Sandhausen v Hansa Rostock
Sandhausen’s mini-revival came to an end last weekend with their loss to Braunschweig after previously taking seven points from a possible nine. They will need to get back on track on Friday when they host a Rostock side themselves just four points clear of the bottom three. They cannot afford to let Bielefeld or Regensburg to pull clear of them and wins are all that count at this late stage.
Hansa are also too close to the bottom for comfort and will travel on Friday intent on saving their own skin by heaping more woe on Sandhausen, who have the worst defensive record in the 2.Bundesliga with 59 goals conceded already this season.
Magdeburg v Nürnberg
Like Rostock, Nürnberg are only four points above the drop zone and know that a few more bad results could see them dragged into a place nobody wants to be at this late stage of the season. They let three valuable points slip out of their hands last week when two very late goal from Kaiserslautern at the Max Morlock Stadion robbed saw them go from 3-1 up to 3-3 in no time at all.
After beating Hamburg the previous week, Magdeburg took points off second place Heidenheim last weekend to make it three unbeaten. Christian Titz will have his eye on a potential top half finish and a win at home to Nürnberg would certainly help their cause.
Greuther Fürth v Eintracht Braunschweig
These two teams look to have done enough to avoid the bottom three this season. The Kleeblätter were held away at Bielefeld last weekend, whereas Braunschweig had a 2-1 win at home to Sandhausen. Based on this season, it is hard to tell which of the two teams here was relegated from the Bundesliga and which one came up from the third tier.
Holstein Kiel v Karlsruhe
With their survival long-since secure, both Kiel and Karlsruhe are looking to finish the season with a flourish and see how high they can finish in the table. The hosts however have lost their past three matches all by a 3-0 scoreline so will looking first and foremost at stopping the rot. Kiel won the reverse fixture 4-1 so KSC will be out for revenge at the Holstein Stadion on Saturday.
Kaiserslautern v Arminia Bielefeld
The point gained at home to Fürth last weekend was not enough to see the Arminen out of the bottom three and they face a tricky trip to the Betzenberg this weekend to try and get the points to lift them clear of a second relegation in a row.
Kaiserslautern were relegated to the 3.Liga in 2018 so they know exactly the boat Bielefeld are in right now, but that won’t stop them from trying to add to their problems this weekend.
St. Pauli v Fortuna Düsseldorf
This clash sees two teams still with an outside chance of usurping Hamburg into third spot and a potential play-off match, so it really is all to play for at the Millerntor this weekend.
Both St. Pauli and Fortuna are on 53 points with HSV just ahead on 57.Both had 3-0 victories last week to keep in the race and the winner of this weekend’s game will feel they really have a chance should Hamburg slip up (which based on past experience is not out of the question).
Paderborn v Heidenheim
While not the result they were after, last week’s goalless draw with Magdeburg has kept Heidenheim’s destiny in their own hands as they seek a first promotion to the Bundesliga. The fact that Paderborn held HSV was a bonus, but they now have to try and navigate Paderborn on Sunday and they close in on their dream. Denied two years ago in the play-off with Werder, few would deny Heidenheim their moment in the sun.
Paderborn could however be the party poopers although they are still looking for their first win against a team in the top three this season. With Bashir Humphreys linking up with the England U-20 squad, there could be a start for 37-year-old veteran Uwe Hünemeier, who is retiring at the end of the season.
Hannover v Darmstadt
Darmstadt’s promotion party was spoilt last weekend by their first home defeat of the season at the hands of St. Pauli so the chance to clinch promotion moves on to the Heinz von Heiden Arena in Hannover. It really does seem just a matter of when, not if Darmstatdt are crowned champions, but to clinch promotion with two games to spare would be weekend’s aim.
Jahn Regensburg v Hamburg
Jahn need the points desperately to climb out of the bottom two, while Hamburg need them equally as desperately to try and force themselves back into the top two or even to defend third place.
Regensburg have parachuted in American coach Joe Enochs for the final three games of the season, and he has a mammoth task on his hands. A debut win against HSV would be the dream start, and provide the Rothosen with their own new nightmare.