Stuttgart on verge of Bundesliga return; Hamburg could miss out again
BERLIN – VfB Stuttgart are close to securing a return to the Bundesliga at the first time of asking after thrashing Nuremberg 6-0 on Sunday to go three points clear in the second promotion spot with one game remaining
After relegation last season Stuttgart are in pole position to claim the second automatic promotion spot behind second division champions Arminia Bielefeld.
Heidenheim scored five minutes into injury-time to beat SV Hamburg 2-1 and go third. They could catch Stuttgart on points next week if they win in Bielefeld while Stuttgart lose to Darmstadt but they must also make up a goal deficit of 11.
Hamburg, meanwhile, could face a third season out of the top-flight if they cannot better Heidenheim's result when they conclude the campaign at home to Sandhausen.
The third-place side in the second-tier meets the third bottom side of the Bundesliga – Fortuna Dusseldorf or Werder Bremen – in a two-legged promotion/relegation play-off on July 2 and 6.