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Christian Streich: Not influenced by current standings

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The race for places in next season's Europa League is hotting up in the Bundesliga, with 11 clubs in real contention.

There are 13 games of the season remaining and the German top-flight looks tighter than ever.

Only seven points separate fifth-placed Freiburg and 15th-placed Fortuna Dusseldorf. Although Bayern Munich are now on course for the title, and Borussia Dortmund, Bayer Leverkusen and Eintracht Frankfurt are somewhat detached from the followers, the race is now on for just two places in Europe.

Freiburg and Mainz would occupy the places were the season to end now - but Freiburg coach Christian Streich is not letting the current standings influence him.

"We have got to be realistic," he said. "If we get to play another year in the Bundesliga, then we are delighted."

He takes his side to Werder Bremen on Saturday to face a club who, just a few weeks ago, were discarding their own chances of playing in Europe next season, yet have edged back to within three points of the top six.

Likewise, Hamburg are only missing out on a European berth on goal difference - a far cry from their early-season relegation worries.

They host fellow contenders Borussia Monchengladbach on Saturday, preparing another upset after winning 4-1 in Dortmund last weekend.

Hamburg coach Thorsten Fink said: "We tend to succeed when nobody is believing in us."

Fink is hoping his side's lofty position does not go to his players' heads as it has already done twice since he became coach.

Wolfsburg are also back in the frame for European football, although they have the toughest task this weekend with a home match against Bayern on Friday night.

On Saturday evening, Dortmund and Frankfurt meet at the Westfalenstadion while Schalke head to Mainz in another European duel, like the one which takes place on Sunday between Nurnberg and Hannover.

Elsewhere, Augsburg look to maintain their unbeaten start to 2013 when they head to Bayer Leverkusen and fellow strugglers Hoffenheim take on local rivals Stuttgart in the last match of the weekend.

Finally, bottom-placed Greuther Furth go to Fortuna seeking only their third win of the season.