We are now approaching the winter break, and Borussia Dortmund lead the way. Lucien Favre's side are firm favourites to end 2018 on top, with Borussia Mönchengladbach leading the chasing pack. Defending champions FC Bayern München are now nine points behind, and will hoping to nibble away at that deficit as the half-way point approaches...

As usual, I am going to be predicting the scores for all nine matches from Friday through to Sunday evening. There is also the competition for this week, which you can find here. There, you can put your own predictions in the comments section and win 1 SCR if you beat my total score.

Fortuna Düsseldorf v 1.FSV Mainz 05 (Fri.)

Last week's stunning comeback in Munich would have fired up spirits in Düsseldorf, who take on a Mainz outfit that have been solid all season. Sandro Schwarz's Mainz were unlucky to lose by the odd goal in three against Dortmund, and will be looking to shore up their position in mid-table.

This is a hard one to call. Was the draw in Munich a one-off for Friedhelm Funkel's men, or was it the start of something big? Mainz meanwhile have been tough to beat. A share of the spoils for this one.

Prediction: Düsseldorf 1:1 Mainz

Borussia Dortmund v SC Freiburg (Sat.)

The leaders would find it hard to break down Club Brugge in the Champions League in midweek, and Christian Streich's Freiburg have produced some surprise results to give them a fairly comfortable mid-table position.

This is a potential banana skin for the Black and Yellows, and we cannot rule out a shock. However, on current form and with the match being played in Dortmund, you cannot really go against a home win. But it will be tighter than one might expect.

Prediction: Dortmund 2:1 Freiburg

VfB Stuttgart v FC Augsburg (Sat.)

Stuttgart are now on their own at the bottom of the Bundesliga, and work continued to be tough for coach Markus Weinzierl. It does not get any easier, with tough nuts FC Augsburg next on the list.

Manuel Baum's side had not been in great form of late, but will have just that little too much for VfB when the two sides meet at the Mercedes-Benz-Arena.

Prediction: Stuttgart 1:2 Augsburg

SV Werder Bremen v FC Bayern München (Sat.)

Bremen started the season in great form, but have not won in the Bundesliga since the end of last month. FC Bayern, by contrast, have had a very poor October and November, but were able to dispatch Portuguese side SL Benfica 5:1 in their latest Champions League outing at the Allianz Arena.

The Bavarians' morale-boosting midweek win is the worst thing possible for Florian Kohfeldt's men, while Reds' boss Niko Kovač will hope to see his side up the ante and maintain the same level of intensity and commitment. Bayern's record against the north German side has been spectacular in recent years, and there is every chance that they could suddenly flick the switch. However, this time they will have just about enough to take the points.

Prediction: Bremen 1:2 FC Bayern

Hannover 96 v Hertha BSC (Sat.)

Strugglers Hannover have found it hard to get out of first gear this season, while Hertha BSC have faded badly after a solid start. Something has to give, in what promises to be an interesting encounter at the HDI-Arena.

André Breitenreiter's side have fallen on the wrong side of a number of close contests, which has left them struggling near the foot of the table. Even a goal in the opening minute was not enough last week against high-flying Mönchengladbach. The Berliners showed plenty of fighting spirit themselves as they came back from 1:3 down to share the points with Hoffenheim, and should have enough to take the spoils in this one.

Prediction: Hannover 1:2 Hertha

TSG 1899 Hoffenheim v FC Schalke 04 (Sat.)

This is a battle between the two young gun coaches in the Bundesliga: Hoffenheim's Julian Nagelsmann, and Schalke's Domenico Tedesco. Last week, both teams had contrasting fortunes. While Hoffenheim blew a two-goal lead against Hertha BSC, Schalke finally hit their straps with a 5:2 hammering of 1. FC Nürnberg.

There were contrasting fortunes for both clubs in the Champions League too. While a 1:2 defeat in Portugal was not enough to prevent Schalke making the last 16 of the competition, Hoffenheim blew their chances with a late 2:3 defeat at home to Shakhtar Donetsk. This will be a tight battle, with plenty of goals.

Prediction: Hoffenheim 2:2 Schalke

RB Leipzig v Borussia Mönchengladbach (Sun.)

Having put together a ten-match unbeaten run in the Bundesliga, RB Leipzig unexpectedly came unstuck against VfL Wolfsburg. In this weeks Europa Cup group ties, they then fell by the same 0:1 scoreline to sister club RB Salzburg - thus slipping outside the automatic qualification spots with one round of matches to play.

Gladbach are one of the form sides at the moment. Sitting four points behind leaders Dortmund, they have also started to score plenty of goals. Dieter Hecking's side are coming to the boil nicely, and will surely have enough firepower to secure a crucial three points.

Prediction: Leipzig 1:2 Gladbach

Eintracht Frankfurt v VfL Wolfsburg (Sun.)

Eintracht Frankfurt are one of the most exciting teams in Germany right now. The commerce city club last tasted defeat at the end of September, and have put together an unbeaten run that now stands at eleven matches - their best series in years. Adi Hütter's men have won ten of those eleven matches, the latest being a 4:0 demolition of French side Olympic Marseille in the Europa League - where they have won all five of their group phase matches.

Wolfsburg, meanwhile, have blown hot and cold. After a number of ordinary results, they then shocked RB Leipzig, ending the Saxon club's ten-match unbeaten run. Can they do the same thing against the high-flying, free-scoring Eagles? Form would suggest otherwise. This should be fairly straightforward for Frankfurt as they look to step up their title challenge.

Prediction: Frankfurt 3:0 Wolfsburg

1.FC Nürnberg v Bayer 04 Leverkusen (Mon.)

The Monday night match sees Nürnberg entertain Bayer Leverkusen, in what is one of the toughest of the nine fixtures to predict. Michael Köllner's men have the leakiest defence in the league, yet at times have managed to punch well above their weight. Opponents Bayer Leverkusen have shown glimpses of what they are capable of, in what has been a highly inconsistent and disappointing season so far.

Last week, Der Club were well beaten by Schalke 04, while Leverkusen safely saw off bottom side VfB Stuttgart. While Leverkusen hold all the aces on paper, FCN have been fairly solid at home. If Heiko Herrlich's men hit the right notes, they could run away with this one. But they won't. A point each in this one.

Preduction: Nürnberg 1:1 Leverkusen

For more Bundesliga fun stuff, check out my Little Bundesliga Book project. Copies of the 2016 pocket book are still available, with the aim of raising funds for a new edition at the end of this season.