Schalke 04 take on Borussia Dortmund in the 158th Revierderby on Saturday, with the hosts in desperate need of three points in order to prevent this derby meeting being their last one in the Bundesliga for at least a couple of seasons.
Dortmund are almost as desperate for a victory themselves, though, having slipped to sixth in the table in recent weeks.
Although Schalke do appear to have slightly improved since the turn of the year under the management of Christian Gross, taking two points from their last three matches, it is wins they require if they are to dig themselves out of the very deep hole they find themselves in.
Indeed, last weekend's 0-0 draw at Union Berlin leaves them nine points adrift of safety with 13 games remaining, so while survival is an incredibly tall order, it is not mission impossible.
While Schalke dominated possession against Urs Fischer's side, they seriously lacked a punch, failing to test debutant Loris Karius until Nassim Boujellab's scuffed effort in the 89th minute. In contrast, Liverpool loanee Taiwo Awoniyi spurned a couple of golden opportunities for Union Berlin, so it was not a bad point in the end for the visitors.
Given Dortmund's form of late it is perhaps not the worst time to enter a Revierderby, but having lost the last two derbies 7-0 on aggregate, it is difficult to envisage Schalke picking themselves off the floor if they are humbled in a similar manner once again.
Indeed, while Dortmund's domestic form has stuttered of late, BVB showed no signs of lacking confidence during Wednesday's superb 3-2 win at Sevilla in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 knockout tie.
The Spanish side had conceded only one goal in their previous nine matches in all competitions, but Edin Terzic's side made a mockery of that defensive record by blitzing them in the first half. Suso had given the hosts an early lead with a deflected effort, but Mahmoud Dahoud's stunning strike from distance levelled proceedings before two superb counter-attacking goals finished by Erling Braut Haaland made Dortmund heavy favourites to progress to the quarter-finals despite Luuk de Jong's late goal.
Now, however, Dortmund's focus must shift back to mounting an assault on the top four, with a Revierderby against their struggling rivals perhaps the perfect opportunity to begin a run of form which may be required to qualify for next season's Champions League.
Last weekend's 2-2 draw at home to Hoffenheim has left them six points behind Eintracht Frankfurt and Wolfsburg in third and fourth positions respectively, but with Haaland and Jadon Sancho in the sort of form they are at present, there is every chance that gap can be clawed back within the coming weeks.
Schalke 04 Bundesliga form: LLLDLD
Schalke 04 form (all competitions): LLDLLD
Borussia Dortmund Bundesliga form: DLLWLD
Borussia Dortmund form (all competitions): LWWLDW
Schalke have several players ruled out of the crucial derby clash, with Matija Nastasic, Mark Uth, Steven Skrzybski, Kilian Ludewig, Salif Sane, Goncalo Paciencia and Frederik Ronnow all remaining on the treatment table.
Former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Nabil Bentaleb made a shock return to the starting XI in last weekend's draw with Union Berlin, which was his first appearance since a training ground bust-up with assistant manager Naldo in November.
Thomas Delaney should be involved again after he sat out of the trip to Sevilla due to his wife giving birth, while Thomas Meunier made his comeback as a substitute in that game but is likely to be eased back into action.
Schalke 04 possible starting lineup:
Fahrmann; Becker, Mustafi, Thiaw, Kolasinac; Stambouli, Serdar, Bentaleb; Raman, Harit; Hoppe
Borussia Dortmund possible starting lineup:
Hitz; Morey, Akanji, Hummels, Guerreiro; Can, Delaney; Sancho, Reus, Reyna; Haaland
We say: Schalke 04 0-2 Borussia Dortmund
With Dortmund rediscovering their mojo in Seville in midweek, it is difficult to see beyond them winning this crucial Revierderby.
Schalke are likely to fight hard and retain possession well at times, but Haaland and Sancho should be too devastating in the final third.