As we approach Matchday 33 in the Bundesliga, two points are all that separates 18th and 14th place.
This weekend, VfB Stuttgart will be pitted against HSV in a relegation dogfight, with each team sitting in 18th and 14th place respectively.
This match in essence will determine the fate of two of the biggest sides in Bundesliga history. Hamburg are famously the only club to never have been relegated from the Bundesliga in it’s modern format, a feat not even the might Bayern Munich could match.
Meanwhile, Stuttgart have been in the Bundesliga since 1977, winning the title three times. Their most recent title success was only eight years ago, as they were crowned champions of the 2006/2007 season. Both of the clubs are key elements of the Bundesliga’s history, and if one of them is to be relegated, the league will lose a part of its sense of tradition.
Both sides are undergoing a bit of a late-season resurgence, with Bruno Labbadia’s HSV picking up seven points in the last three games, while Stuttgart are fresh off an impressive 2-0 win against Mainz.
While Hamburg could perhaps get away with a draw, VfB will be hoping they can snatch a vital three points in their bid for Bundesliga safety.
Regardless, this match could vary well be the deciding factor in each of the two former giants’ top-flight safety, making it one of, if not the, most high-stakes game of the 2014/2015 Bundesliga season.
While it is possible that both teams could stay up come the end of the season, it seems likely that one of these sides will be unable to fend off the drop, and they will take away with them a piece of Bundesliga tradition.