The title race is done and dusted, but there's still plenty to play for in the final four games of the Bundesliga season, with half a dozen teams bidding to join champions Bayern Munich in the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League.

The recent changes to European club competitions formats mean that the top four in the Bundesliga now qualify automatically for the Champions League group stage, rather than the fourth-placed team having to come through a play-off.

As the race for continental football hots up, profiles the contenders for a place at Europe's top table, as well as the players who can inspire them to a top-four finish...

Schalke (2nd, 55 points)

Schalke's superb six-game winning streak – one shy of their Bundesliga record – came to an end on Matchday 29 in a five-goal thriller at Hamburg, who got the better of Tedesco's side in the end. However, the Royal Blues' comprehensive Revierderby victory over local rivals Borussia Dortmund has given them a four-point cushion over BVB and Bayer Leverkusen with their pair to meet on Matchday 31, leaving Tedesco's men on the verge of a return to Europe's top table. After the disappointment of a DFB Cup semi-final defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt, the side they entertain on the final day of the league season, Schalke will want to end their season on a high in the Bundesliga.

Watch: The Tedesco effect at Schalke

Key man: Domenico Tedesco (Coach)

Schalke's collective machine is so well-oiled that credit has to go to the mechanic. At just 32 years of age, coach Tedesco has shown that he can pit his wits against the best of them, even in his first top-flight season. The reward – provided he can successfully negotiate the final four games – will be the club's first Champions League campaign since 2014/15.

22/04: Cologne (A)
28/04: Borussia Mönchengladbach (H)
05/05: Augsburg (A)
12/05: Eintracht Frankfurt (H)

Bayer Leverkusen (3rd, 51points)

Stunned by lowly Cologne before the international break, Leverkusen produced thier performance of the season on Matchday 29 to trounce RB Leipzig 4-1 away from home. Heiko Herrlich's side will be desperate to build on that win during a pivotal month of April, and they started that with another comprehensive win over Eintracht Frankfurt. Their run-in continues with another tough game at direct rivals Dortmund and victories over their European rivals would put Herrlich's troops in an excellent position to reach the Champions League, but consistency has been their Achilles' heel: they have failed to string together three consecutive Bundesliga wins all season.

Key man: Leon Bailey

The Jamaica winger has been one of the Bundesliga's standout performers this season, and his nine goals and seven assists have fuelled Leverkusen's charge for a return to the Champions League. Bailey certainly isn't afraid of the big occasion – he's already netted against Schalke, Leipzig and Hoffenheim – and the fleet-footed 20-year-old is likely to carry the biggest goal threat for Die Werkself as they look to finish the campaign on a high note. 

21/04: Borussia Dortmund (A)
28/04: Stuttgart (H)
05/05: Werder Bremen (A)
12/05: Hannover (H)

Borussia Dortmund (4th, 51 points)

Dortmund fans could be forgiven for feeling a little dizzy after their side's rollercoaster season. A near-perfect start gave way to an eight-match winless streak that catapulted Peter Bosz out of the hot seat before Christmas. Peter Stöger was parachuted in and masterminded a 12-game unbeaten streak in the Bundesliga, only for his side to suffer a chastening 6-0 defeat to Bayern in Der Klassiker. BVB bounced-back by beating VfB Stuttgart 3-0 on Matchday 29, but the rollercoaster took another dip with a painful derby loss at Schalke. That was compounded by the news striker Michy Batshuayi will likely miss the remainder of the season. However, Borussia do at least have their fate in their own hands – they face fellow European hopefuls Leverkusen and Hoffenheim in the final stretch – and will only have themselves to blame if they fail to stamp their ticket for the Champions League.

Key man: Marco Reus

While Batshuayi has made a fine start to life at Dortmund, with nine goals in 14 appearances, he will likely not feature again and the burden to score goals must now be spread around. Reus remains the man who is most likely to make the difference against the top sides. The Germany international was conspicuous by his absence against Bayern, as the record champions ran riot in midfield. BVB have only lost two of the 10 games in which he has featured this term while he has scored three goals in seven Bundesliga outings. Stöger will be praying that the creative maestro can remain fit and help his boyhood club reach the Champions League for the seventh time in eight seasons. 

