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Bundesliga Picks: Relegation Playoffs

Bundesliga Picks: Relegation Playoffs

BUNDESLIGA PIKCS: RELEGATION PLAYOFFS – While they avoided the grisly fate of Schalke and Hertha Berlin – who were automatically relegated as the Bundesliga’s bottom two – Stuttgart proved unable to get that extra edge over Hoffenheim on matchweek 34, consigning them to a 16th-place finish.

Now they will fight for their existence amongst the elite in a two-game series against the bronze medallists of 2. Bundesliga, Hamburger SV. They were in these playoffs last year too, but fell just short of promotion, as Hertha Berlin saved their own skins despite losing the first leg on home turf.

One-time European champions (in 1983) and three-time Bundesliga winners, Hamburg are perhaps rivaled only by Schalke as the definitive sleeping giant of German soccer, and will surely give their opponents hell over the final three hours that Bundesliga season 2022/23 has to offer.

May 2018: Former giants Hamburg suffer Bundesliga relegation for the first time ever after years of decline, sparking what is currently a five-year stay in the wilderness of German soccer.

VfB Stuttgart vs Hamburg


  • Game 1: Thursday 06/01/2023 at 14:15 PM EST
  • Game 2: Monday 06/05/2023 at 14:15 PM EST


  • Game 1: VfB Stuttgart – Mercedes-Benz Arena, Stuttgart, Germany
  • Game 2: Hamburg – Volksparkstadion, Hamburg, Germany

Current Bundesliga / 2. Bundesliga Form: | Stuttgart (DWDLW) | Hamburg (WWWDL) |

Last Bundesliga / 2. Bundesliga Match: | Stuttgart 1-1 Hoffenheim | | Sandhausen 0-1 Hamburg |

Head to Head





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2. Bundesliga





2. Bundesliga







DraftKings Moneyline Odds: TBC (see official site for updates)


  •       Stuttgart are without a shutout in nine games.
  •       The Swabians’ last three wins have all seen both teams score.
  •       Both of Stuttgart’s previous Bundesliga playoff games (in 2019) ended level.
  •       Hamburg have scored inside the first five minutes (and won) in their last two away games.
  •       Four of Hamburg’s last five playoff games have produced exactly two goals inside 90’.
  •       Each of the last five Bundesliga H2H battles have seen both teams score.

It’s also worth noting that 16th placed Bundesliga teams have an 80 % survival rate in relegation playoffs across the previous five years.

However, Stuttgart are the odd team out in that period, losing their top-flight status via the playoffs against Union Berlin in 2019 – the same Union Berlin that recently qualified for the UEFA Champions League via fourth place, after once contending for the title against monstrous odds!

All scores shown above are the aggregate over a two-game series with ‘(a)’ representing an aggregate win by means of having scored more goals on the road during the series.

FUN My Pillow

The Word

While Stuttgart can grind out results when needed, this is still an exceptionally close call, and it may well boil down to two key players.

Serhou Guirassy was one in a distinct minority of Stuttgart players who could emerge from the 2022/23 regular season with much credit. He was the only Swabian to hit double figures with a 50% strike rate from 22 league appearances, making him the chief threat to Hamburg’s hopes.

That said, overreliance on Guirassy is a sure way to lose out in this duel, but the guile and experience of older men like Wataru Endo will be crucial towards working around that. The Japanese midfielder memorably sparked Stuttgart’s crucial comeback against Mainz on matchweek 33:

As for Hamburg, their obvious danger man is Robert Glatzel, whose tally of 19 goals this term is the prime reason Die Rothosen (‘The Red Shorts’) got anywhere near this one-off promotion shot in the first place.

However, his last match-winning goal dates back to January 29, so there will still be a lot of trepidation amongst Hamburg fans even if he strikes quickly to give them a dream start.


  • Game 1: STUTTGART 2 – 1 HAMBURG
  • Game 2: HAMBURG 1 – 1 STUTTGART

Stuttgart to win 3-2 on aggregate.

There will be little to separate the sides, but if Hamburg can avoid defeat on hostile turf in the first leg, their loud and relentless fanbase will give Stuttgart the mother of all psychological tests in the second.

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