After three days of European competition, we are back to Bundesliga action at the weekend. There is just over a third of the season remaining, with FC Bayern München closing the gap at the top to five points. Leaders Borussia Dortmund face bottom side 1. FC Nürnberg, and will be looking to get back to winning ways after suffering a dire 0:3 thrashing by Spurs in the Champions League. For FCN, it is the perfect setting for a shock.
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.
FC Augsburg v FC Bayern München (Fri.)
Last year, FC Bayern München started off a poor spell by blowing the lead against FC Augsburg. Making the short trip up the road to visit their fellow Bavarians, the defending champions will not be wanting to make the same mistake twice.
Having lost in Leverkusen, Niko Kovač's men got back on the winning trail against Schalke. Their opponents, meanwhile, were hammered 4:0 in Bremen - and following the insipid display coach Manuel Baum's head is on the block.
Bayern will be favourites, but Augsburg are a gritty team with plenty to fight for as they look to claw themselves clear of the relegation zone.
Prediction: Augsburg 0:2 FC Bayern
FC Schalke 04 v SC Freiburg (Sat.)
Schalke have blown hot and cold all season, and had their moments in last week's defeat in Munich against FC Bayern. Domenico Tedesco's side are hovering just above the danger zone, and this game has real significance with opponents Freiburg just one point in front of the Royal Blues.
For Freiburg coach Christian Streich, this will be another game where he and his team will fancy their chances. The Black Forest outfit have punched well above their weight this season, and have shown that they can score goals.
Prediction: Schalke 2:1 Freiburg
TSG 1899 Hoffenheim v Hannover 96 (Sat.)
Having looked down and out last week against leaders Borussia Dortmund, TSG Hoffenheim engineered a masterful come back to snatch an amazing draw. They will not want to go down the same path against relegation-threatened Hannover.
Having dispatched coach André Breitenreiter, Hannover got a lucky break against fellow strugglers Nürnberg, winning 2:0 after playing most of the match against ten men. It will be a lot tougher against Julian Nagelsmann's men, who continue to seek a spot in Europe next season.
Prediction: Hoffenheim 3:0 Hannover
VfB Stuttgart v RB Leipzig (Sat.)
Things are looking grim for VfB Stuttgart, who are looking increasingly likely to jettison their second coach this season. Markus Weinzierl has been unable to turn around the Swabians' fortunes, and a three-goal hammering last week in Düsseldorf means that he is in real jeopardy.
It does not get any easier against Leipzig, a team that is chasing a spot in the top four. Ralf Rangnick's side drew a blank with a draw against fellow high-flyers Eintracht Frankfurt, and should be firm favourites to collect all three points at the Mercedes-Benz-Arena.
Prediction: Stuttgart 0:2 Leipzig
VfL Wolfsburg v 1.FSV Mainz 05 (Sat.)
Wolfsburg have been a hard team to gauge this season. They have been impressive one moment and ordinary the next, and it really is a matter of seeing which version of Bruno Labbadia's side are going to turn up.
It is much the same story for mid-table Mainz, who slumped at an astonishing 1:5 home defeat at the hands of Bayer Leverkusen. Sandro Schwarz's men have started to leak goals after a pretty watertight start, and the chance will be there for the Wolves to claim all three points.
Prediction: Wolfsburg 2:1 FSV Mainz
Hertha BSC v Werder Bremen (Sat.)
This is a really tough game to call. Hertha BSC have been pretty dull after their bright start, but upset all of the odds to claim a staggering 3:0 win against Champions League chasers Gladbach - the Foals' first dropped points in what had been a perfect season at the Borussia-Park.
Bremen are also in decent form, coming into this fixture off the back of an emphatic 4:0 win against FC Augsburg. Florian Kohfeldt's men are just a point behind Pál Dárdai's Berliners, but will feel confident of coming away from the port city with all three points.
Prediction: Hertha 1:2 Bremen
Eintracht Frankfurt v Borussia Mönchengladbach (Sun.)
Five points behind fourth-placed Leipzig, Eintracht Frankfurt held their Saxons to a goalless draw. Their next challenge is just as hard as they entertain third-placed Borussia Mönchengladbachat the Commerzbank-Arena in the Sunday afternoon match.
Adi Hütter's men have been solid in front of their on crowd, while Gladbach have struggled at times on their travels. There will be goals, but this is all set to be a very hard-fought encounter.
Prediction: Frankfurt 2:1 Gladbach
Bayer 04 Leverkusen v Fortuna Düsseldorf (Sun.)
Having ruined Mainz's carnival celebrations with a thumping 5:1 win, Peter Bosz's highly unpredictable Leverkusen side take on the season's surprise package in what is set to be a highly entertaining Rhineland Sunday evening derby.
Friedhelm Funkel's Fortuna were earmarked by many for the immediate drop, but would overcome a poor start to string together a decent run. F95 are currently looking pretty safe in the middle of the table, while Leverkusen have put their horrible start behind them to climb into fourth spot.
Düssldorf are a bunch of fighters, but I fancy Leverkusen to win this well. Of course, they will probably go and do the opposite.
Prediction: Leverkusen 3:0 Düsseldorf
1.FC Nürnberg v Borussia Dortmund (Mon.)
The controversial Monday evening match sees the ultimate top versus bottom clash. Nürnberg will start with a new coach, following Michael Köllner's dismissal after the 0:2 defeat in Hannover. It will surely be a baptism of fire for new Club coach Boris Schommers, as he looks to turn his side's fortunes around against the league leaders.
Dortmund for their part have had a poor week, melting down completely to throw away a three-goal lead against Hoffenheim before collapsing in the Champions League against Spurs. Against the Bundesliga's unfortunate Keller-dwellers, it is the perfect opportunity for Lucien Favre's men to get their show back on the road.
Prediction: Nürnberg 1:3 Dortmund
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.