Hamburg SV travel to Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday for their last away game of the season, knowing they need to keep winning if they are to have any chance of staying up.
The former European champions are the only team to have played in the Bundesliga every season since its creation in 1963, a feat that even record champions Bayern Munich, promoted to the Bundesliga two years later, cannot claim for themselves.
But a disastrous season has seen Hamburg deep in relegation trouble, in 17th place, with two matches to go.
Christian Titz’s team, however, has staged a fine comeback so far, winning three of their last four games to hold on to some slim hope of staying up.
The northern club, who won their last silverware of any kind more than two decades ago, are now on 28 points, with VfL Wolfsburg, on 30, sitting on the relegation playoff spot.
Hamburg need to win their last two matches and hope Wolfsburg drop points to reach the playoff spot.
In a more optimistic scenario, with two victories Hamburg can still secure 15th place and climb above Freiburg and Mainz 05, who are currently on 33 points and into safety.
“We have not achieved anything at the moment, we just closed in to within two points,” said Hamburg coach Titz of their key win over Wolfsburg last week.
Titz took over in March and has so far managed to quickly instil a sense of urgency among his players while also getting the frustrated Hamburg fans behind the team.
Hamburg have played two relegation playoffs and narrowly avoided two more in the previous six seasons.
“We can only be proud when we reach our goal of staying up. We now will go to Frankfurt and if we want to be above the cut-off line then we need to win there as well,” Titz said.
Frankfurt, however, will be no pushovers with Niko Kovac’ team battling to secure a Europa League spot for next season.
Frankfurt, who play Bayern Munich in the German Cup final on May 19, are in seventh place on 46 points with the top four teams qualifying for the Champions League while the other two progress to the Europa League.
Already-champions Bayern Munich travel to already-relegated Cologne while Schalke 04 and Borussia Dortmund can seal their Champions League spots with wins over Augsburg and Mainz respectively.
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