A late preview, which at the start of the weekend saw Borussia Dortmund hoping to maintain or even extend their three-point advantage over FC Bayern München. We all know the result of Friday's match, but this complete nine-match preview was written before the kickoff in Augsburg. At the bottom, Stuttgart face off against Hannover in a crunch encounter.
As usual, I am going to be predicting the scores for all nine matches from Friday through to Monday 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 Borussia Dortmund (Fri.)
Leaders Dortmund were able to hold off Bayer Leverkusen last week, maintaining their three-point advantage at the top of the table. In contrast, struggling Augsburg were handed a severe beating in Freiburg, where they conceded five goals.
Lucien Favre's side are clear favourites, and should have enough to stay in front of chasers FC Bayern München. As for FCA coach Manuel Baum, he is starting to skate on thin ice. Augsburg will be giving everything as they look to haul themselves clear of the relegation zone, but Dortmund should take this one.
Prediction: Augsburg 1:3 Dortmund
Eintracht Frankfurt v TSG 1899 Hoffenheim (Sat.)
Frankfurt had gone off the boil after the winter break, but were back to something like their usual selves with a comprehensive 3:0 win in Hannover. Hoffenheim meanwhile maintained their drive for a European spot with a well-earned 1:1 draw against RB Leipzig.
This is a tough one to call, and it really depends on what versions of both of these two teams turn up. Home advantage should give Adi Hütter's men the edge, but Julian Nagelsmann's Hoffe are one of those teams that are capable of beating anybody on their day. Frankfurt to edge this one.
Prediction: Frankfurt 2:1 Hoffenheim
Hertha BSC v 1.FSV Mainz 05 (Sat.)
Hertha continue to blow hot and cold after their decent start, and are up against a Mainz team that are in good form after an excellent 3:0 demolition of Schalke 04. The Berliners have been hard to beat in front of their own crowd, but the visitors will be fancying their chances.
Sandro Schwarz's side are just two points behind the capital city side, whose hopes for a top seven spot have started to subside. This will be close and there will be goals.
Prediction: Hertha 2:2 Mainz
1.FC Nürnberg v RB Leipzig (Sat.)
Bottom side Nürnberg desperately need points if they are going to avoid yet another first-time drop, and it cannot get any tougher for new coach Boris Schommers and his charges against fourth-placed Leipzig.
Der Club's last match at home saw them earn a precious point against leaders Dortmund, but they will be hard pressed to repeat the feat against Ralf Rangnick's side. The Saxons should take all three points, though it will not be easy.
Prediction: Nürnberg 1:2 Leipzig
FC Schalke 04 v Fortuna Düsseldorf (Sat.)
Schalke have been a massive disappointment all season, and the departure of general manager Christian Heidel has only heightened the sense of desperation at the Veltins Arena. Coach Domenico Tedesco is still in place, but is under plenty of pressure as his team run the risk of being sucked into a relegation struggle.
Rhineland rivals Düsseldorf have in a sense been the team of the season, punching well above their weight in a comfortable twelfth spot. Friedhelm Funkel and his men will fancy their chances in Gelsenkirchen, and have more than a chance of coming away with a point.
Prediction: Schalke 1:1 Düsseldorf
Bayer 04 Leverkusen v SC Freiburg (Sat.)
Bayer Leverkusen's march up the table was halted in Dortmund, but coach Peter Bosz will be looking to get things back on the right path against a highly unpredictable Freiburg outfit at the BayArena.
The Black Forest team have shown some stunning form this season, and come into this meeting hot off a 5:1 thrashing of FC Augsburg. If they can find their touch things will be close, but one has to fancy the Werkself to take all three points.
Prediction: Leverkusen 2:1 Freiburg
Borussia Mönchengladbach v FC Bayern München (Sat.)
The Saturday evening match sees a classic encounter between two old rivals, with defending champions FC Bayern looking to close the gap at the top. Gladbach have slipped badly in recent weeks, but have become something of a bogey side for the Bavarians.
Coach Niko Kovač and his team will be looking to exact revenge for their shock 0:3 defeat at the Allianz Arena earlier in the season, while Dieter Hecking will be hoping that his side can achieve a rare league double against the men from Munich.
Prediction: Gladbach 1:2 FC Bayern
VfB Stuttgart v Hannover 96 (Sun.)
This is a crunch match at the bottom, with Stuttgart up against fellow strugglers Hannover. A win for the Swabians will put them five clear of the Lower Saxon outfit, while a rare win on the road for Thomas Doll's side will see both teams switch places, with Stuttgart dropping into the direct drop zone.
Markus Weinzierl's men have shown flashes of inspiration this season, but have been short of luck on more than one occasion. With their home crowd behind them, they should have enough in their armoury to see off a Hannover side that are struggling for any sort of form.
Prediction: Stuttgart 2:0 Hannover
VfL Wolfsburg v Werder Bremen (Sun.)
Wolfsburg are one of the form teams at the moment, and a solid run of results has lifted them into fifth place, just four points off the top four. Bruno Labbadia has turned things around at the Volkswagen Arena, and will be hoping to continue that drive at home to a stuttering Werder Bremen.
The northerners started the season well, but things have gone badly off the boil for coach Florian Kohfeldt and his men. Two dropped points at home against struggling Stuttgart saw the green-whites slide down into night place, outside the European spots. This should be three points in the back for the increasingly ravenous Wolves.
Prediction: Wolfsburg 3:1 Bremen
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.
You can also buy a copy of my FC Bayern München fan history, Red Odyssey, on Amazon.com.