Bundesliga Matchday 29: Bayern Look To Extend Lead; Leverkusen Target 3rd Spot

Bundesliga Matchday 29: Bayern Look To Extend Lead; Leverkusen Target 3rd Spot

With a healthy seven-point cushion on their nearest challengers, FC Bayern Munich resume their march to an unprecedented eighth successive Bundesliga title when they host relegation-battling Fortuna Dusseldorf on Bundesliga Matchday 29.

Victory for the defending champions in a fixture they have not lost for over 30 years would, temporarily at least, take them 10 points clear at the summit, with Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig not in action until Sunday.

The supremely professional manner in which Hansi Flick’s side dispatched second placed Dortmund in the first midweek duel, courtesy of a goal-of-the-season contender from Joshua Kimmich, is an ominous sign for the rest of the competition – Fortuna included.

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Dusseldorf have the honour of being the only current Bundesliga team to stop the 2019/20 campaign’s 28-goal leading marksman Robert Lewandowski from scoring down the years, but shackling the supporting cast has proved an impossible task. The record champions have registered at least three goals in their last six meetings with the Rhineland club – Thomas Müller netting and assisting five of 24 Bayern goals in that time.

Fortuna has favoured the brave of late, though, with head coach Uwe Rosler overseeing a six-game unbeaten run, bookended by wins over SC Freiburg and FC Schalke 04. Dusseldorf begin the weekend five points clear of the automatic relegation places, and only one adrift of outright safety. Rock-bottom SC Paderborn’s chances of closing the gap and pulling off a great escape are fading fast. Needless to say, they could probably do without facing wounded lions Dortmund in such now-or-never circumstances.

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SV Werder Bremen’s trapdoor-dodging prospects are a touch brighter. The Green Whites are five points worse off than Dusseldorf thanks to their win over Freiburg and goalless draw with Borussia Monchengladbach, but have a game in a hand. On paper, there could be no better time to face a free-falling Schalke team without a win in 10 league matches.

SV Werder Bremen’s Yuya Osako in action with Maximilian Arnold during the match between VfL Wolfsburg and SV Werder Bremen at Volkswagen Arena on 1 December 2019

Elsewhere, Freiburg entertain Bayer 04 Leverkusen, whose top-four hopes took a blow in Tuesday’s heavy 4-1 home defeat to VfL Wolfsburg. The Wolves ended Kai Havertz’s run of scoring or assisting in six straight games, and will be quietly confident of doing a number on Eintracht Frankfurt – the worst away team in the division this season with just seven points to show for 13 games on the road.

Leverkusen could climb to third with a win, Wolfsburg will stay sixth regardless, but Frankfurt – fourth at this stage a year ago – could be plunged into the relegation play-off spot if they lose.

Hertha Berlin and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim can do Frankfurt a favour by beating FC Augsburg and 1. FSV Mainz 05 respectively. Bundesliga debutants 1. FC Union Berlin are not out of the woods yet either, and will hardly relish a trip to fourth placed M’Gladbach. Winless in five, Die Eisernen are only four points clear of the bottom three heading into the final straight.

RB Leipzig round out the Matchday 29 action with a trip to mid-table 1. FC Cologne. Four draws in their last five has taken the wind out of their title-chasing sails, but they are unbeaten in nine and have a very favourable run-in – with the exception of a home tie against Dortmund on the penultimate weekend. At the very least, a second runners-up finish in only four seasons at Germany’s top table is on the cards.

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