Wolfsburg beat Eintracht Braunschweig over two legs in last season's relegation play-off and once again face a double-header to save their Bundesliga skin this season. - © gettyimages / Rose / Bongarts
Wolfsburg beat Eintracht Braunschweig over two legs in last season's relegation play-off and once again face a double-header to save their Bundesliga skin this season. - © gettyimages / Rose / Bongarts
Bundesliga

Bundesliga relegation play-off: What is it? Who is in it? When is it?

German professional football employs a distinctive method to determine the final club to be promoted to and relegated from the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2.

While in many European leagues the top three teams are promoted and the bottom three are relegated, Germany employs a two-legged play-off system to determine which clubs stay up and which go down.

With 18 clubs competing in both the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2, 16th spot is known as the relegation play-off place, a lifeline for clubs attempting to stay in their division and avoid suffering automatic relegation like the two sides that finish below them.

Watch: Wolfsburg edged out Braunschweig over two legs in last season's play-off

What is the relegation play-off?

The team who finishes 16th in the Bundesliga and third in Bundesliga 2 contest the relegation play-off. The first leg is played at the home of the Bundesliga side and the second leg is played at the home of the Bundesliga 2 side. The winner over two legs plays in the following season's Bundesliga.

Who is in the relegation play-off?

Holstein Kiel – only promoted from the third tier last season – will end the season in third place in Bundesliga 2. They will face Wolfsburg, who finished 16th in the top flight, in the relegation play-off.

- © imago / DeFodi

Recent relegation play-off results

2016/17: Wolfsburg 1-0 Eintracht Braunschweig; Eintracht Braunschweig 0-1 Wolfsburg

2015/16: Eintracht Frankfurt 1-1 Nuremberg; Nuremberg 0-1 Eintracht Frankfurt

2014/15: Hamburg 1-1 Karlsruher; Karlsruher 1-2 Hamburg (aet)

2013/14: Hamburg 0-0 Greuther Fürth; Greuther Fürth 1-1 Hamburg

2012/13: Hoffenheim 3-1 Kaiserslautern; Kaiserslautern 1-2 Hoffenheim

Click here for the full Bundesliga standings!