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 Schalke 04 under the spotlight.
Story so far
- Schalke have had a roller-coaster season. As low as tenth after Matchday 3, and down in eighth as recently as Matchday 16, the Royal Blues are now fourth, two points clear of Borussia Mönchengladbach.
- After opening their campaign with a win, a draw and a loss, Schalke earned victories in five of their next six games, before failing to win in any of their subsequent five matches.
- The Gelsenkirchen club bounced into the international break having won three of their last four matches, scoring eight goals in the process.
- Andre Breitenreiter's youthful side have been particularly impressive in attack, scoring 39 goals so far - the fifth-best record in the league.
Still to play for
- After a year without UEFA Champions League football, Die Knappen are on course for a return to Europe's premier competition.
- Schalke have occupied a Champions League place for 12 of the 27 Matchdays so far.
- Hertha Berlin, in the third automatic Champions League qualification place, are four points further ahead. Schalke lost 2-0 to the capital club on Matchday 26, and still have tricky fixtures against Borussia Dortmund, FC Bayern München and Bayer 04 Leverkusen to follow.
In-form star: Ralf Fährmann
- Fährmann has had a stand-out season. The hulking 27-year-old put in a world-class performance against Gladbach in the final game before the break, with seven saves to preserve a 2-1 win over the Foals.
- Overall, Fährmann has stopped 74 per cent of shots on his goal this campaign. None of Schalke's 35 goals conceded can be attributed to a personal error from the former Germany U-21 custodian.