched in the relegation battle, preparations are continuing in earnest.
Tuesday 19 May
Ciao for now!
So, just a regular Tuesday afternoon for the six teams involved in the Bundesliga relegation scrap? It may seem that way, but you can bet your bottom dollar the players of Paderborn, Hamburg, Stuttgart, Hannover, Freiburg and Hertha won't be getting much sleep between now and 23 May.
Our live bulletins will resume early on Wednesday. See you all then!
Pierre-Michel Lasogga:Complete focus on Saturday... #only#those#who#believe#can#move#mountains#nurderHSV#PML#10
Ein von Pierre (@pierrelasogga10) gepostetes Foto am 19. Mai 2015 um 10:41 Uhr
Out of all the half-dozen teams involved in the relegation scrap, Hertha are certainly in the best position. Only defeat at TSG 1899 Hoffenheim on the final day would put Old Lady at risk of being dragged into the bottom three. The last time these two met, however, Hoffenheim emerged 5-1 winners.
Just in case you were otherwise engaged on Saturday afternoon, you can relive the thrilling drama with using this graphic, which traces the events of a gripping afternoon in a handy pictorial overview. Don't forget to tune in this Saturday though!
SC Freiburg will stay up with a draw at Hannover on Saturday, and they have three good reasons to think they will make it: , and . If the former two cannot resolve it, then the latter has proven with five goals from the bench that he most certainly can. And he is happy to wait for his chance, as he did before netting the winner against Bayern. "I was warming up behind the goal, but thought to myself that the lads were doing so well, there was no need to send me on," he said. "Karim's uncomfortable for opponents and I'm not the kind of forward to hurt defenders, nor do I have the pace that Mehmedi or have, so it was only normal the coach waited."
was Hamburger SV's hero a year ago, with his goal in the play-off against Greuther Fürth keeping them up. When he had to leave the action on Matchday 33 clutching his shoulder, fears of him missing out in the grand finale left HSV followers in a cold sweat. "So far so good," said the Hamburg forward on Tuesday, suggesting he should be fit for Saturday.
Uwe Hünemeier's unfortunate own goal has left Paderborn at the foot of the table and with a mountain to climb to stay up, but his club's general manager Michael Born has every faith in the giant defender leading their expedition to safety. "Uwe Hünemeier has led the way all season, and he will lead the way again in Stuttgart," said Born, who sees his side ready for the final act. "We knew it would come down to a final in Stuttgart, and we knew also that we would have to win it."
One scenario would see the rule book opened to determine how to separate two sides: should SC Paderborn and Stuttgart share a goalless draw, and Hannover 96 lose 4-2 to SC Freiburg, that would leave the Swabians and Lower Saxony side level both on points, goal difference and goals scored. The next criteria to be applied would be head-to-head, which would rule in VfB's favour. Their 1-0 home win over the Reds could then be the difference between safety, a play-off berth or - dependent on Hamburg's result - direct relegation.
The plight of Paderborn causes the greatest concern, although it could have been so much better for the East Westphalians. They were denied a point at Schalke by a late own goal, but even a draw would have been harsh on them. "It was in our own hands and we really should have won," bemoaned their coach André Breitenreiter. "We couldn't have played any better than the way we did. Now we've got to lift ourselves up to try to reach the play-off, but it's no longer in our hands."
Hamburg no longer have their destiny in their own hands, but failing to keep their side of the bargain by beating Schalke would be an indecent way to go down, according to goalkeeper Rene Adler. "We've got to give it everything to ensure it works out," he said. "If you're down there and then bite your own tail, you've got nothing to gain."
That clash between Hannover and Freiburg will be one of two direct battles between strugglers, and one they are both preparing for in different ways. Hannover are to repeat their visit to the Marienfeld cloister for some spiritual relaxation while Freiburg will rely on their relegation resolve honed over many a battle at the bottom. "My team have an amazing mentality," vouched Freiburg coach Christian Streich.
Hannover 96 will be one of the sides hoping for a happy ending to a "terrible season" in the words of club president Martin Kind. "It's cost us so much energy, I have to say. But I'm glad we've still got a chance of staying up without needing to rely on others." For that, they need to beat SC Freiburg, any which way they can. There are no bonus points for prettiness, as Ron-Robert Zieler said after a "beautiful, dirty win" against Augsburg on Matchday 33. "What a relief!"
1. FSV Mainz 05 can sit back and watch the drama unfold, knowing they are not involved in what is an unprecedented afternoon of relegation activity. "I've never known a situation like it," said their general manager Christian Heidel. "When you look at the table, it's incredible!" Mainz do still have the chance to rain on FC Bayern's title parade this Saturday, but at least they are breathing an air of tranquillity with 40 points in the bank. "I'm just glad we're not involved – I wouldn't wish it on anybody!" Heidel added.
In case you were wondering how real the danger is for the six sides still fighting for their lives at the bottom of the Bundesliga heading into the final weekend of matches, we have an explanation of what each of them need to stay up (or what would take them down!).