With only eight games of the 2015/16 Bundesliga campaign remaining, time is fast running out for relegation-threatened duo Eintracht Frankfurt and Hannover 96.
Only six points stand between the sides ahead of Saturday's basement battle at the Commerzbank Arena - a game set to beamed live on American broadcaster FOX Sports.
It may seem like an unusual choice, but with as many as six clubs fighting to keep their heads above water, the relegation scrap is garnering as much global interest as the two-way tussle for the Bundesliga title between FC Bayern München and Borussia Dortmund.
'Our home games will be decisive'
From 13th-placed FC Augsburg right down to rock-bottom Hannover, no one is safe - least of all ailing Frankfurt. The Eagles suffered their fourth defeat of 2016 in Mönchengladbach last time out and are now without a win in eight matches.
"We're just making too many basic mistakes at the moment - all three goals were avoidable," lamented new Frankfurt coach Niko Kovac following a debut to regret on Matchday 26. "We have to sort that out and continue to work hard to get ourselves out of this situation. Our home games will be decisive in the battle for survival."
Although plucked straight from football's great book of clichés, the former FC Bayern München, Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Hamburger SV and Hertha Berlin defender has a point. After entertaining Hannover and travelling to Munich to face the defending champions, 16th-in-the-table Frankfurt host second-bottom TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, by which point both clubs may well have traded places in the standings. In that sense, anything other than a win against Hannover does not bear thinking about.
'We need a minor miracle'
Like Frankfurt, Hannover are also drinking in the last chance saloon. The Reds have been propping up the table since Matchday 18, but last weekend's 2-0 loss to 1. FC Köln coupled with Hoffenheim's unexpected victory over VfL Wolfsburg proved a particularly toxic combination that leaves Thomas Schaaf's floundering ensemble six points behind both TSG and relegation play-off incumbents Frankfurt, and ten adrift of outright safety.
"Anyone who looks at the table knows how unbelievably difficult it is going to be," admitted Hannover goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler following the disappointment of a league-high 11th home defeat of the season. "I can understand why the fans are unhappy. We just weren't good enough and made it too easy for Köln. Essentially, we need a minor miracle. I just want us to present ourselves differently in the coming games."
Hannover showed their steely side in beating the drop on the final day last season, but did so thanks in no small part to the heart-on-the-sleeve commitment of former talisman Lars Stindl, not to mention having only fallen into the automatic relegation places with three games to play.
If they are to stand any chance of pulling off another great escape, Lower Saxony's capital club – regulars at German football's favourite watering hole since gaining promotion from the second tier in 2002 - will surely have to get one over on Marco Fabian and Co. this weekend. Anything else could prove terminal.