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Schalke 04 v Nurnberg: Preview

Nurnberg travel to Schalke on Saturday needing at least a draw to keep their slim survival hopes alive, yet they cannot expect any gifts, even if the two clubs' fans share a friendship.

Schalke also need one more point to be certain of their place in the group stage of the Champions League next season which is why they cannot afford to help out a friend in serious need this weekend.

Defeat would condemn Nurnberg to a record eighth relegation from the Bundesliga while a draw would only be enough to see them rise above Hamburg if their northern Germany rivals lose by more than seven goals.

With that unlikely, Nurnberg really need to win in Gelsenkirchen and hope Hamburg slip up in Mainz with the stakes particularly high.

``I wouldn't say we have nothing to lose,'' said their coach Roger Prinzen. ``In fact, I would say there is a hell of a lot that we can lose.

``We've got to play with courage and believe in ourselves.''

Prinzen has lost both of his games since taking charge of the Bavarians, but he insists that neither he nor his players have given up belief.

``If I no longer believed in my players, then I might as well pack up and go home already,'' he said at a press conference.

``That is not the case, though. You can call me crazy, but I really believe we can do it.''

Nurnberg will take inspiration from Hoffenheim, who salvaged their status with an unexpected 2-1 win at Borussia Dortmund on the final day of last season, securing their status in the top flight subsequently via a play-off.

The only difference between the two scenarios is that Dortmund had nothing to play for.

Schalke, on the other hand, know that defeat could condemn them to another nailbiting play-off for a place in the Champions League next season.

``I can promise you that will not happen,'' said captain Benedikt Howedes, who was on Thursday called into Germany's World Cup squad, on his club's website.

``Every one of us knows what is at stake. We only need one more point, but we're still going to attack and play all out for a win. I'm ready.''

ends

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