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Hertha appeal to fans as relegation looms

Relegation-threatened Hertha Berlin have apologised to their fans for what they said was a disastrous season but appealed for their support ahead of the last game of the season against Hoffenheim.

Hertha must win their game against former coach Markus Babbel's Hoffenheim and hope Bayern Munich beat Cologne in order to move up to the relegation playoff spot.

"We are absolutely aware that in many games this season we played terribly bad and that we let you down," said captain Levan Kobiashvili (pictured) in an open letter.

"But now give us your strength. We need you unconditionally and we need you to be loud," Kobiashvili, who could equal Brazilian Ze Robert's record 336 Bundesliga appearances for a foreign player if he plays on Saturday,

Hannover 96 veteran Altin Lala will leave the club after 14 years, the club said but he can cap his departure with a Europa League spot for next season if they beat already relegated Kaiserslautern on Saturday.

The 36-year-old Albanian joined the then second division club in 1998 and has notched 180 Bundesliga appearances.

Werder Bremen, in ninth, have five players back from injury, including central defender Naldo, as they prepare for their match with third-placed Schalke 04 and an outside chance of clinching a Europa League spot.

Coach Thomas Schaaf, however, said his top striker Claudio Pizarro may not be fit in time for the last match of their season.

"I do not know if he will be fit in time for the last training session. We will have to see and then decide," said Schaaf.