A raft of injuries to key players and a tough final fortnight has put Hamburg's perfect Bundesliga record under serious threat.
Hamburg are the only club to have played in all 51 seasons of the Bundesliga but after last week's 3-1 loss at Augsburg, the north German club have slipped five points from safety ahead of a clash with champions Bayern Munich on Saturday.
The northerners will complete their league campaign with a trip to Mainz, who could still be chasing UEFA Europa League qualification on the final day.
The injury list at Imtech Arena includes four regular first XI players, while Tolgay Arslan, who has made the most Bundesliga appearances this season, is suspended.
In a boost for Hamburg coach Mirko Slomka, captain Rafael van der Vaart (calf) and veteran Heiko Westermann (illness) will be available for selection against Bayern but the 46-year-old tactician knows it will be incredibly tough to get anything from the Bavarian giants.
"The lay of the land's pretty obvious when you're up against FC Bayern," Slomka said on Friday.
"But obviously we're going to go out there and give it everything we've got.
"We want to try to get right on top of them, make it as uncomfortable as possible and look to create the odd chance of our own."
Hamburg is expected to be without leading goal-scorer Pierre-Michel Lasogga (calf), his understudy Jacques Zoua (thigh), and key defenders Johan Djourou (hamstring) and Lasse Sobiech (ankle) against Bayern.
With Italian striker Mattia Maggio having struggled against Augsburg in a rare start, Slomka is likely to rotate Van der Vaart and Hakan Calhanoglu up front on Saturday, as Hamburg aim for a miraculous victory.
Stuttgart (32 points) sit ahead of Hamburg (27) in the last safe spot in the Bundesliga with Nuremberg (26) and last-placed Eintracht Braunschweig (25) able to overhaul Slomka's men if they lose to Bayern.
Hamburg need Stuttgart to lose their last two matches if they are to rise from 16th - which would force them into a two-legged relegation play-off with the third-placed club in 2.Bundesliga - and secure their safety.
Fortunately for Hamburg, Stuttgart also have a tough run home with games against fifth-placed Wolfsburg and Bayern.
But Slomka conceded his team are far behind Pep Guardiola's champions.
"Bayern absolutely dominate the Bundesliga," Slomka said.
"A point from the game would be a huge surprise and a win a sensation against them.
"If we want to cause a sensation, we're going to have go to the very limit."
If Hamburg defeat Bayern, and Nuremburg and Braunschweig lose to Hannover and Augsburg respectively in the penultimate round, Slomka's side will avoid automatic relegation but may still have to compete in the play-off.
|23||R. van der Vaart|
|Coach: M. Slomka|
for D. Diekmeier 60'
for R. van der Vaart 68'
for H. Westermann 76'
|Iniesta: Madrid will be disappointed not to win La Liga|
|Messi on track in recovery|
|Morata: I want to succeed at Madrid, but would consider Premier League|
|Lewandowski headlines expected Poland squad|
|France boss Deschamps ´surprised´ by Cameroon performance|
|Payet: I´m expected to score every free-kick now|
|Bashful Rami admits to mistakes against Cameroon|
|Peseiro to leave Porto|
|France 3 Cameroon 2: Payet stunner snatches victory|
|Laxalt for Rodriguez in Uruguay´s Copa squad|
|Guingamp unveil Kombouare as new head coach|
|Real Madrid confirm Achilles problem for Navas|
|Wilmots´ woes worsen as Belgium lose Lombaerts, Boyata|
|Marotta: Juventus optimistic on Dani Alves deal|
|Berlusconi: I courted Guardiola at Barcelona|
|Berlusconi: Donnarumma not for sale, even for €80m|
|Ginola back at home following heart surgery|
|Departing City boss Pellegrini could quit management|
|Ayestaran prepared to fight to keep Gomes at Valencia|
|Sagna hopes to remain at City under Guardiola|
|France 3-2 Cameroon: Payet nets dramatic late winner for Euro 2016 hosts|
|Roma complete permanent Rudiger deal|
|Senderos left out of final Switzerland squad for Euro 2016|
|AFC Wimbledon 2 Plymouth Argyle 0: Dons reach the third tier|
|Spain v South Korea: Pedro wants goalscoring momentum|
|Reus demands Dortmund transfers|
|Poland v Netherlands: Lewandowski out to make the most of set pieces|
|Low still waiting on Germany fitness news|
|Juanfran promises Champions League success in heartfelt letter to fans|
|Skriniar joins Skrtel, Hamsik in Slovakia squad|
|Scholl: Gotze and Lewandowski dealings strange|
|Terry: Chelsea must learn from mistakes and fight for trophies again|
|Belgium v Finland: Hazard backs squad to cope without Kompany|
|Injury comeback on track, says Germany´s Khedira|
|Victor Sanchez sacked by Depor|
|Rashford signs Manchester United renewal|
|Sturridge resumes England training|
|Pellegrini rues decision to go public with Guardiola appointment|
|Luxembourg v Nigeria: Yusuf set for latest audition|
|Icardi, Perisic not for sale at any price - Inter|
|Carvajal to miss Euro 2016, replaced by Bellerin|
|Terry certain of Mourinho success at Manchester United|
|Pirlo not bitter towards Conte over Euro 2016 snub|