21/04: Bayer Leverkusen (H)
29/04: Werder Bremen (A) 
05/05: Mainz (H)
12/05: Hoffenheim (A)

Watch: Dortmund's revitalised attack with Marco Reus!

RB Leipzig (5th, 47 points)

It was always going to be tough for Leipzig to repeat their sensational exploits of last season – when they finished runners-up to Bayern in their maiden Bundesliga campaign – but Ralph Hasenhüttl's men have so far avoided the dreaded second season syndrome. In fact, given the added demands of European football, they have perhaps exceeded expectations in 2017/18. While they have occasionally struggled for consistency in the Bundesliga, the Saxony side have claimed high-profile wins over Dortmund and Bayern, but after that inconsistent form sees them currently four points off a guaranteed return to the Champions League.

Watch: The turbo-charged rise of Timo Werner

Key man: Timo Werner

The 22-year-old Germany forward snapped a run of seven league games without a goal when he netted the winner against Bayern on Matchday 27, and Leipzig will be counting on his turbo-charged runs and ice-cool finishing as they face an uphill struggle to return to Europe's top table. With 11 goals for the campaign, Werner will be determined to reel in Leverkusen's Kevin Volland (14), Freiburg's Nils Petersen (13) and TSG's Mark Uth (12) to finish as the Bundesliga's top-scoring German for the second season running.

21/04: Hoffenheim (H)
29/04: Mainz (A)
05/05: Wolfsburg (H)
12/05: Hertha Berlin (A)

Hoffenheim (6th, 46 points) 

Under the new UEFA competition format, Hoffenheim wouldn't have required a play-off with Champions League quarter-finalists Liverpool at the start of this season, but Julian Nagelsmann's men are still very much in the hunt for a return to Europe after a rather underwhelming Europa League campaign. Confidence will be running high after a 6-0 dismissal of Cologne and commanding 2-0 win over Hamburg, which extended their unbeaten league run to seven games. With five points separating them from fourth place, TSG will need positive results against rivals Leipzig and Dortmund if they hope to close the gap.

Key man: Serge Gnabry

The 22-year-old suffered an injury-hit start to the season after joining on loan from Bayern, but he looks to be hitting form at just the right time. With six goals in his last six Bundesliga outings, Gnabry is now up to nine for the season – plus four assists – and the nonchalant ease with which he sliced through the Cologne defence on Matchday 28 should make Hoffenheim's future opponents very nervous indeed. 

21/04: RB Leipzig (A)
27/04: Hannover (H)
05/05: Stuttgart (A)
12/05: Borussia Dortmund (H)

Eintracht Frankfurt (7th, 46 points)

What a turnaround! When Niko Kovac took over as Frankfurt boss in March 2016, the club were battling relegation and needed a play-off victory over Nuremberg to stay in the Bundesliga. While last season's European push was ended by a dreadful run after Christmas – just three wins in the entire Rückrunde – the Eagles are looking in much better shape this time around, even if they have arguably the toughest run-in. After drawing to Hoffenheim, they suffered another setback at Leverkusen and now travel to Bayern - Kovac's future employers - and Schalke, which is hardly ideal for a team who have lost their last five away games. On the flip side, they are enjoying a eight-game unbeaten run in all competitions at home, and have been buoyed by an incredible night at the Veltins Arena after beating Schalke to reach the DFB Cup final where they will face Bayern on 19 May.

Key man: Kevin-Prince Boateng 

The former Ghana international insisted that, with a little more application, he might have played for Real Madrid. A bold statement, perhaps, but there is no denying the 31-year-old's immense talent, which he has been putting to good use since arriving in Frankfurt last summer. As well as contributing six goals and an assist, Boateng has had the most minutes of any of Kovac's outfield players, and if the Eagles are going to upset the odds and muscle their way into the top four, they will need the ex-Hertha Berlin, AC Milan and Schalke midfielder firing on all cylinders.

21/04: Hertha Berlin (H)
28/04: Bayern Munich (A)
05/05: Hamburg (H)
12/05: Schalke (A)

Click here for a closer look at the Bundesliga table!