Bayern Munich vs RB Leipzig:
The battle at the top will have great implications on the Bundesliga title race this season. Bayern Munich go into this game with a four point lead over RB Leipzig who see this game as a must win if they are to keep themselves in the title race.
However, Leipzig have gained a slight advantage as Bayern will be without top scorer Robert Lewandowski who sustained a knee ligament injury when on international duty with Poland, leaving him out for up to 4 weeks. This is big for Bayern as they have a tougher run-in than Leipzig do and missing their top scorer could hinder them.
It also brings the question, who will replace Lewandowski up front? The front runners would be Serge Gnabry and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting. In my opinion, the front four to face Leipzig will be Serge Gnabry, Kinglsey Coman, Thomas Muller and Leroy Sane. This does effect the depth that Bayern have on the bench and would mean that Hansi Flick will have to entrust Choupo-Moting and 18 year old Jamal Musiala to make a difference if Bayern are struggling.
Leipzig on the other hand will be looking to close the gap to one point in a game that Julian Nagelsmann has called a must win. If Leipzig fail to win the gap between them and Bayern will either stay at four points or be extended to seven which would practically put an end to their title charge.
The only notable absentees for Leipzig in this game are Angelino who has a thigh injury and Marcel Halstenberg who contract COVID when on international duty with Germany after playing a game of Backgammon with Jonas Hofmann of Borussia Monchengladbach.
While Bayern as well as Lewandowski have other major absentees. Both Alphonso Davies and Jerome Boating will miss this game though suspension which means Niklas Sule and Lucas Hernandez will both have big shoes to fill in this game.
Borussia Dortmund vs Eintracht Frankfurt:
The race for the Champions League places also heat up as Dortmund host Frankfurt. Currently four points behind the visitors, Dortmund will be looking to bounce back from their disappointing 2-2 draw with FC Koln before the international break.
The biggest story before this game was the fact that Erling Braut Haland’s agent, Mino Raiola, and father Alf-Inge Haland had travelled to Spain to speak to members of the Barcelona and Real Madrid board. It is also expected that they will travel to England to speak to Manchester City and Liverpool to name a few. This clearly shows how important qualification for the Champions League is for Dortmund, as if they fail to qualify then they will likely lose Haland for a reported eye watering £180 million.
However, playing Frankfurt will not be easy. Frankfurt poses one of the most inform duos in Europe in Andre Silva who is on 21 goals this season and Filip Kostic who has 10 assists with 4 goals this season. It will be interesting to see how Dortmund’s right hand side will be able to deal with the array of fire power from Frankfurt.
The man tasked with that role is Thomas Meunier who did not have a great game against Koln, but will likely have the chance to prove himself again due to Mateu Morey being doubtful after coming off a muscular injury. Dortmund will also be without Jadon Sancho who is still recovering from a thigh injury in Dubai. Frankfurt on the other hand are missing two key men in their team with Marvin Hinteregger out with a thigh injury and Makoto Hasebe out due to suspension.
Union Berlin vs Hertha Berlin:
A big game for both teams from Berlin away from the derby itself. Union are pushing for a place in the new UEFA Conference League next year while Hertha are battling for their survival in the Bundesliga.
In the previous fixture Hertha ran out 3-1 winners in the Olympiastadion and will be looking to produce a similar performance to this, with Krzysztof Piatek looking to score in the Berlin derby for the third time. A win for Hertha will see them pull further away from the relegation zone and provide more comfort and a buffer between them and the bottom three.
Union on the other hand are two points off Bayer Leverkusen and have the chance of making a European position in only their second season in the Bundesliga. They will be looking towards Max Kruse to continue his good form and add to his 10 goals and 5 assists this season.
Union will be without Taiwo Awoniyi who is out with a thigh injury but he is their only notable absentee. While Hertha Berlin are without Vladimir Darida who is still suspended after his red card against Dortmund and Lucas Netz who has a foot injury.
Mainz vs Arminia Bielefeld:
A battle at the bottom between Mainz (15th) and Bielefeld (17th) where a win for Mainz could see them once again pull away from the relegation zone which shows the great work that Bo Svensson has done since he has taken charge. While a win for Bielefeld will see them lifted out of the relegation zone depending on other results, and could put pressure on Hertha Berlin who play on Sunday. Mainz are at full strength for this game, while Bielefeld will miss Amos Pieper who is suspended.