Bundesliga Matchday 29: Bayern looking to bounce back against Augsburg
As the Bundesliga season enters its final stretch, Bayern Munich can almost touch a 10th straight title — but elsewhere things are not so clear cut.
The leaders increased their advantage over Borussia Dortmund to nine points last weekend and they will aim to keep it that way when they host Augsburg in an all-Bavarian affair.
Elsewhere, two teams with top-four ambitions face off as RB Leipzig entertain Hoffenheim and the Berlin derby sees European hopefuls Union travel to relegation-threatened Hertha.
Game of the week: Bayern Munich vs Augsburg (Saturday, 2.30pm)
After their Champions League defeat to Villarreal in midweek, Bayern will look to set the record straight against Augsburg.
The league leaders are looking to go seven Bundesliga games unbeaten for the first time under Julian Nagelsmann.
With 66 points in 28 games, this is Bayern's best return at this stage of a league campaign since the 2017-18 edition when they collected 69.
Augsburg have already beaten the reigning champions this season — Bayern's first league defeat against their Bavarian neighbours since May 2015.
With consecutive Bundesliga wins secured for the first time since September 2020, Markus Weinzierl's side are looking for a third straight victory — something they have not managed since December 2019.
Here are the other big games to watch this weekend…
RB Leipzig vs Hoffenheim (Sunday, 6.30pm)
Leipzig take on Hoffenheim looking to maintain their three-point cushion in fourth — a victory would all but end the visitors' Champions League hopes.
The hosts have the Bundesliga's best record since the turn of the year with 26 points.
With 30 points from 14 league games, Tedesco's average of 2.1 points per game is the best of all Leipzig coaches in the top flight.
The Red Bulls are unbeaten in five Bundesliga home fixtures (three wins, two draws), which is their longest run this season, but their last two have been draws.
Conversely, Hoffenheim are winless in their last three having previously enjoyed a run of four straight wins.
Only once this season have they endured a longer winless streak — four games between August and September.
Hertha Berlin vs Union Berlin (Saturday, 5.30pm)
There is plenty at stake in Saturday evening's capital showdown where Hertha will be hoping to climb out of the drop zone and Union aiming to get back in the race for Europe.
The hosts overcame Hoffenheim in their last home fixture, ending a run of five Bundesliga games without a victory on their own patch.
They have not won consecutive league games at the Olympiastadion since December when Tayfun Korkut was in charge.
Hertha have the bragging rights against their neighbours though and have won both times they have hosted the derby in the Bundesliga.
Despite that, Union have won each of the last two encounters between the two — a 2-0 home success in the league and a 3-2 triumph on the road in the DFB-Pokal.
Stuttgart vs Borussia Dortmund (Friday, 7.30pm)
Dortmund will be looking to put their 4-1 reverse against Leipzig last time out behind them against one of their favourite opponents.
BVB have won six of their last seven Bundesliga trips to the Mercedes-Benz Arena and have won more away games against Friday's opponents (15) than anyone else.
In fact, the visitors have only failed to score in one of their last 25 Bundesliga fixtures against Stuttgart and this is their longest streak against any top-flight opponent.
But the hosts are currently in the middle of a four-game unbeaten run for the second time this season and have collected eight points in that run — more than in their previous nine league matches (two).
Eintracht Frankfurt vs Freiburg (Sunday, 4.30pm)
Surprise package Freiburg hold fifth spot in the Bundesliga but Frankfurt will look to close a six-point gap to their visitors this weekend.
The good news for the hosts is they have won more games against the Breisgau Brazilians (15) than any other Bundesliga opponent since they first won top-flight promotion in 1993.
Home comforts have been hard to come by for Oliver Glasner's men this season. They have picked up just 17 points from 14 games which is their worst home record at this stage since the 2013-14 campaign.
In better news, they have recorded consecutive clean sheets for the first time this term.
Freiburg meanwhile saw their six-game unbeaten Bundesliga run ended by Bayern last time out.
Nils Petersen grabbed his 100th goal for the club in that defeat and he has scored more times against Die Adler (eight) than any other league rival.
The weekend's other games
Cologne vs Mainz (Saturday, 2.30pm)
Greuther Fuerth vs Borussia Monchengladbach (Saturday, 2.30pm)
Wolfsburg vs Arminia Bielefeld (Saturday, 2.30pm)
Bochum vs Bayer Leverkusen (Sunday, 2.30pm)