Borussia Dortmund's Christian Pulisic (r.) and RB Leipzig's Bruma (l.) are two of many players from many teams vying for a European spot next season. - © © gettyimages / Patrik Stollarz/AFP
Borussia Dortmund's Christian Pulisic (r.) and RB Leipzig's Bruma (l.) are two of many players from many teams vying for a European spot next season. - © © gettyimages / Patrik Stollarz/AFP
Bundesliga

Fasten your seatbelts as over half the Bundesliga race for Europe

Bayern Munich may be within touching distance of the title, but below them it is turning into a thriller with ten clubs battling it out for European qualification.

Right down to Hertha Berlin in 11th, and potentially also Freiburg in 12th, European football next season is still high up on the agenda for more than half the clubs in the Bundesliga, with an enthralling European scramble in store.

Changes to European club competitions from next season mean that the top four finishers in Europe's top four leagues – Germany, England, Spain and Italy – will all go straight into the Champions League group stage, and the race is well and truly on.

Borussia Dortmund, Schalke, Bayer Leverkusen and RB Leipzig have all spent time in second place in recent weeks, while Eintracht Frankfurt have muscled their way into the top three off the back of an excellent recent run of form. They are the most palpable candidates for a top-four finish, but with two UEFA Europa League berths on offer to those below, rarely have so many clubs still been in contention heading into the final quarter of the campaign.

This, once again, sets the Bundesliga apart.

By comparison, in England's Premier League, the top six places are as good as decided. The top five seem set to contest four berths in the Champions League, with a seven-point gap down to Arsenal in sixth and a further nine points to seventh-placed Burnley.

In Spain, Barcelona have a 17-point advantage over their perennial rivals Real Madrid, but Atletico are only seven adrift of the Catalans in what is still, on paper at least, an open race for the title. However they, together with third-placed Valencia and Real in fourth, are odds-on to take Spain's four UEFA Champions League berths.

Down in Italy, Napoli and Juventus are battling it out for the Scudetto, with a gap of 15 points down to the two Rome clubs Roma and Lazio in third and fourth. Inter Milan are clinging on behind them, but they have left Sampdoria and Milan seven points in their wake, effectively leaving just three clubs competing for two places in the Champions League.

- © DFL DEUTSCHE FUSSBALL LIGA

That stirs up memories of scenarios such as Schalke's crucial win at Freiburg to snatch Champions League football in 2014, or the most dramatic of title victories of all time in 2001.

On the final day of the season, Hoffenheim host Borussia Dortmund, Hertha entertain Leipzig, Freiburg welcome Augsburg to the Black Forest, Eintracht Frankfurt travel to Gelsenkirchen and Bayer Leverkusen have Hannover as their guests at the BayArena. Five final-day fixtures could potentially determine who will be waving the Bundesliga's flag around the continent next season.

Stick with us – it promises to be a thriller.

Click here for more Bundesliga news and features!