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Hamburg Faces First-Ever Relegation

Last Sunday, Bundesliga giant Hamburg slumped to its eighth-straight defeat on the road in the German first division, a result that left the storied club in 16th-place, five points adrift of certain-safety with just two games left to play this season. Hamburg, which has never been relegated before, is hoping at the very least to hold onto 16th-place, which in Germany would put the club in a two-game playoff against the third-place team from Bundesliga 2 with the winner earning the right to play in the first division next season.

The problem is, Hamburg’s next opponent will be current German champion Bayern Munich. Speaking after the club’s 3-1 humbling at FC Augsberg on Sunday, coach Mirko Slomka, Hamburg’s third coach this season, admitted that pushing for 15th-place and guaranteed safety was likely impossible, with two games to play. “We're battling for 16th place now, nothing more,” he said.

Meanwhile, ESPN reports that the club has now turned to a “spirit healer” as it desperately tries to avoid relegation.

Should Hamburg maintain its position -- which is a big if considering that the club is just one point above Nuremberg and two points above last-place Eintracht Braunschweig -- its opponent in the promotional playoff would be either SpVgg Greuther Furth or Kaiserslautern, currently battling it out for third-place in Bundesliga 2.

Read the whole story at Bundesliga.com »

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