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 sides chances of reaching their targets? bundesliga.com puts FC Ingolstadt 04 under the spotlight.
Story so far
- The newly-promoted side can be more than satisfied with their efforts this season so far. Few would have reckoned with Die Schanzer being tenth in the table with seven Matchdays remaining and boasting a six-point cushion over the relegation play-off place.
- The basis for the impressive campaign being enjoyed by Ralph Hasenhüttl's men is undoubtedly their defensive rigidity. Only FC Bayern München (13), Borussia Dortmund (26) and Hertha Berlin (27) - the top three sides in the division - have conceded fewer goals than Ingolstadt's 31.
- Where Hasenhüttl's team can improve is in front of goal. Only Hannover 96 (22) have managed fewer goals than Ingolstadt's 23 in 27 matches, although Die Schanzer have netted in each of their last six matches, including three against VfB Stuttgart on Matchday 26.
Still to play for
- In their debut season in the top flight, the club's ultimate goal obviously remains to stay in the Bundesliga. Nevertheless, if they continue their current form, survival may already be guaranteed before Matchday 34. The likes of 1. FC Köln (ninth) and VfL Wolfsburg (eighth) could also still be reined in in the final few weeks.
- That said, Ingolstadt's run-in is not the kindest, with matches against FC Schalke 04, Borussia Mönchengladbach, Bayern and Bayer 04 Leverkusen to come. With that in mind, Hasenhüttl's charges will likely need to target games against the likes of Hannover, TSG 1899 Hoffenheim and SV Darmstadt 98 for the points they need to be sure of survival.
Potential saviour: Dario Lezcano
- Paraguay international Lezcano has hit the ground running since joining the club from FC Luzern in January. He opened his Bundesliga account with an unstoppable free-kick against Stuttgart and scored twice for Paraguay against Ecuador in FIFA World Cup 2018 qualifying during the international break.
- With his first goal under his belt and a resolute defence behind him, Lezcano could well be the man to score the goals that keep Ingolstadt clear of the relegation mire in the season's final stages.