Matchday 13: Leaders Union Berlin and Defenders Bayern on the road

The Touchline Sports - Matchday 13: Leaders Union Berlin and Defenders Bayern on the road

Bundesliga leaders 1. FC Union Berlin and defending champions FC Bayern München are both on the road on Matchday 13 as the title race heats up ahead of a break for the FIFA World Cup later this month. 

All 18 Bundesliga teams are set for a busy schedule with three rounds of matches between now and 13 November.

Union still lead the way after Dutch defender Danilho Doekhi headed home a dramatic injury-time winner against Borussia Mönchengladbach last week, but Bayern are hot on their heels following their 6-2 triumph over 1. FSV Mainz 05.

Union aren’t in league action again until Sunday when they travel to face Xabi Alonso’s Bayer 04 Leverkusen, who are third from bottom after losing 2-0 at RB Leipzig last time out.

That means Bayern can go top – temporarily at least again – if they win at Hertha Berlin on Saturday afternoon. The champions will be confident after registering a record-breaking third perfect UEFA Champions League group stage during the week and six different players got on the scoresheet against Mainz, including Sadio Mane and fellow in-form attacker Eric-Maxim Choupo Moting.

Hertha start the weekend in 14th and only two points above Leverkusen, but they are unbeaten in four home matches and won the last of them against FC Schalke 04.

SC Freiburg are just two points off the top after Vincenzo Grifo’s two goals at Schalke on Matchday 12, and they’ll plan to keep their place in the top three by beating 10th-placed 1. FC Köln on Sunday.

If Freiburg slip up, Borussia Dortmund are primed to move above them. Jude

Bellingham’s ninth goal in all competitions this season led BVB to victory at Eintracht Frankfurt in their last Bundesliga match. The England midfielder will fancy his chances of adding to that tally when second-bottom VfL Bochum 1848 visit on Saturday in a mini Revierderby.

TSG Hoffenheim and Leipzig meet at the same time, with the home side one point behind the sixth-placed visitors whose climb up the table has been spearheaded by nine-goal French attacker Christopher Nkunku.

Nkunku now leads the Bundesliga scoring chart along with SV Werder Bremen’s Niclas Füllkrug, who headed home a late winner against Hertha last week. Billed as a potential surprise call-up for Germany’s World Cup squad, Füllkrug will back himself to hit double figures for the season against bottom club Schalke in Saturday’s late kick-off between this season’s two promoted teams.

Eintracht’s French forward Randal Kolo Muani is now on three goals and a league-leading seven assists for the campaign, meanwhile. Fresh from firing Frankfurt into the Champions League knockout stages, he’ll look to improve those statistics further when his fifth-placed team travel to Augsburg who are 13th.

Midtable sides Mainz and VfL Wolfsburg also clash on Saturday – a day after the Matchday 13 action kicks off in the top flight. On Friday evening Gladbach will seek to halt their worrying slide into the lower half of the standings by getting a home victory over fourth-from-bottom VfB Stuttgart.

Meanwhile in Bundesliga 2 leaders SV Darmstadt 98 will get an early chance to bounce back from their defeat against Hamburger SV. They host fifth-placed Hannover 96 on Friday. Fourth meets third when 1. FC Heidenheim 1846 take on SC Paderborn 07 on Saturday, while second-placed HSV have a home game against midtable SSV Jahn Regensburg on Sunday, potentially needing to play catch-up.

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