Vedad Ibisevic, Florian Niederlechner and Anthony Modeste (l.-r.) will be hoping to fire their teams into Europe next season. - © © gettyimages
Vedad Ibisevic, Florian Niederlechner and Anthony Modeste (l.-r.) will be hoping to fire their teams into Europe next season. - © © gettyimages

From 5th to 12th: the Bundesliga's race for Europe is hotting up

The Bundesliga's race for UEFA Europa League qualification has seldom been as gripping as this season, when as many as eight clubs can still claim two - potentially three - European berths.

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Click here to pick your #BLFantasy team for Matchday 30! takes a look at the remaining fixtures of the division's contenders...

Hertha hope the goals of Vedad Ibisevic - and their fortress Olympiastadion - will be enough to lead them into Europe. - © imago / Bernd Koenig

Hertha Berlin: 5th, Pts 43

Of the chasing pack, the Berliners are best placed to reach Europe for the second season in a row. They have never been lower than sixth this term and have three home games to come. Having claimed all of their last 16 points in the capital and lost eight in a row on the road, that is just as well.

Remaining games:

Wolfsburg (H), Werder Bremen (A), Leipzig (H), Darmstadt (A), Leverkusen (H)

SC Freiburg: 6th, Pts 41

The newcomers have been one of the success stories of the season, blending attacking flair with a resilience that marks them apart. Freiburg have won ten matches by a one-goal margin this season - more than any other team in the league - and will feel confident of denting the hopes of their rivals Leverkusen and Schalke. FC Bayern Munich away on the final day could be tough, however...

Remaining games:

Bayer Leverkusen (H), Darmstadt (A), Schalke 04 (H), Ingolstadt (H), FC Bayern Munich (A)

Watch: Highlights of Freiburg's 2-1 over Frankfurt on Matchday 23.

1. FC Cologne: 7th, Pts 40

The BIlly Goats are currently seventh and, should a team that qualifies for Europe also win the DFB Cup (any one of Bayern, Dortmund, Frankfurt or Gladbach), will also dine at the European table next season via a qualifying round and a play-off. Peter Stöger's men have a taxing run-in, but with three home games to come and goal-machine Anthony Modeste leading the line, a first jaunt at Europe since 1992/93 could be in sight.

Remaining games:

Hoffenheim (H), Borussia Dortmund (A), Werder Bremen (H), Bayer Leverkusen (A), Mainz 05 (H)

SV Werder Bremen: 8th, Pts 39

Put simply, Bremen are on fire. They have won seven and drawn two of their last nine and only Bayern have claimed more points that Alexander Nouri's charges in the second half of the season. They last enjoyed a patch as purple as this seven years ago, when they ended up third and qualified for the UEFA Champions League.

Remaining games:

Ingolstadt (A), Hertha Berlin (H), Cologne (A), Hoffenheim (H), Borussia Dortmund (A)

Borussia Mönchengladbach: 9th, Pts 39

After a testing first half of the season, experienced coach Dieter Hecking has restored an element of stability to Gladbach since arriving in late December. Borussia represented the Bundesliga in the Champions League and Europa League this term, and having already played most of the so-called bigger sides, a late surge could see them return to Europe in the autumn.

Remaining games:

Borussia Dortmund (H), Mainz (A), Augsburg (H), Wolfsburg (A), Darmstadt (H)

Watch: highlights of Gladbach's derby win at Cologne.

Eintracht Frankfurt: 10th, Pts 38

If the Eagles are to play in Europe next term for the first time since 2013/14, they need to turn around their worrying form. Niko Kovac's side are winless in their last ten games and face relegation battlers Augsburg, Mainz and Wolfsburg, as well as two of the top three in the games to come.

Remaining games:

FC Augsburg (H), Hoffenheim (A), Wolfsburg (H), Mainz (A), RB Leipzig (H)

Watch: Marco Fabian scores the Matchday 29 Goal of the Week.

FC Schalke 04: 11th, Pts 37

As if to emphasise how gripping the European race is, Schalke would have gone seventh if they had won at Darmstadt by two goals on Matchday 29. As it is, the Royal Blues are still in the hunt, but they face some testing fixtures before the season's end.

Remaining games:

RB Leipzig (H), Bayer Leverkusen (A), Freiburg (A), Hamburg (H), Ingolstadt (A)

Bayer 04 Leverkusen: 12th, Pts 36

Leverkusen have endured a disappointing domestic campaign that saw coach Roger Schmidt replaced by Tayfun Korkut in early March. Yet the change has not completely had the desired effect. Only against Darmstadt have Die Werkself enjoyed victory in their last eight league games and their form must improve if they are to make an unlikely push for the top seven.

Remaining games:

Freiburg (A), Schalke (H), Ingolstadt (A), Cologne (H), Hertha Berlin (A)

Click here for five end of season predictions ahead of Matchday 30