The Weser Stadium will provide the stage for a potentially decisive match in the battle to beat the drop as SV Werder Bremen host fellow strugglers TSG 1899 Hoffenheim on Saturday (kick-off 15.30CET/14.30GMT).
Bremen fell to a crushing 5-1 defeat to Borussia Mönchengladbach on Matchday 20, with that result stalling their recent revival and leaving them two points from safety in 16th place.
The hosts are nevertheless still better off than Hoffenheim, who are five points further behind having picked up only eight points in the last ten games. There is particular intrigue ahead of this one, though, with the Bundesliga's youngest-ever permanent head coach, Julian Nagelsmann, taking his touchline bow. It could hardly be a tougher star: lose and his side will be eight points adrift in the relegation zone.
Claudio Pizarro celebrated his third Werder Bremen debut with a win, as goals from Zlatko Junuzovic (2) and Anthony Ujah earned Viktor Skripnik's men all three points in Sinsheim, with the winning goals coming in stoppage time.
Matchday 21 - match facts
- For the first time since 1980, Werder are inside the bottom three after 20 games – only once had they lost as many games at this stage of the season (12 defeats 41 years ago).
- Werder have the worst record at home this season, winning just five out of a possible 27 points in front of their own fans.
- Following a run of five consecutive home defeats, Bremen have drawn their last two at the Weser Stadium.
- Hoffenheim are without a win in four and have only won two all season.
- Only one of those wins has come away from home, on Matchday 7 in Augsburg (3-1).
- Werder are unbeaten in ten games against Hoffenheim – their longest unbeaten run against any side currently in the Bundesliga.
- Pizarro has never failed to find the back of the net in a home game against Hoffenheim (five goals in four games).
- Ujah has scored in each of his three games against Hoffenheim.
- Stevens' first Bundesliga game as coach came against Werder Bremen. It was on 12 October 1996 and he lost 3-0 with Schalke. The Dutchman has lost more times against Bremen (13) than against any other side in the Bundesliga.
Bremen: Wiedwald - Gebre Selassie, Vestergaard, Djilobodji, Garcia - Fritz, Junuzovic - Öztunali, Grillitsch - Ujah, Pizarro
Absentees: Bargfrede (knee), Wolf (hip), Johannson (hip), Sternberg (ankle)
Hoffenheim: Baumann - Kaderabek, Bicakcic, Süle, Kim - Rudy, Strobl - Volland, Amiri, Zuber - Kramaric
Absentees: Herdling (knee)