|Dortmund rule out Sokratis exit amid Atletico Madrid links|
|Barcelona revert to tradition with new kit|
|Robben and Ribery in line for Bayern renewals|
|King backs Wales to ´do a Leicester´ at Euro 2016|
|Deschamps: Zidane´s Champions League win is amazing|
|Pulido rescued by Mexican authorities|
|Alaves secure La Liga promotion|
|Gabriel´s childhood dream becomes a reality|
|Mexico v Chile: Vidal set for return|
|Boateng left ´sad´ after politician´s controversial comments|
|Mooy undecided on future|
|Gotze not concentrated on club future|
|Panama 0 Brazil 2: Jonas breaks goalscoring drought, Gabriel nets on debut|
|Postecoglou pleased with additions ahead of Greece clashes|
|Panama 0-2 Brazil: Jonas breaks goalscoring drought, Gabriel nets on debut|
|Ter Stegen laments ´unlucky´ error in Germany defeat|
|Santos hoping for Portugal improvement ahead of Euro 2016|
|Ronaldo dismisses critics after Champions League win|
|Uruguayan side complete Leicester-style championship win|
|New York City 2 Orlando City 2: Molino salvages late point|
|Colombia 3 Haiti 1: Cuadrado helps Pekerman´s side to win|
|Strachan hits out at wayward passing|
|Conte focusing on positives after Scotland victory|
|Colombia 3-1 Haiti: Cuadrado helps Pekerman's side to win|
|Portugal 3 Norway 0: Quaresma, Guerreiro light up Porto|
|Italy 1 Scotland 0: Pelle halts winless run|
|Bellerin in line to replace Carvajal - Del Bosque|
|Nolito dreaming of Euro 2016 after Spain double|
|Olympiacos striker Pulido kidnapped in Mexico - reports|
|Low concerned by Germany´s defensive performance|
|Portugal 3-0 Norway: No Ronaldo, no problem for dominant hosts|
|Deschamps will not consider Sakho recall|
|Germany 1 Slovakia 3: World champions continue to struggle|
|Italy 1-0 Scotland: Pelle strike settles tense friendly|
|Spain 3 Bosnia-Herzegovina 1: Nolito, Pedro on target|
|Martial set to miss France friendly through injury|
|Everton standards not what they should be - Coleman|
|Barnsley 3 Millwall 1: Hammill scorcher helps seal Championship return|
|Spain 3-1 Bosnia: Nolito fires La Roja to success|
|Emerson warns Morata against Real Madrid return|
|Germany 1-3 Slovakia: Hosts shocked in rain-affected friendly|
|Tiago has ´no doubt´ over Simeone´s Atletico future|
|Ben Arfa wants to match Messi, Ronaldo|
|Portugal v Norway Preview: Quaresma challenges hosts to prove Euro 2016 ambition|
|Republic of Ireland v Belarus: Coleman inspired by Leicester heroics|
|Bayern defend Boateng after politician´s insult|
|Too risky for England to start Stones at Euro 2016 - Campbell|
|Republic of Ireland v Belarus: Coleman inspired by Leicester heroics|
|Champions League Final: Could the Madrid derby rival El Clasico?|
|Mourinho gives Manchester United the X Factor they need, says Lampard|
|World Cup Qualifying Review: Tahiti thrash Samoa|
|Ballack: Schweinsteiger indispensable for Germany|
|Dortmund dismiss Aubameyang exit talk|
|Mourinho is really irritating, says Keane|
|Isco: I´ll stay if Real Madrid want me|
|Zieler close to Leicester move as Hannover confirm medical|
|Messi on the mend, say Argentina|
|´Deschamps should be flattered - Ryan Gosling is a Mormon´ – Cantona explains France boss criticism|
|Xhaka proud to complete ´dream´ Arsenal move|
|Conte concerned by De Rossi injury|
|Pepe hails Zidane influence after ´tough six months´ under Benitez|
|Hull City´s top-flight return comes at a cost for fans|
|Koeman: United don´t deserve FA Cup trophy after sacking Van Gaal|
|Ramos hails Zidane for turning Madrid around|
|Nobody expected this trophy – Arbeloa|
|MLS Review: Drogba scores late, Wright-Phillips nets treble|
|Benzema wants Madrid stay after Champions League win|
|Koke: I think Simeone will stay at Atletico|
|United States 4 Bolivia 0: Zardes scores brace as Pulisic opens account|
|Champions League final: A bomb scare, Clarence Seedorf and Ronaldo strips off again|
|United States 4-0 Bolivia: Zardes scores brace as Pulisic opens account|
|Saul: Atletico don´t deserve second heartbreak|
|Real Madrid players revel in Champions League success|
|Davies: Tottenham joked Pochettino was joining United|
|Gabi: I am convinced Atletico will win the Champions League|
|Mexico 1 Paraguay 0: Guardado extends unbeaten streak|
|Simeone to ´think about´ Atletico future|
|Zidane: I dreamed this would happen after getting Real Madrid job|
|Ronaldo ´had a vision´ he would score San Siro winner|
|James wants Real Madrid stay despite Champions League final snub|
|Real Madrid success an amazing journey, says Bale|
|Simeone rues Atletico ´failure´|
|Sterling tips Rashford for long England career|
|Navas hails Champions League triumph as ´dream come true´|
|Champions League trophy belongs to Real Madrid - Modric|
|Perez hails Zidane after dramatic Champions League win|
|Bale the main man for Madrid, and the rest of the Champions League final player ratings|
|Ronaldo: Real Madrid experience made the difference|
|Ronaldo gamble eventually pays off for Madrid|
|Griezmann´s penalty miss & Ronaldo´s nerves of steel - The key moments that decided the Champions Le|