1. FSV Mainz 05 are currently seventh in the Bundesliga, which could be sufficient for them to qualify for Europe.
1. FSV Mainz 05 are currently seventh in the Bundesliga, which could be sufficient for them to qualify for Europe.

Lucky number seven: how seventh could reach Europe

Germany's UEFA coefficient is such that four UEFA Champions League and two UEFA Europa League places were available at the start of the 2015/16 season, yet there could be a seventh Bundesliga club playing on the continent next year. Allow bundesliga.com to explain…

Overview: The final stretch form check

Champions League qualification from the Bundesliga has remained the same since the 2011/12 season, when Germany overtook Italy in European football's governing body's rankings: the top three qualify automatically, whilst the team finishing in fourth have the chance to negotiate the play-off round. If they fail to win the play-off, that team drops into the Europa League, as happened to Borussia Mönchengladbach in the 2012/13 season.

Direct qualification for the Europa League itself is less clear, since the distribution of places also depends on the DFB Cup. Teams finishing fifth and sixth qualify for the competition - for the group stage and the third qualifying round respectively - while the cup winner also qualifies directly for the group stage. However, if that team has already qualified for European competition by virtue of their league position, the team that finishes in seventh in the Bundesliga will qualify for Europe.

Infographic: the European candidates

Until the 2013/14 season it was also possible to lose the cup final and still qualify for Europe, provided the cup-winning team had already qualified for the Champions League via the Bundesliga. The last team to profit from this set up was VfB Stuttgart, despite finishing 12th in 2013. The Swabians had lost that season's cup final 3-2 to FC Bayern München. Under the current set-up, Stuttgart would have been left empty-handed that season, with Hamburger SV, having finished seventh, qualifying in their stead.

DFB Cup Overview: Semi-finals

Of the four semi-finalists for this season's DFB Cup, Bayern have qualified for the Champions League with Borussia Dortmund guaranteed a spot in at least the qualifying rounds. Hertha Berlin are in third, four points clear of FC Schalke 04, with seven games left to play, meaning a seventh European representative hinges on the performance of SV Werder Bremen. If Die Grün-Weißen - currently 14th in the league - secure a first cup win since 2009, the Bundesliga will only send six teams to Europe next season.