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Matchday 13 Preview: a Saturday top-of-the-table clash between Leverkusen and Bayern

MUNICH, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 30: Ivan Perisic of Muenchen is tackled by Julian Baumgartlinger and Lars Bender (R) of Leverkusen during the Bundesliga match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Bayer 04 Leverkusen at Allianz Arena on November 30, 2019 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Jörg Schüler/Getty Images)

One of the most extraordinary seasons in Bundesliga history could hardly break off for the winter without one last gift to its followers, and Saturday’s top-of-the-table clash between Bayer 04 Leverkusen and FC Bayern München ticks all the boxes.

FC Bayern came from behind to beat VfL Wolfsburg on Wednesday night, thanks once again to that man Robert Lewandowski, who broke through the barrier of 250 Bundesliga goals to end Wolfsburg’s unbeaten start to the season. That leaves just one club unbeaten in Germany’s top flight: league leaders Bayer 04 Leverkusen.

Peter Bosz’s men continue to blaze a trail after an emphatic 4-0 victory away to 1. FC Köln on Matchday 12, and the team are in no mood for relinquishing thepole position they haveworked so hard to obtain. “We’ll fight to play our game, and win,” striker Lucas Alario told bundesliga.com. “We all like it, to see us at the top of the table, but there’s still over half the season left.”

RB Leipzig are hot on the heels of the top two once again, with only goal difference keeping them behind FC Bayern. Should the meeting between the top two end in a draw, victory over 1. FC Kölnon Saturday could see Die Roten Bullen end the year at the top of the pile for a second straight season, and with the league’s best defence to build upon, the foundations of a serious title challenge in 2021 have been laid.

The weekend’s action starts in the capital, where Borussia Dortmund’s interim coach Edin Terzic looks to build upon his debut win over SV Werder Bremen, and all eyes will be on teen sensation Youssoufa Moukoko as he goes in search of his first Bundesliga goal. Their hosts, 1. FC Union Berlin, are certainly no pushovers, with Urs Fischer moulding them into one of the biggest surprises of the season so far, and a total of18 points nudging them into contention for European football.

VfB Stuttgart have also set the Bundesliga alight in their first year back in the big time, and they will be relishing a trip to Wolfsburg in the final fixture of 2020 this Sunday. The Swabians have lost just twice all season, and their youthful squad has brought plenty of excitement to German football’s top table. Yet the Wolves were unbeaten until Wednesday and will be keen to bounce straight back to winning ways on home soil.

At the other end of the table, FC Schalke 04 have extended their worst ever start to a season by going 12 games without a win, yet they can lift themselves off the foot of the table by beating DSC Arminia Bielefeld in a big matchup at the bottom.

  1. FSV Mainz 05, sandwiched right between the two Westphalian clubs on six points, might have something to say about that, though, and they could drag SV Werder Bremen closer to the relegation danger zone with a victory at the Opel Arena. Meanwhile TSG Hoffenheim will need to be ready for a tough battlewhen they travel to face a Borussia Mönchengladbach side intent on not losing touch with the top six.

Finally, SC Freiburg can extend their upward trajectory with a third straight win, with Hertha BSC Berlin their guests on Saturday, and mid-table incumbents FC Augsburg and Eintracht Frankfurt will learn which direction their respective seasons could take after they meet at the WWK-Arena.

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