Europa League chasing Mainz welcome relegation stricken Schalke to the MEWA Arena on Friday with both teams desperate to pick up all three points.
This fixture shows just how much football can change in a relatively short period of time. Just a few years ago, if you'd asked a football fan from outside of Germany what a Mainz even is, most of them probably wouldn't have been able to answer you. Schalke? Well they have long been one of the biggest clubs in European football, both in terms of fanbase and prestige.
Now, little old Mainz, building on the outstanding achievements of the likes of Jurgen Klopp and Thomas Tuchel, have positioned themselves as a reliable mid table side in the Bundesliga with designs on becoming something more.
Three points against Schalke on Friday will put them firmly in the race for Europa League football next season alongside Bayer Leverkusen, Wolfsburg and Eintracht Frankfurt. However, with only four games to go, a defeat could be damning.
The visitors are dealing with stakes just as high. Schalke sit in the bottom three amid a spectacular relegation battle in the German top flight. It's all to play for with just four points separating five teams. A win here could do wonders for Thomas Reis' team. A loss may be too much to come back from so close to the end of the campaign.
The stakes couldn't be higher for either team.
Predictably, Mainz come into this game in the better form of the two, but not by a country mile.
Bo Svensson's team were dealt a blow at the weekend when they suffered a 3-0 defeat to rivals Wolfsburg, but prior to that they had enjoyed a 10-game unbeaten run, which included a 3-1 home win over Bayern Munich, a 3-0 away win against RB Leipzig and a 3-2 victory on the road against Bayer.
Mainz have proven themselves capable of beating the very best the Bundesliga has to offer in the last three months, and will surely be immensely confident going into this clash.
However, Schalke have themselves shown some steel of late. Their league position owes more to their disastrous first half of this Bundesliga campaign, which saw them battered left and right. They've lost just three of their last eleven games since being demolished 6-1 by Leipzig in late January.
Poor performances in their 4-0 defeat to Freiburg and 3-0 loss to Leverkusen aside, it's been a great few months for a team which looked destined to return to the Bundesliga 2. Reis' men picked up an invaluable 2-1 win over Werder at the weekend and now have real belief that they can build momentum and claw their way out of the mire.
More good news for Schalke fans is that their team haven't lost to Mainz in the past five meetings between the two sides, winning twice and drawing the other three encounters.
Schalke supporters, and likely plenty of neutrals, will be hoping the visitors can get all three points and move closer to survival. Their relegation from the Bundesliga two seasons ago sent shockwaves around the football world and, after returning as Bundesliga 2 champions on the first time of asking, to be immediately relegated once again would surely be a huge blow to the club.
The hosts will have to do without their captain, Swiss international right back Silvan Widmer, who was confirmed to have suffered an ankle injury at the beginning of the week and will likely miss the rest of the season. Centre back Jonathan Berkardt remains a long term absentee for Mainz.
Schalke will likely be unable to call on right back Cédric Brunner and winger Tim Sharke, who recently sustained shoulder and flesh wound injuries respectively.
31-year-old Austrian international striker Karim Onisiwo will be the main threat for the hosts as he looks to add to his nine Bundesliga goals. Meanwhile, Schalke's Marius Bulter has amassed the same tally, as this could prove to be a battle of the team's top scorers.
Expert Insight: It's all to play for here, and there's very little to separate the two on recent form. Both teams will be uber-motivated. Expect goals galore as both sides throw caution to the wind in search of three points they desperately need if they want to reach their respective targets.