Borussia Monchengladbach and Eintracht Frankfurt will be fighting for their lives in the Bundesliga on Saturday, while St Pauli look doomed.Monchengladbach have spent much of the season propping up the table.
But they beat Hannover 1-0 away last week and are now three points off safety with two matches remaining.
They host overachievers Freiburg this weekend, before a trip to Hamburg on the last day of the season.
Faced with a similar situation in the 1997/98 season, a Steffen Effenberg-inspired Gladbach won both of their last two matches to narrowly survive.
It remains to be seen if the 2011 edition can match those heroics.
Frankfurt fans also face a nerve-wracking conclusion to the season.
Third from bottom and just one point away from safety, they play host to Cologne, who are four points better off in 14th place and require just a draw to guarantee their survival.
Wolfsburg are the other team battling to avoid the drop.
They have won their last two matches – Felix Magath’s first victories since returning as coach in March – to climb out of the bottom three.
League champions as recently as 2008/09, they remain just one point clear of the relegation zone and are at home to Kaiserslautern on Saturday.
St Pauli looked destined to return to the second tier after just one season back in the top flight.
Six points from safety with a vastly inferior goal difference to the teams above them, they would need big wins in both matches to have any chance of a remarkable escape.
And with Champions League contenders Bayern Munich arriving at the Millerntor on Saturday, it would appear an impossible task.
Worse still for St Pauli, Bayern will not be lacking in motivation.
They finally moved into third place – the final European Cup qualification berth – after Hannover lost last week and will fiercely defend their two-point advantage in the last two matches.
Werder Bremen are still just four points clear of the drop and will be hoping newly crowned champions Borussia Dortmund arrive nursing a hangover from their title-winning celebrations.
Stuttgart, five points above the bottom three, must take points off third-placed Hannover as they seek to guarantee their survival.
Elsewhere, Hamburg travel to second-placed Bayer Leverkusen, while sixth plays eighth when Nuremburg host Hoffenheim.
Mainz can secure Europa League qualification with a win away to Schalke, who exited the Champions League at the hands of Manchester United on Wednesday.