Stuttgart target top-five finish
Director of sport Fredi Bobic has set Stuttgart the target of finishing fifth this season to allow them more time off over the summer.
The Swabians have moved up from mid-table at the turn of the year to fifth place with the third-best record of all Bundesliga sides in 2012, and Bobic says it is now imperative his side do not slip back down the table.
Stuttgart are the only side to have already secured their place in the Europa League next season, but the last two games of the campaign will determine when they will enter the competition.
"Our aim is clearly to defend fifth spot," he told the Bild newspaper.
"That would mean we would qualify directly for the group stage of the Europa League and that is a huge advantage."
Sixth place would mean entry into the play-off round, which takes place the week before the Bundesliga starts, while seventh place would force them into action three weeks earlier in the penultimate qualifying round.
"Seventh place really would be undesirable," he said. "That would then tear your whole preparation to pieces."
Stuttgart end the season with a trip to Bayern Munich next weekend and a home tie against Wolfsburg and their former coach Felix Magath.
They go into those games with a two-point advantage over sixth-placed Bayer Leverkusen and a five-point cushion over Hannover in seventh.