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? Next under the bundesliga.com spotlight is Bayer 04 Leverkusen.
Story so far
- Leverkusen's form has been inconsistent of late. After three straight defeats, Die Werkself turned a corner and went into the international break with back-to-back victories over Hamburger SV and VfB Stuttgart.
- Roger Schmidt's team no longer have UEFA Europa League football to worry about after succumbing to Villarreal CF in the Last 16, while Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez, Stefan Kießling and Ömer Toprak are all making their way back to full fitness.
- Leverkusen, in sixth, are only two points away from FC Schalke 04 in the fourth and final UEFA Champions League qualifying place.
Still to play for
- Leverkusen find themselves in an all or nothing situation. A top-four finish is still within reach, but they could just as easily fall out of the European qualification spots altogether. Fourth place, and with it a berth in the qualifying rounds of the Champions League, remains a realistic target for Schmidt's men.
- Providing they do not drop points before then, it could ultimately be the games against Schalke (Matchday 31) and Borussia Mönchengladbach (Matchday 33) that prove decisive in determining Leverkusen’s fate.
- However, Bayer 04 have to tread carefully, as seventh-placed 1. FSV Mainz 05 just one point behind them and VfL Wolfsburg within a win of closing the gap to a point when the two sides lock horns on Matchday 28.
In-form star: Julian Brandt
- Brandt, 19, has started the last five games.
- Matchday 25's come-from-behind 3-3 draw at FC Augsburg was the first time he completed 90 minutes this season.
- The attacking midfielder has only missed one minute over the last three Matchdays, coming off late in the 2-0 win at VfB Stuttgart to be replaced by Admir Mehmedi.
- Brandt was involved in two goals in a single game for the first time in his Bundesliga career after opening the scoring and releasing Karim Bellarabi for the second against Stuttgart.
- The youngster was the game's standout performer and came close to bagging his first-ever top-flight brace, only to be denied by first the post and then Przemyslaw Tyton.