Last weekend witnessed both Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, the two teams fighting for the German Bundesliga, drop points in their respective fixtures.
Leaders Bayern were held to a 1-1 draw away to relegation-bound Nuremberg on Sunday, just over 24 hours after Dortmund were thrashed 4-2 by Schalke 04.
The results meant that Nico Kovac’s side moved two points clear of second placed Dortmund with only three games to play in the season.
Both side will return to action this Saturday with the defending champions at home to Hannover 96. Despite struggling on the Road, Bayern have been impressive at home, winning all of their last 9 League games and they will be expected to take care of Hannover.
The only worrying factor going into the game is that the Bavarians are facing an injury crisis that sees Clorentin Tolisso, Jerome Boateng, Manuel Nuer, Frank Ribery and James Rodriguez all carrying injuries.
However, with the crop of players that are fit, Bayern will have no excuses if they don’t beat up on a Hanover that has lost 8 of their last 10 League games.
For Dortmund, they will be in action later in the day, away to Werder Bremen.
Dortmund who are playing the chasing role will go into the game depleted as both Marius Wolf and captain Marco Rues are out suspended after they were sent off in the loss to Schalke 04. They will be joined on the side lines by defenders Dan Axel Zagadou and Achraf Hakimi who are still nursing injuries.
With the season winding down, Dortmund cannot afford to drop any points this weekend as a first title since 2013 may prove to be far from their reach.
Against Bremen, they face a side that has lost both of their last two games and in consequence, dropped to 9th, 8 points off the final Champions League spot.
But with only five points separating them from Bayer Leverkusen who occupy the final Europa League spot, Bremen are very much motivated for the contest and will hope the trio of Milot Rashica, captain Max Kruse and 40 year old Claudio Pizzaro are firing on all cylinders come game time.
The German Bundesliga will kick-off on Friday with Mainz hosting in-form RB Leipzig.
Mainz almost have nothing to play for as they have already secured their stay in the top flight but Sandro Schwarz side will be hoping to put an end to the visitor’s 5 game winning run.
Leipzig head into the game having secured Champions League football for the second consecutive year but with only five points separating them from second placed Dortmund, their target is now trying to finish ahead of Tomas Tuchel’s side.
The biggest game of the weekend pits Borussia Monchengladbach at home to Hoffenheim. The two sides are still in the hunt for Champions League football as they start the day in 5th and 7th respectively.
Gladbach lost 1-0 away to Stuttgart last week, their second loss in as many game but they are just three points behind Eintracht Frankfurt. With Frankfurt having Europa League football to think about, Gladbach know that a string of victories can see them into the Champions League at the season’s close.
However, they need to first take care of a rival in the names of Hoffenheim, on Saturday.
Julian Nagelsmann’s side too are in the mix for Champions League football. Currently in 7th, they are just a point behind Gladbach and a win on Saturday will see them come within a point of fourth placed Frankfurt who are away to Leverkusen on Sunday.
The German Bundesliga fixtures this weekend
-Mainz 05 vs RB Leipzig @9:30pm
-Bayern vs Hannover 96 @4:30pm
-Monchengladbach vs Hoffenheim @4:30pm
-Hertha Berlin vs Stuttgart @4:30pm
-Wolfsburg vs Nuremberg @4:30pm
-Bremen vs Dortmund @7:30pm
-Schalke 04 vs Augsburg @2:30pm
-Freiburg vs Dusseldorf @4:30pm
-Leverkusen vs Frankfurt @7pm