Bundesliga

Bundesliga matchday 17 preview – final bend to the winter-break

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DORTMUND, GERMANY - DECEMBER 17: Marco Reus of Dortmund in action against Emil Forsberg of Leipzig (L) and Konrad Laimer of Leipzig (R) during the Bundesliga match between Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig at Signal Iduna Park on December 17, 2019 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by Alexander Scheuber/Bundesliga/Bundesliga Collection via Getty Images)

The final weekend of Bundesliga action in 2019 is set to be a thriller as teams come out of the midweek ‘Englische Woche’ fixtures looking to finish the year on a high before the winter break.

Matchday 17 starts in style as Borussia Dortmund -fresh from their thrilling 3-3 draw with RB Leipzig on Tuesday evening -travel to face TSG 1899 Hoffenheim on Friday. Lucien Favre’s side is being led by the fabulous form of Jadon Sancho, who has scored in each of his last seven competitive games for the club -eight goals in total -as well as providing five assists.

RB Leipzig head into the final bend of the Bundesliga first round atop the standings and will be hoping to maintain their form if they are to win their first piece of Bundesliga silverware | Courtesy of Getty Images/AFP/H, Nratic

League leaders RB Leipzig will play in one of five games on Saturday afternoon knowing that a win will crown them winter champions, sending them into Christmas and the New Year top of the table. It won’t be a simple task for Julian Nagelsmann’s charges though, as they play host to in-form FC Augsburg who have won each of their last three games, scoring nine goals in the process. Keep your eyes out for Augsburg wing-back Philipp Max who has scored twice in each of his last two Bundesliga matches.

Defending champion FC Bayern München left it late to snatch victory away to Sport-Club Freiburg earlier this week but found a new hero in doing so. Eighteen-year-old Dutchman Joshua Zirkzee came on to replace Philippe Coutinho for his debut and scored with his very first touch in a Bayern shirt, earning his side a vital three points in the title race.

Bayern Munich are gradually finding rhythm under interim coach Flick | Courtesy photo

Robert Lewandowski also continued to define his status as a living Bundesliga legend by scoring the opening goal for Bayern in the eventual 3-1 win, which took him above former coach Jupp Heynckes into third place outright in the all-time top scorers’ list. It was his 19th league goal of the 2019/20 season already –such a record has only happened once before in league history, in 1977/78, by one Gerd Müller.

Elsewhere on Saturday, 1.FSV Mainz 05 welcome Bayer 04 Leverkusen to the OPEL Arena with Mainz striker Robin Quaison coming into the game fresh from scoring a hat-trick in the first half of his side’s thumping 5-0 defeat of SV Werder Bremen on Tuesday.

Bremen themselves travel to 1.FC Kölnon Saturday, a side back in-form with two consecutive wins to their name. A stunning comeback from two goals down to beat Eintracht Frankfurt 4-2 on Wednesday means there is sure to be an electric atmosphere at the RheinEnergieStadion.

FC Schalke 04 host Freiburg before the team joint-top of the table on points with Leipzig, Borussia Mönchengladbach, travel to face Hertha Berlin at the Olympiastadion on Saturday evening. The Foals will know before their game if they have the chance to perch atop the standings over the winter break.

And the last weekend of Bundesliga fixtures in 2019 is rounded off on Sunday as Fortuna Düsseldorf host 1.FC Union Berlin, before SC Paderborn 07 welcome Eintracht Frankfurt. The league then returns on Friday 17 January.

Summary of Bundesliga fixtures this weekend

Friday 20th December, 2019

Hoffenheim vs Dortmund

 

Saturday 21 December, 2019

FC Koln vs Werder Bremen

Mainz vs Bayer Leverkusen

Schalke 04 vs SC Freiburg

Bayern vs Wolfsburg

RB Leipzig vs Augsburg

Hertha Berlin vs Monchengladbach

 

Sunday 22 December, 2019

Fortuna vs Union Berlin

Paderborn vs Frankfurt


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