After an exciting week 16 which saw FC Bayern München and Borussia Mönchengladbach close the gap at the top to six points, after leaders Borussia Dortmund suffered a surprise defeat against Fortuna Düsseldorf. The final week of matches before the winter break see both Borussia face off against each other, while Bayern face a tough trip to Frankfurt.
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, where you can put your own predictions in the comments section and win 1 SCR if you beat my total score.
Borussia Dortmund v Borussia Mönchengladbach (Fri.)
Dortmund's defeat in Düsseldorf means that there is some real edge to the Friday night fixture, with Gladbach looking to close the gap at the top down to just three points. Dortmund have home advantage, but Dieter Hecking's men will be giving everything in what is one of the biggest regional derbies.
There will be plenty of goals, with both teams taking a point.
Prediction: Dortmund 2:2 Gladbach
Bayer 04 Leverkusen v Hertha BSC (Sat.)
Leverkusen are slowly starting to climb up the table, while not being massively convicing. Opponents Hertha on the other hand will be looking to end the first half of the top season in the top six.
This will be a tight and cagey encounter, with the home side sneaking all three points.
Prediction: Leverkusen 1:0 Hertha
RB Leipzig v Werder Bremen (Sat.)
Leipzig lost a tight match in midweek in Munich, and will look to consolidate their place in the top four against faltering Bremen.
After an excellent start, the green-whites are now in mid-table. Florian Kohfeldt's side have struggled to get back into winning mode, and this will not change at the Red Bull Arena. Leipzig to take it by the odd goal in three.
Prediction: Leipzig 2:1 Werder
VfB Stuttgart v Schalke 04 (Sat.)
Stuttgart have finally started to get some points on the board, and are up against a Schalke side that have struggled to get going these season.
This will be a tight encounter, and is one that is incredibly hard to call. It could go either way, but I fancy the Domenico Tedesco's side to crawl into the winter break with a much-needed three points.
Prediction: Stuttgart 1:2 Schalke
Hannover 96 v Fortuna Düsseldorf (Sat.)
Now sitting in the relegation zone, Hannover are really starting to looking like a second division outfit, and the loss of star striker Niklas Füllkrug for the rest of the season has only made matters worse for André Breitenreiter's men.
Düsseldorf on the other hand will take great confidence from their 2:1 midweek victory over Dortmund, and Friedhelm Funkel's men will have enough in the locker to take the win and continue their climb up the table.
Prediction: Hannover 1:2 Düsseldorf
1.FC Nürnberg v SC Freiburg (Sat.)
Nürnberg's slide continues, and they now see themselves propping up the table in last place. There have been some unlucky moments for Michael Köllner's men, balanced with some catastrophic blowouts at the back.
Christian Streich's Freiburg are something of an enigma, and are one of the most difficult teams to predict. Having beaten high-flying Leipzig with ease, they then dropped two points against Hannover. I fancy the Black Forest outfit to find their A-game and take the points.
Prediction: Nürnberg 1:3 Freiburg
Eintracht Frankfurt v FC Bayern München (Sat.)
Frankfurt have been firing, and FC Bayern are well on the comeback trail: it all makes for a Saturday evening thriller at the Commerzbank-Arena. The reigning champions worked hard to edge to a deserved 1:0 over RB Leipzig, while Frankfurt twice had to come back from behind to snatch a point in Mainz.
Bayern fans will be wanting a repeat of the Super Cup match earlier in the season where the Bavarians swept to a 5:0 win, but this one will be a lot closer. The champions to edge it, possibly with a late winner.
Prediction: Frankfurt 1:2 FC Bayern
FC Augsburg v VfL Wolfsburg (Sun.)
Augsburg have been slowly sliding down the table, and desperately need a win to give their campaign a much-needed boost. Opponents Wolfsburg have tapped a good run of form, and will be tough to beat.
Bruno Labbadia's Wolves are undefeated in the last four league outings, but I can seeing Wolfsburg pulling out all he stops to grab a precious home point.
Prediction: Augsburg 2:2 Wolfsburg
TSG 1899 Hoffenheim v 1.FSV Mainz 05 (Sun.)
The final Bundesliga match of 2018 pits seventh-placed Hoffenheim against mid-table Mainz, with Julian Nagelsmann looking to end the year in the European places.
Mainz still have one of the best defensive records in the league, but more recently things have started to leak a little. The talented Sinsheim outfit will have far too much power for their guests from the Palatinate, and look fair to collect all three points.
Prediction: Hoffenheim 2:0 Mainz
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.