Bundesliga – With only 10 rounds of fixtures to go in the 2020-21 Bundesliga season, competition for the title, and the highly coveted Champions League positions, remains fierce. There is potential for teams from across the table to rise through the ranks.
The Bundesliga’s most played fixture enters its 110th edition when SV Werder Bremen host leaders FC Bayern München, who have a slim two-point lead at the top of the table, and a 28-match unbeaten run against Die Grün-Weißen they are hoping to extend.
Werder’s American striker Josh Sargent may have scored in his last three games, but all eyes will be on Robert Lewandowski. After his Klassiker hat-trick, he could move joint-second in the Bundesliga’s all-time scoring chart to 268 goals with one more successful strike on Saturday. He is currently only nine goals away from Gerd Müller’s single-season record of 40 from 1971/72.
Hot on the heels of the champions are RB Leipzig, who are looking to redeem themselves after being knocked out of the Champions League mid-week, by closing the gap on Bayern’s lead.
Leipzig have to contend with a never-say-die Eintracht Frankfurt team who sit fourthand boast striker Andre Silva, who is looking to break the 20-goal mark for the campaign.
Still below Leipzig and Frankfurt, and outside the top four, are Borussia Dortmund, who did at least banish the memories of their Klassiker defeat by progressing to the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals this week.
BVB will again look to goal machine Erling Haaland as they host Hertha Berlin in Saturday’s late game; the Norwegian scored his only four-goal haul in the Bundesliga in the reverse fixture. The Berliners do at least come in on a high of their own, following their first win back under Pal Dardai last weekend.
In need of a turnaround of their own, FC Schalke 04 will attempt to build on the point they secured in their first game under Dimitrios Grammozis. They will look to kickstart their survival campaign away at VfL Wolfsburg.
The Royal Blues are eight points adrift at thebottom and haven’t won away from home since November 2019, but now enter the Wolves’ den – where Oliver Glasner’s side are yet to lose this season – with the third place team disappointed after seeing their nine match unbeaten run come to an end against Hoffenheim.
Bayer 04 Leverkusen ended a run of five straight losses in all competitions last weekend to keep their top-four hopes alive. Patrik Schick’s goal against local rivals Borussia Mönchengladbach cut the deficit to only three points. However, opponents DSC Arminia Bielefeld are under new management in Frank Kramer, who secured a point in his first game.
After Wednesday’s rearranged fixture against Bremen, the promoted side can take a big step away from the relegation danger with three points at the BayArena.
Sunday sees a regional derby between two teams both unbeaten in their last four games.
VfB Stuttgart and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim are separated by only 35 miles and three points.
A former youth and assistant coach at TSG, Pellegrino Matarazzo has the in-form Sasa Kalajdzic, who has scored in the last six games, at his disposal.
The matchday kicks off down south with two teams desperately seeking a change of form.
FC Augsburg have lost more games than any other Bundesliga team in 2021, while Mönchengladbach have lost three in a row for the first time under Marco Rose.
Augsburg have been drawn into that mix by the form of 1. FSV Mainz 05 over the last seven games, earning 11 points and moving to within three of safety.
They now host their favourite opponent in the Bundesliga in SC Freiburg, who could see Jonathan Schmid make history by surpassing the legend Franck Ribery as the French player with the most Bundesliga appearances.
FC Union Berlin and FC Köln are also struggling for form but at different ends of the table. Die Köpenicker have fallen to the fringes of the European race after only one win in eight, but do now have talisman Max Kruse match fit and have won all three Bundesliga fixtures against Köln.