Bundesliga Matchday 27 sees a veritable clash-of-the-titans as league leaders FC Bayern Munich take on second-placed RB Leipzig.
With only eight games left in the season, a win would see defending champions FC Bayern extend their lead to seven points. However, three points for RB Leipzig would see the second-place team close the gap at the top to just one point. This game is a must win for both teams in their efforts to be crowned German champions – not least FC Bayern who are looking for a record-extending ninth title in a row.
After a staggering 35 goals in 25 Bundesliga matches this season, FC Bayern’s star striker Robert Lewandowski was on track to smash Gerd Müller’s single-season league record of 40 goals from the 1971/72 campaign. But the 32-year-old has been ruled out for up to four weeks after picking up a knee injury while playing for Poland.
With the reigning Best FIFA Men’s Player side-lined, it presents RB Leipzig with a great opportunity to close the gap. Julian Nagelsmann’s visitors would make it eight wins in nine Bundesliga matches with another victory in Munich, a result that would give them crucial momentum in their bid to overtake FC Bayern in the title race.
Lewandowski, of course, is not the only ruthless goal scorer in the Bundesliga. His closest chasers – Erling Haaland and Andre Silva – are set to battle it out when Borussia Dortmund, in fifth place, host fourth-placed Eintracht Frankfurt on also today (Saturday). Both strikers have 21 league goals this season. Whether the Norwegian or Portuguese forward emerges victorious this weekend will go a long away to deciding which team secures a top-four finish, and a place in next season’s UEFA Champions League.
With Eintracht Frankfurt four points ahead of Dortmund, the Black and Yellows need Haaland – who scored twice in a 2-2 draw in Cologne in his last fixture – to outshine Silva.
That game is one of seven being played on Saturday, when third-placed VfL Wolfsburg –led by 17-goal talismanic striker Wout Weghorst – will also be out to get the better of third-bottom 1. FC Cologne. Bayer 04 Leverkusen in sixth are also in contention for a European place and they’ll hope to get back to winning form under new boss Hannes Wolf – who has replaced Peter Bosz – when they are visited by last place FC Schalke 04.
Having lifted themselves out of the relegation zone with back-to-back wins, 1. FSV Mainz 05 are looking to rise through the ranks by seeing off second-bottom DSC Arminia Bielefeld.
WATCH ThIS VIDEO: RB Leipzig’s 100% Team Player
Two mid-table matchups involving FC Augsburg at home to TSG Hoffenheim, and SC Freiburg away at Borussia Mönchengladbach complete Saturday’s line-up.
There is plenty to come on Sunday too – not least the second Berlin derby of the season.
Hertha Berlin took the honours with a 3-1 victory on Matchday 10 in December, but they will be under pressure to do the double when they cross from West to East for the return match. 1. FC Union Berlin have lost only one home match all season and are flying high in seventh, while Hertha are 14th – just one point above FC Cologne in the play-off for promotion/relegation, and only two points clear of automatic relegation.
Hertha Berlin did at least get a much-needed win over Bayer 04 Leverkusen in their last match, and they will be desperate to take this form into the match against their local rivals, who lost 5-2 in Frankfurt before the international break. If that does happen, then VfB Stuttgart – led by American coach Pellegrino Matarazzo –
could climb above Union in the table. They are at home to SV Werder Bremen, who are currently six points behind them in 12th.