Nürnberg win promotion back to the Bundesliga

Nürnberg, the most relegated and most promoted side in Bundesliga history, will have another crack in 2018-19 after securing their promotion. A 2-0 win over Sandhausen sent the Bavarian side up with a game to spare.

With Nürnberg needing a win to secure a return to the top flight for the first time since 2013-14, goals from Hanno Behrens and Tim Leibold either side of the break were enough to start the party for those fans who made the 200-kilometer (124-mile) trip.

Coach Michael Köllner was soaked by his players as thousands flocked on to the pitch in celebration after the final whistle blew on a contest in which they always looked comfortable.

Nürnberg came close to returning to the top flight two seasons ago but were denied by Niko Kovac's Eintracht Frankfurt in the relegation playoff. But, after a disappointing campaign last time out, they can wrap up the title next weekend with a draw or a win at home to second-placed Fortuna Düsseldorf, who were promoted last week.

Nürnberg have won nine German league titles — eight national titles before the formation of the Bundesliga in 1963 and one after, in 1967-68. More recently, FCN memorably won the German Cup in 2007 with a 3-2 extra time win over Stuttgart in Berlin that denied their opponents an unlikely double after their Bundesliga title win.

Read more: Champions League race and relegation to go to the wire

Can they survive the drop?

With a 50,000-seat stadium — which hosted one of Germany's World Cup qualifiers last year — and a rich history, Köllner's side should be better placed to compete at the top table than some of the smaller sides to have won promotion in the last few years.

Last year's promoted teams may provide a template for Nürnberg. Both Stuttgart and fellow promoted side Hannover have survived comfortably this term and sit 8th and 13th respectively.

Nürnberg's win means third-placed Holsten Kiel will face either Hamburg, Wolfsburg or Freiburg in the relegation playoff, depending on results in the top flight next Saturday. The two-legged playoff will fall on May 25 and 29.

Read more: Hamburg can look to Frankfurt for rebuilding inspiration

Things are a lot less clear cut at the other end of the second division though. With just one game remaining, several clubs could join already relegated Kaiserslauten in the third tier. That includes Darmstadt, who were relegated from the top flight last year. 

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