Top two Bayern Munich and Wolfsburg will look to get back to winning ways in the Bundesliga, with contrasting fixtures at the weekend.
Bayern are away at Borussia Dortmund, having not won in 90 minutes in their past two visits to Signal Iduna Park.
Pep Guardiola’s powerhouse are also coming in off a defeat – just their second of the league season – when they were humbled at home by Borussia Monchengladbach 2-0 in March.
That loss has stewed with Bayern across the international break, although they will have to continue on minus star David Alaba (knee) for seven weeks – the Austrian injured on international duty.
Arjen Robben (stomach) and Javi Martinez (knee) are also sidelined, while Franck Ribery (ankle) and Thiago Alcantara remain in doubt for the fixture.
Alcantara is almost fit again after overcoming a knee problem.
Bayern have it all before them if they are to maintain their 10-point lead over Wolfsburg, as they lost at Dortmund 2-0 in the German Super Cup earlier in the 2014-15 season.
Admittedly, Dortmund have not been the title contender many would have tipped them to be following that victory over Bayern – but they have rejuvenated since their poor start to the season to sit 10th, and are on a seven-match unbeaten streak in the league.
Wolves should have a much easier time of picking up points, as they tackle cellar-dwelling Stuttgart at home – also on Saturday.
Dieter Hecking’s men also failed to win last time out, held 1-1 at Mainz – but can consolidate second place with a win over Stuttgart.
Wolfsburg are seven points clear of third-placed Monchengladbach, who travel to Hoffenheim.
Gladbach (47 points) occupy the final UEFA Champions League group-stage spot from Bayer Leverkusen (45), while Hoffenheim (37) sit outside the two UEFA Europa League places – with Schalke (39) and Augsburg (38) occupying them.
Leverkusen welcome relegation-placed Hamburg having been unbeaten in five league outings, including four straight wins that have thrown them into European contention.
Bayer occupy the Champions League qualifying place – fourth – with one or both of Augsburg and Schalke set to take points out of their clash against one another on Sunday.
Also on Sunday, Hertha Berlin host Paderborn.
Other Saturday fixtures include Werder Bremen’s hosting of Mainz, Hannover’s trip to Eintracht Frankfurt and Freiburg playing at home to Cologne.
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!