Dortmund's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (l.) and Frankfurt's Marco Fabian (r.) will be hoping to help their sides secure a place in Europe in what promises to be a fascinating conclusion to the 2016/17 campaign. - © © DFL DEUTSCHE FUSSBALL LIGA
Dortmund's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (l.) and Frankfurt's Marco Fabian (r.) will be hoping to help their sides secure a place in Europe in what promises to be a fascinating conclusion to the 2016/17 campaign. - © © DFL DEUTSCHE FUSSBALL LIGA

Five predictions for the end of the 2016/17 Bundesliga season

There are just five matchdays remaining in the 2016/17 Bundesliga season and the home stretch promises to be chock-full of suspense until the final ball is kicked. looks at some of the potential talking points from each remaining round of fixtures.

Matchday 30 - Hamburg to kickstart another great escape

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There are few universal truths in football but - along with 'Robert Lewandowski will grab at least 20 league goals' and 'the Bundesliga will be Europe's highest-scoring league' - there is of course 'Hamburg will stay up'.

Will Hamburg have cause for celebration with their fans come the end of the season? - © imago

Matchday 31 – Bremen to close in on Europe

The three-time champions are the only club to have played in every single Bundesliga season since the league's inception in 1963, although they have sailed perilously close to the wind in recent years. In the 2013/2014 campaign they beat Greuther Fürth in the promotion/relegation play-off and a year later in the same fixture they needed an injury-time equaliser and an extra-time winner against Karlsruher SC to beat the drop.

A home win over bottom club Darmstadt on Matchday 30 could help them avoid the need for such drama this season. Their fate is very much in their own hands considering their remaining fixtures are also against teams in the bottom half of the table: Augsburg, Mainz, Schalke and Wolfsburg.

Werder Bremen are in sizzling form at the moment, having put together an incredible run of seven wins and two draws since mid-February. Alexander Nouri's men have the wind in their sails and their current momentum could be enough to carry them to a first continental campaign since 2010/11.

Werder Bremen midfielder Thomas Delaney (centre) proved to a key winter signing. - © imago / Simon

Their next outing is against second-bottom Ingolstadt and a win there would set them up for a huge game against fellow European hopefuls Hertha Berlin on Matchday 31.

Watch: Highlights of Bremen's Matchday 29 Nordderby win over Hamburg

The Green-Whites are only four points behind fifth-placed Hertha as it stands so if they complete the double over the Old Lady then a place in the Europa League will be within their reach. Final fixtures against Cologne, Hoffenheim and Borussia Dortmund are tough, but will not faze the Bundesliga’s form team.

Something has to give when Hoffenheim's Julian Nagelsmann (l.) meets his former mentor Thomas Tuchel (r.) of Borussia Dortmund. - © imago

Matchday 32 – Hoffenheim to book a Champions League place

Around this time last season, worst-case scenario contingency plans at Hoffenheim would have included talk of what life would be like outside the top flight.

A year on, the club are proof that the prediction game can be futile. Who would have foreseen that a team that just about avoided relegation would be capable of challenging for a top-three finish?

Well, maybe Julian Nagelsmann did. The man who saved Hoffenheim last season is on the verge of qualifying his club for their very first European campaign. And he will have achieved all of that before his 30th birthday.

Watch: Highlights from Hoffenheim's 2-2 draw with Dortmund on Matchday 15.

Matchday 33 – Leipzig to make Bayern sweat for the title

On Matchday 32, Hoffenheim travel to Borussia Dortmund in what could be the decisive showdown in the battle for third place. That brings with it a spot in the Champions League group stages – and what a reward that would be for their brilliant season.

We have simply run out of superlatives to describe RB Leipzig's maiden Bundesliga season. Suffice to say that Ralph Hasenhüttl and his charges richly deserve to have reached the UEFA Champions League for the first time in their club's history, after taking the German top flight by storm in 2016/17.

Hard-working Paraguayan forward Dario Lezacno (l.) could be key to Ingolstadt's survival bid. - © gettyimages / Marc Mueller

Matchday 34 – Ingolstadt to get one last chance to save themselves

But can they make Bayern Munich work for a fifth title in a row? It sounds unlikely, given that the league leaders have an eight-point cushion and a vastly superior goal difference. But the defending champions were held to a draw by Bayer Leverkusen on Matchday 29 and have now dropped five points in three matches.  

Free-scoring Leipzig have won four on the spin and Carlo Ancelotti’s men could be distracted and depleted by DFB Cup commitments. Imagine that Bayern slip up against two teams desperate to avoid relegation – Mainz and Wolfsburg – and they arrive at the Red Bull Arena only three or four points clear. If that were the case, then a win for Leipzig on Matchday 33 would make the final day very interesting indeed.

Ingolstadt’s hopes of avoiding the drop suffered a blow when they lost a relegation six-pointer against Wolfsburg on Matchday 29. The team coached by Maik Walpurgis are now four points adrift of the relegation play-off place since Mainz and Augsburg both won.

The relegation battle is far from over though – especially considering Ingolstadt had gained real impetus with three victories in a row before they were devoured by the Wolves. Three of their last five games are at home, while many of their closest rivals face mostly teams from the top half of the table in the run-in.

Watch: Highlights of Schalke's 1-0 win over Ingolstadt on Matchday 17.

Die Schanzer host Schalke on Matchday 34 and there is every reason to believe they will still be in with a fighting chance of saving themselves on the final day of the season. Mainz are at European hopefuls Cologne, Augsburg travel to high-flying Hoffenheim and Hamburg meet Wolfsburg. The scrap for survival could come to a dramatic conclusion.

Click here for all the upcoming Matchday 30 fixtures