FC Schalke 04
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FC Schalke 04 has the best chance of promotion to the Bundesliga. © Uwe Anspach/dpa

And suddenly Hamburger SV, which has actually already been written off, still has chances of promotion. The race for places in the Bundesliga always brings surprises.

Berlin – The first five within five points, crazy final phases with unpredictable turns, a hoarse top striker who croaks his luck into a TV microphone. This season, the second division keeps the promises that the Bundesliga actually wants to make.

The fight for promotion in the next two weeks gives reason to expect the enormous tension that has been missing in the German championship for years. In any case, two clubs will not make it.

“The situation is as it is: with every point you lose you’re a little bit further, with every point you win you’re a bit further,” said Rüdiger Fritsch, President of Darmstadt 98, on Sport1 after the 6-0 win over FC Erzgebirge Aue. which promoted the lilies to second place behind FC Schalke. The Royal Blues had already celebrated the lead in the standings on Friday after beating Sandhausen 2-1. “First you have to realize what happened here. I have no voice at all,” said Simon Terodde on Sky.

That speaks for FC Schalke 04 (59 points/67:41 goals)

Since interim coach Mike Büskens took office, six wins in seven games have been achieved. Even the clear 1:4 in the top game against Bremen had little effect. With the 2-1 win in Sandhausen, the Revierclub regained the lead from Werder. The team is carried by the passionate support of the fans. The ecstatic cheering after Terodde’s last-minute goal should give an extra boost for next Saturday’s promotion showdown. “We have to show this commitment, this passion, against FC St. Pauli. I’m really looking forward to the game,” said North Macedonia international Darko Churlinov. Sports director Rouven Schröder also longs for the duel with fifth in the table: “The fans will carry us again. Despite all the euphoria, we have to go into the game objectively and totally concentrated. The head must be clear.”

That speaks for Darmstadt 98 (57/67:44)

The rising form curve and since Saturday evening also the table constellation give hope. “It was an outstanding game in front of an outstanding crowd that we deserved to win,” said Torsten Lieberknecht after the furious 6-0 victory over Aue. In the remaining two games in Düsseldorf and against Paderborn, the Hessians have the return to the top flight in their own hands. Big trump is the offensive around Luca Pfeiffer and Phillip Tietz (15 goals each).

That speaks for Werder Bremen (57/60:43)

The 2:3 after a 2:0 lead against Holstein Kiel was a shock. Werder can no longer manage direct promotion on their own. But the supposedly lightest remaining program with games in the 17th table still speaks for Bremen. Aue and against table eleventh Regensburg. And on top of that, probably the best quality and most experienced squad of all five promotion candidates. The defensive players Ömer Toprak, Milos Veljkovic (both injured) and Christian Groß (Corona) could be back in Aue. “We’ve often shown in the past that we can deal with setbacks,” said coach Ole Werner.

That speaks for Hamburger SV (54/62:32)

Coach Tim Walter’s team is hunters this season. She’s more comfortable with the role than she was the previous three seasons when she was the hunted. The nerves seem more stable, the team manages to implement Walter’s blinder course (“We’ll stay with us”). The gap to a direct promotion place has been reduced from nine points to three points in five games. Only wins in the remaining games against Hannover and Rostock are not enough. The competition would have to lose more points. But she’s been doing that for weeks.

That speaks for FC St. Pauli (54/57:43)

The trembling has started in the Kiez. The fans continue to believe in the rise, they sing: “We love St. Pauli”. The players want to get up to the defiant reaction. However, the trend of the last five games speaks against them: first the leaders with a four-point lead in fourth place, now fifth with three points behind in second place. Coach Timo Schultz promises: “It’s full speed towards Schalke now”. The team has to win there. Finally comes Dusseldorf. Defender Leart Paqarada: “Even if we’re in a bit worse shape now, none of us have ticked the box.” dpa

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