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 Hertha Berlin under the spotlight.
Story so far
- Hertha have undoubtedly been the surprise package of the current campaign. At this time last season the capital city club were just six points off the bottom of the table, but now find themselves in pole position to clinch the Bundesliga's final automatic UEFA Champions League qualification spot.
- Pal Dardai's charges, who have lost just twice in the last 13 outings, have built their success on a solid backline. Only FC Bayern München (13) and Borussia Dortmund (26) have conceded fewer goals than Hertha (27) in 2015/16.
- Up front, the Alte Dame have improved compared to the previous campaign and added a clinical edge to their goalscoring, helped by Vedad Ibisevic and Salomon Kalou finding form and combining for 21 goals.
Still to play for
- Even if no one at the club wants to discuss it, qualification for the Champions League and a first return to Europe since 2000 is well within Hertha's reach considering they currently boast a four-point lead over Schalke.
- Several sides below them in the standings would fall short of their targets were they not to finish in the top four. Hertha have taken points off of Schalke, VfL Wolfsburg and Bayer 04 Leverkusen already this season, while a win over Borussia Mönchengladbach on Matchday 28 would represent a significant step towards achieving European dreams.
- However, should things taken a turn for the worse and result in Hertha finishing in a UEFA Europa League qualification spot, it would take nothing away from how much the club has achieved in Dardai's first full season in charge.
In-form star: Salomon Kalou
- Hertha have improved up front no end this season. With 37 goals, they have already scored once more than they did in 2014/15 and it was not a coincidence that Kalou grabbed the 37th goal in the win over FC Ingolstadt 04.
- The 30-year-old has come on leaps and bounds this season and has already doubled his tally of six from the previous campaign by finding the net 13 times. The Ivorian has arguably been Hertha's most consistent performer and is averaging just under four shots per goal scored, one of the best rates in the league.