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Matchday 10 Preview: the Berlin derby and top-of-the-table clash in the Bundesliga

Berlin Derby

The Berlin derby and FC Bayern München’s top-of-the-table clash with RB Leipzig are the headline fixtures on Bundesliga Matchday 10.

Hertha kick things off at home to city rivals Union in only the third such top-flight encounter of the Bundesliga era. Union took the spoils in the first last season, before suffering a heavy 4-0 defeat at the Olympiastadion in the reverse fixture.

Union are not nicknamed ‘the Iron Ones’ for nothing, though. Urs Fischer’s men are currently enjoying a club-record eight-game unbeaten streak, upheld last time out thanks in no small part to Max Kruse’s brace in the 3-3 draw with Eintracht Frankfurt. The former Germany international has been a revelation since joining the club in the summer, producing six goals and five assists.

Needless to say, Hertha -seven places and eight points worse off than their neighbours to the east -will need a big performance from resident talisman Matheus Cunha, if they are to redress the capital-city balance. The Brazil U23 international has produced a team-leading six goals and two assists so far in 2020/21.

Bayern remain the team to beat, following their comeback win over VfB Stuttgart. Robert Lewandowski scored his 12th Bundesliga goal of the season in the Südderby as the defending champions consolidated their position at the summit. The Polish hitman was rested for the midweek UEFA Champions League clash with Atletico Madrid and will be raring to go at the Allianz Arena, where he holds the record for most Bundesliga goals by a Bayern player (106).

Lewandowski has scored against all 18 of the Bundesliga’s current clubs but was kept quiet in his previous meeting with Leipzig. Julian Nagelsmann’s side are, in fact, the only team to have stopped Bayern from scoring since Hansi Flick took charge on 3 November 2019. Die Roten Bullen have proved they can shut out the best team in Europe while Angelino’s team-leading four goals from left-wing-back are reason to believe they will cause their hosts trouble in their bid for a first win on Munich soil -one which would take them top of the table.

Borussia Dortmund could move up to second, for a couple of hours at least, if they beat Frankfurt. BVB suffered a shock 2-1 home defeat to struggling 1. FC Kölna a week ago and will be without their attacking superstar, Erling Haaland, due to a hamstring injury. This means exciting prospect Youssoufa Moukoko could gain more minutes on the pitch. With Makoto Hasebe (36) and Youssoufa Moukoko (16), the oldest and youngest players in the Bundesliga could come up against each other on Saturday.

SC Freiburg will hope their record scorer Nils Petersen can do the business against a Borussia Mönchengladbach team juggling domestic and Champions League competition. Freiburg have not won since Matchday 1, however, and could fall into the bottom three if results go against them. Likewise fighting it out in the basement, DSC Arminia Bielefeld and 1. FSV Mainz 05 lock horns on Saturday afternoon, while Dortmund-slaying 1. FC Kölnhost unbeaten VfL Wolfsburg.

Wolfsburg are one of two teams left in this season’s Bundesliga yet to taste defeat. Bayer 04 Leverkusen are the other. A trip to rock-bottom FC Schalke 04 -25 league matches and counting without a win -could see Bayer 04’srun continue. SV Werder Bremen-the losing party in an eight-goal thriller with Wolfsburg a week ago -host Stuttgart, while TSG Hoffenheim entertain FC Augsburg in the final Matchday 10 encounter.

Despite the best efforts of Andrej Kramaric -the Croatia international was enjoying an 11-goal hot streak dating back to last season prior to the 1-1 draw with Mainz -Hoffenheimhave not won domestically since inflicting the only defeat of the calendar year on pacesetters Bayern, on Matchday 2.

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