Bundesliga Matchday 19: In-form Dortmund host Freiburg
Borussia Dortmund are back in the top four and in with a shot at the Bundesliga title — but they must fend off Freiburg in order to sustain their charge.
Bayern Munich, meanwhile, will be looking nervously over their shoulders after a third successive league draw and will hope to return to winning ways at Wolfsburg.
Union Berlin go into Matchday 19 just a point behind the league leaders and must overcome Mainz while RB Leipzig — only one point further back — travel to face FC Cologne.
Elsewhere, Eintracht Frankfurt will be keen to underline their European credentials as they host relegation-threatened Hertha Berlin.
Game of the week: Borussia Dortmund vs Freiburg (Saturday, 2.30pm)
Borussia Dortmund know that they must take advantage of Bayern Munich's recent slip-ups and cannot afford any of their own if they are to win the league.
Their next opponents, Freiburg, sit level on points with BVB — but the record between these two is heavily slanted in Dortmund's favour.
They boast a better win percentage (64%) and points-per-game average (2.18) against the Breisgau Brazilians than any other opponent in this season's Bundesliga.
Furthermore, Edin Terzic's outfit have won 13 of their last 14 home meetings with Saturday's opponents (one draw) and are unbeaten in nine league games at Signal Iduna Park in all competitions (six wins, three draws).
Freiburg coach Christian Streich's personal record against Dortmund does not inspire confidence either — he has lost 15 of his 20 matches against them in the competition (two wins, three draws), which is the worst record of any current Bundesliga manager against a single opponent.
Wolfsburg vs Bayern Munich (Sunday, 4.30pm)
Bayern Munich have rarely been so desperate for a league win — they could drop down to third this weekend if results go against them.
Thankfully for Bayern, their win percentage (78%) and points-per-game average (2.49) against Wolfsburg are better than against any other current side in the division.
Additionally, they have not lost any of their last 15 league meetings with Sunday's opponents (13 wins, two draws), scoring more than once in each of those matches — in fact, Die Roten have netted in all of their previous 29 Bundesliga games against the team from Lower Saxony.
However, Nico Kovac's outfit have won each of their last three home league games without conceding — and the former Bayern coach will be keen to make a point against his old employers.
These teams suffered differing fortunes in midweek, as FCB romped to a 4-0 DFB-Pokal victory at Mainz. In contrast, Wolfsburg crashed out of the competition after losing 2-1 to Union Berlin.
Union Berlin vs Mainz (Saturday, 2.30pm)
Union Berlin are the Bundesliga's form side in 2023, winning all three of their games so far by an aggregate scoreline of 7-2.
They also boast the joint second-best defensive record in the division, shipping 22 goals — only Bayern (16) have let in fewer.
At home, Urs Fischer's men have not lost in their last 14 league outings (10 wins, four draws) and should be confident of extending that run on Saturday.
Mainz, meanwhile, snapped a six-game winless streak in style at Bochum, winning 5-2, before going to down to Bayern in Wednesday's DFB-Pokal tie.
This match could be a feisty affair, as these two sides have committed the most fouls in the league this term — Mainz top the charts with 249, while Union have made 248.
FC Cologne vs RB Leipzig (Saturday, 2.30pm)
The appointment of Marco Rose has transformed RB Leipzig.
The club had been ailing this season but have accumulated 30 points in 13 Bundesliga matches under their 46-year-old manager — no team has more in that timeframe.
Leipzig come into their clash with FC Cologne unbeaten since September 17 — a run of 17 matches in all competitions — and having won each of their most recent four games on the road.
However, Rose's men have not kept a clean sheet in any of their previous six league outings, a weakness Saturday's hosts will likely look to exploit.
Eintracht Frankfurt vs Hertha Berlin (Saturday, 2.30pm)
Eintracht Frankfurt require a victory to maintain their European charge — but Hertha Berlin's need for points is altogether more pressing.
The capital club sit second-bottom, two points from safety with a total of just 14 — their worst tally for 13 years.
Sandro Schwarz's side will hope to lean on their strong record against Frankfurt, having collected more top-flight wins against Die Adler than any other current Bundesliga team (30).
The form book is in the hosts' favour, though. Oliver Glasner's outfit are unbeaten in their last six league outings (three wins, three draws), while Hertha have lost six of their previous seven (one win).
The weekend's other games
Augsburg vs Bayer Leverkusen (Friday, 7.30pm)
Bochum vs Hoffenheim (Saturday, 2.30pm)
Borussia Monchengladbach vs Schalke (Saturday, 5.30pm)
Stuttgart vs Werder Bremen (Sunday, 2.30pm)
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