With just two games left to play, the battle to avoid the drop down to Germany's second tier is hotting up. The season has served up surprises galore, with supposedly-doomed sides pushing for European football, and big names in severe danger of falling through the trapdoor. Let's takes a look at who is in danger and who has managed to claw their way clear of the relegation zone.
Eintracht Braunschweig and Nürnberg both look doomed already. Neither can finish the season higher than sixteenth, the relegation playoff spot, which would consign the other to automatic relegation. Braunschweig have spent just a solitary season in the top flight following their promotion last season, but they have spent the vast majority of the season rooted to the bottom of the table, and despite some positive performances, they continue to leak goals, which is likely to see them return to 2.Bundesliga. Torsten Lieberknecht's side were always up against it, however, and they have won plaudits for the way they have battled this season.
Meanwhile, Nürnberg have only Josip Drmic to thank for the fact that they are not already relegated. The forward's goals have been key to keeping their chances of survival alive, but there is only so much one man can do. Like Braunschweig, Nürnberg have spent a fair chunk of the season in the relegation zone, and their growing relegation fears cost Gertjan Verbeek his job last week.
Hamburg are the side most in danger of going down through the playoffs, but the only side to have been in the top-flight since its creation could still be dragged into an automatic relegation spot. Only two points separate the Red Shorts, Nürnberg and Braunschweig, and although they currently occupy the playoff spot, on current form, few would bet against them going down. Consecutive managers have failed to stop the rot, and after Thorsten Fink and Bert van Marwijk were dismissed within a matter of months, new boss Mirko Slomka has his work cut out.
Five points ahead of Hamburg lie Stuttgart, another former Bundesliga champion. Although they have endured a dismal season, with just two games left, they look to be all but assured of top-flight status next season, and that will be mathematically confirmed if they win against Wolfsburg on Matchday 33. Stuttgart also made multiple managerial changes this season, as Bruno Labbadia and Thomas Schneider both failed to steady the ship, and for a long while, they appeared to be in severe danger. However, the appointment of former Schalke manager Huub Stevens has seen them pull away from the drop zone in the past few weeks.
Who is safe?
The cluster of teams on 36 points are now all assured of Bundesliga football next season.
Werder Bremen, Freiburg, Eintracht Frankfurt and Hannover have done just enough to retain their top-flight status for another year, although fans of all clubs will be disappointed at the way the season progressed.
The season's surprise package, Augsburg, have ensured that they remain in the top division in emphatic style. The bookmakers' favourites to go down before a ball had even been kicked, they defied all the odds by finishing in the top half, and even spent a good portion of the season fighting it out with the big guns for a European spot.
The Bundesliga's relegation battle has provided twists, turns and tension all season long, and with the dogfight potentially continuing into the final matchday, it's showing no signs of letting up just yet.