The 2015/16 Bundesliga campaign is drawing to a close, but with seven rounds of matches remaining, all 18 teams still have plenty to play for as they look to get the most out of one of the most exciting seasons in the history of Germany's top flight.
But how are things shaping up heading into the final stretch and how good are each side's chances of reaching their targets? bundesliga.com puts VfB Stuttgart under the microscope in the latest of our final stretch form checks.
Story so far
- Stuttgart were bottom of the table after 13 matches, but have undergone quite a transformation since Jürgen Kramny took charge.
- Die Schwaben currently sit 11th in the standings, thanks in no small part to an impressive return of 17 points from ten Rückrunde matches.
- They are not safe yet, however, with only five points separating them from the relegation zone.
Still to play for
- With survival the remit, it is almost a case of mission accomplished for Kramny. Victory against SV Darmstadt 98 on Matchday 28 will almost certainly see VfB safe for another season, while a top-half finish is not yet out of the question.
- Climbing the standings will not be easy, however, with all six of Stuttgart's post-Darmstadt fixtures coming against sides with something tangible to play for.
Potential saviour: Lukas Rupp
- Starting 13 of Stuttgart's 14 Bundesliga games under Kramny, Rupp has made the right-hand side of midfield position his own.
- The former SC Paderborn 07 midfielder is the club's top provider alongside Filip Kostic on four assists.
- The 25-year-old has also scored as many Bundesliga goals after 27 matches as he managed over the entire course of last season for relegated SC Paderborn 07 (four).