Bundesliga Matchday 21: In-form Dortmund entertain Leverkusen
Bayern Munich remain in control at the Bundesliga’s summit — but Borussia Dortmund are chasing them down after racking up three wins on the bounce.
Julian Nagelsmann’s table-toppers host his former employers RB Leipzig on Saturday evening. However, the standout fixture of the weekend comes from Signal Iduna Park on Sunday afternoon, as second-placed Dortmund take on third-placed Bayer Leverkusen.
Elsewhere, in-form Arminia Bielefeld play Borussia Monchengladbach, Champions League-chasing Union Berlin travel to struggling Augsburg and free-falling Wolfsburg face a Greuther Furth team who are finally stringing some results together.
Game of the week: Borussia Dortmund vs Bayer Leverkusen (Sunday, 2.30pm)
Dortmund are outsiders in a two-horse title race, but all they can do is carry on winning — and they will be looking to do the double over Leverkusen, who they beat in a 4-3 thriller back in September.
Marco Rose's men have won nine out of 10 at home this term, with Bayern the only visiting team to leave North Rhine-Westphalia with any points this season.
But Leverkusen could present a tough test, having picked up more points on the road (18) than any other team apart from Bayern (25), and they have scored three or more goals in four away matches.
The Bundesliga’s second and third-highest scorers are set to face off in this one. Erling Haaland has 16 goals to his name so far, while Patrik Schick has struck 18 times.
Here are the other big games to watch this weekend…
Bayern Munich vs RB Leipzig (Saturday, 5.30pm)
Bayern boss Nagelsmann will look to do the double over the club he left to take over at the Allianz Arena as RB Leipzig head to Bavaria.
The Bundesliga champions comfortably dispatched Leipzig 4-1 back in September — although there will be a different face in their opponent’s dugout this time around, with Domenico Tedesco replacing Jesse Marsch as head coach in December.
The hosts continue to make headway towards yet another league title, responding to their January loss to Monchengladbach with 4-0 and 4-1 wins away to Koln and Hertha Berlin respectively.
As for the visitors, they have improved immensely under Tedesco and are currently on their longest winning streak of the campaign (three matches).
Arminia Bielefeld vs Borussia Monchengladbach (Saturday, 2.30pm)
Now unbeaten in five, Arminia Bielefeld are gradually pulling away from the relegation battle. They will want to keep their good run going when they entertain a Borussia Monchengladbach team who have won just once since November 20.
However, that sole victory did come away to Bayern — who still fielded a strong side despite a Covid-19 outbreak — so all hope is not lost.
Furthermore, Arminia have won only one home game all season, the fewest in the division. They are unbeaten in their last four home matches, though.
Monchengladbach ran out 3-1 winners in September’s reverse fixture, having won last season’s two meetings by a combined scoreline of 6-0.
Augsburg vs Union Berlin (Saturday, 2.30pm)
Union Berlin will be aiming to keep hold of their place in the top four — and possibly climb to third — as they make the long trip south to Augsburg, who are currently in the relegation play-off spot.
Augsburg are winless in five and went down 5-1 at Leverkusen last time out, so Markus Weinzierl will want to see a big reaction from his troops to restore some confidence if nothing else.
Union head to the WWK Arena having scored twice in each of their last three league outings — and they have only failed to find the net on one occasion away from home.
Augsburg have lost only one of their matches in professional football against Union Berlin (three wins, five draws) — a 2-0 away league defeat in January 2020.
Wolfsburg vs Greuther Furth (Sunday, 4.30pm)
Wolfsburg’s miserable run continued as they lost 2-0 to Leipzig last time out. Bottom-of-the-pile Greuther Furth, on the other hand, have taken six points from their last four games after securing a first win of the season in December.
The Wolves have not tasted victory since beating Augsburg in early November, drawing two and losing seven of their last nine Bundesliga games. As a result, the side who finished fourth last season now find themselves perilously close to the relegation zone.
Furth still have a lot of ground to make up but have given themselves a fighting chance of pulling off a great escape by winning two and drawing three of their previous six matches.
Wolfsburg won the reverse meeting of these teams 2-0 earlier in the season — although they were made to work for the three points, only ensuring victory after recently departed striker Wout Weghorst’s 91st-minute penalty.
This weekend’s other games
Hertha Berlin vs Bochum (Friday, 7.30pm)
Koln vs Freiburg (Saturday, 2.30pm)
Mainz vs Hoffenheim (Saturday, 2.30pm)
Stuttgart vs Eintracht Frankfurt (Saturday, 2.30pm)
Follow each game with our unbeatable live scores service. Simply tap the Scores tab on the web or download the LiveScore app from the App Store for iOS devices or for Android.