How far can RB Leipzig go?
The Bundesliga new-boys’ spectacular start to the season has brought comparisons with last year’s Premier League champions, Leicester City.
Though obvious differences (not least the level of fan support and financial backing), Leipzig sit comfortably at the top of the table heading into match day 12 after six straight wins and becoming the only promoted side in Bundesliga history to go 11 games unbeaten.
The Red Bull franchise may not be as popular among the football world as Ranieri’s side, but they are three points clear of Munich at the top and if last week’s dramatic comeback showed us anything, it’s that Leipzig aren’t going to budge easily.
The young, fearless side Ralph Hasenhüttl has built continue to shine and will kick-off the weekend again, this time away to Freiberg. Leipzig will be confident of victory, as they look to make it 17 points on the road from a possible 22.
Hasenhüttl’s side are the only team from the eastern state of Saxony to top the Bundesliga, and if they’re to stay there, they’ll no doubt be heavily reliant of their super Swedish international Emil Forsberg.
Five goals and the same number of assists from the winger has been Leipzig’s most lethal weapon in their potent counter-attack.
Can Bayern bounce back?
In what could potentially be the tie of the weekend, Ancelotti’s Bayern will host Leverkusen in Saturday’s late kick-off. Der Klassiker wasn’t a successful trip for Munich, losing 1-0 at SIGNAL IDUNA PARK.
Old boy Mario Götze returned to haunt Die Bayern with a display seldom seen at Allianz, with Aubameyang netting the winner.
Munich now trail RB Leipzig in the table and, depending on Leipzig’s result, could find themselves six points behind the leaders by Saturday.
Die Roten will be looking for a swift reaction to reclaim Bundesliga dominance, but they’ll face a side also in desperate need of a result.
After throwing away a 2-1 lead last week, Bayer now languish ninth in the table which must leave Roger Schmidt wondering when fortunes will be in the favour of his side.
Bayer have conceded 18 goals already this season with Munich the second highest scorers. The match looks headed towards a Munich victory, but with Hernandez, Brandt and co. leading the line for Leverkusen, it could be a high-scoring affair.
Dortmund back on a roll
Der BVB’s campaign looks to be back on track being unbeaten since early October. Following last week’s scalp, beating title rivals Munich, Dortmund slammed eight past Warszawa in the Champions League with Marco Reus scoring twice after six months out.
The returning Yellow and Black skipper only adds to Dortmund’s stunning attack, Mario Götze, P-E Aubameyang and Ousmane Dembélé all tilting to top form heading into December.
They face a Frankfurt side in some fine form, too, however. The Eagles are flying high in seventh after narrowly escaping relegation last term.
Niko Kovač’s side have the joint third meanest defence so far, this year, conceding just nine, but with Dortmund being the highest scorers and boasting a now-fit Reus, that could all change this week.
P-E Aubameyang will also no doubt be looking to add to his 12 goals this season and move ahead of Anthony Modeste in the goal-scoring rankings.
Early six-pointer at the bottom
A battle at the bottom now and an unwanted, familiar story for Hamburg and Bremen. Both sides have spent several seasons walking on a tightrope with relegation.
Neither side have been able to start this season much better, sitting 18th and 16th, with Hamburg yet to register a win.
In what could be an early six-pointer at the bottom, two of Germany’s most successful sides will do battle in a must-win for both sides. A home victory for Hamburg could shift them from the bottom of the table and most importantly add their first three points of the season.
Der Dino fought back to earn an impressive point at Hoffenheim, with former Spurs man Lewis Holtby shining. The midfielder will be crucial again for Markus Gisdol’s side as they search for much-needed confidence and points.
Bremen themselves need to stop a rut which has left with four defeats on the bounce. A fifth straight loss at Volksparkstadion this weekend would set up another season teasing with relegation.
Young manager Alexander Nouri will look to a returning Max Kruse and promising winger Sege Gnabry for inspiration.
The former Arsenal youngster has been a shining light for Bremen this term, with four goals already to his name.
Schalke finally hitting form
It’s been difficult to nail down what’s been happening at Schalke. After a promising transfer window, Markus Weinzierl’s men had a disastrous start the Bundesliga campaign.
Five straight defeats for the Gelsenkirchen club left fans scratching their heads.
It all changed with a damning home victory against Glasbach, beating them 4-0 with an inspired Breel Embolo performance.
Schalke are now without the summer signing Embolo through injury, but see themselves unbeaten in the league since that devastating start.
Written by Pete McCarthy
Follow Pete on Twitter @_PeteMcCarthy
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