Two weeks into the Rückrunde (that's German for the second half of the season), Borussia Dortmund have maintained their six-point advantage over defending champions FC Bayern München. This week the leaders visit high-flying Eintracht Frankfurt, while the Bavarians are in Leverkusen. At other end of the table, the battle is well and truly on for 1. FC Nürnberg, VfB Stuttgart and Hannover 96, who this week sacked coach André Breitenreiter.
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.
Hannover 96 v RB Leipzig (Fri.)
Having ditched coach André Breitenreiter after their 1:5 drubbing in Dortmund, Hannover are in desperate need of a turnaround. Just above Nürnberg on goal difference, the Lower Saxon outfit will have their work cut out against fourth-placed Leipzig.
The Red Bulls had a woeful time in front of goal as they lost their unbeaten home record against Dortmund, but a 4:0 win in Düsseldorf may have set Ralf Rangnick's side back on the right path. This should be far more clear cut than the earlier meeting between the two teams, where Leipzig took the spoils in a five-goal thriller.
Hannover 0-2 Leipzig
TSG 1899 Hoffenheim v Fortuna Düsseldorf (Sat.)
Hoffenheim showed some great form with a 4:2 win in Freiburg, while Düsseldorf's fine winning run came to a sticky end with their four-goal hiding by Leipzig. Friedhelm Funkel's men are clear of the drop zone, but know that they cannot be complacent.
Julian Nagelsmann's Hoffenheim have been painfully inconsistent, but should have the edge on their home turf as they continue their chase for a place in the top six. Earlier in the season, Fortuna snared the points with a 2:1 home win. My money is on Hoffenheim to return the favour.
Hoffenheim 2:1 Düsseldorf
Bayer 04 Leverkusen v FC Bayern München (Sat.)
FC Bayern have started the Rückrunde with two wins, while Leverkusen have been as inconsistent as ever, with a home defeat against Gladbach followed by a surprisingly comfortable 3:0 win in Wolfsburg. How this game turns out really does depend on which version of new boss Peter Bosz's side turn up.
The Bavarians will be looking to repeat their victory earlier in the season, where they eased to a 3:1 win at the BayArena. In maintaining their chase, Niko Kovač's side know that only the full three points will do.
Leverkusen 0:2 FC Bayern
Eintracht Frankfurt v Borussia Dortmund (Sat.)
On paper, this is the most mouth-watering match of this Bundesliga weekend. Free-scoring Eintracht, well situated in fifth place, against the league leaders. Both teams have looked good after the break, but for all the talk about Frankfurt's attack BVB have continued to bag the goals.
Lucien Favre's men have a tough challenge to take all three points at the Commerzbank-Arena, but it was just as big a task just two weeks ago when they visited unbeaten Leipzig. This can go either way, but Dortmund are the form team in Germany right now.
Frankfurt 1:2 Dortmund
Hertha BSC v VfL Wolfsburg (Sat.)
Hertha have blown hot and cold all season, while Wolfsburg's excellent run of form came to an end with a poor home display against Leverkusen.
This is one of the tougher games to call. Hertha looked good in spells last week against Schalke, while Wolfsburg have shown that they can compete with the best when they want to. Both teams shared the points in Wolfsburg earlier in the season, but this time around home advantage should give Pál Dárdai's men the edge.
Hertha 2:1 Wolfsburg
1.FC Nürnberg v Werder Bremen (Sat.)
Nürnberg are really starting to struggle, and will need to turn things around quickly if they are to escape from the danger zone. Sitting at the foot of the table, Michael Köllner's side will trying everything not to make a quick return to the 2. Bundesliga.
Werder Bremen have really gone off the boil since their encouraging start, and there was plenty of good things to take away from last week's 2:2 draw against Frankfurt. This meeting with the bottom side is the perfect opportunity for Florian Kohfeldt's side to switch their season back on again.
Nürnberg 1:2 Bremen
FC Schalke 04 v Borussia Mönchengladbach (Sat.)
The form book suggests that third-placed Gladbach are the favourites for this one, but anything can happen in what will be a local derby in Gelsenkirchen.
Domenico Tedesco's Schalke have never been able to get over their dreadful start to the season, and will be hoping to light the Königsblau touchpaper at the Veltins-Arena. Dieter Hecking's Foals, meanwhile, know that they need all three points to maintain their chase and keep the pressure on both Dortmund and Bayern.
FC Schalke 1:1 Gladbach
FC Augsburg v 1.FSV Mainz 05 (Sun.)
Having punched well above their weight since reaching the top flight in 2011, it appears that Augsburg's Bundesliga status is really under threat. They have slipped down the table and are just above the drop zone, but are six points adrift of those above them.
Manuel Baum's men are up against a Mainz side that have actually employed the Augsburg formula, grinding out the results and working their way into a comfortable mid-table position. For Mainz coach Sandro Schwarz, this is a great chance for to kick on and push for a spot in Europe.
Augsburg 2:3 Mainz
VfB Stuttgart v SC Freiburg (Sun.)
The Sunday evening fixture is the Baden-Württemberg classic, where troubled Stuttgart take on their local rivals Freiburg.
Stuttgart showed moments of spark in their 1:3 defeat in Munich against Bayern, while Christian Streich's SCF suffered a disappointing 2:4 defeat against Hoffenheim. This will be close, but that mix of local pride and sheer desperation may be enough for Markus Weinzierl's men to sneak this one.
Stuttgart 2:1 Freiburg
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