The race for Germany’s top-flight title is hotting up as teams prepare for the business end of the 2018/19 Bundesliga
battle. Leverkusen will be hoping to build on their win at Wolsburg last time out when they welcome trophy-chasers Bayern Munich to town before the league leaders Dortmund’s epic encounter with last season’s DFB Pokal (German Cup) winners Eintracht Frankfurt.
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BAYER LEVERKUSEN VS BAYERN MUNICH – BAYARENA
Bayer Leverkusen responded to a shock 1-0 home defeat at the hands of Borussia Monchengladbach a fortnight ago by turning in a top-class showing to beat Wolfsburg 3-0 and cut the gap between themselves in 9th
place and the trio of teams ahead of them to just one point.
Three second-half goals helped Bayern Munich to a 4-1 win over Stuttgart on Sunday after the duo were locked level with a goal apiece at half-time, the Bavarian giants seventh successive league victory since the start of December.
Nico Kovac’s side have been doing all they can to keep the pace with Borussia Dortmund who are currently six points ahead of them and a positive result this weekend could see them potentially slice the advantage to just three points if Kovac’s former side Frankfurt can steal something from Dortmund in a match being played simultaneously to Bayern’s.
Die Werkself will have it all to do on Saturday if they are to end a run of seven matches without success against Bayern Munich since Hakan Calhanoglu and Julian Brandt were on target in a 2-0 win for the hosts in May 2015.
The corresponding fixture last season ended 3-1 to the visitors before a similar scoreline at the Allianz earlier in this campaign, despite Leverkusen taking an early lead courtesy of Wendell’s penalty. On-loan Real Madrid star will be hoping to add to his tally of two goals in his last two games against Leverkusen after finding the back of the net in both of those encounters.
EINTRACHT FRANKFURT VS BORUSSIA DORTMUND – COMMERZBANK-ARENA
Fifth-placed Eintracht Frankfurt suffered a 3-0 defeat to Bayern Munich in their final fixture before the traditional rest break over the festive period. After returning from a tough trip to Brazil for some warm weather training as well as a couple of friendlies against Sao Paulo and Flamengo respectively, the Eagles returned to domestic duties with a 3-1 win over Freiburg before twice coming from a goal behind to secure a hard-fought 2-2 draw away at Werder Bremen last time out.
After finishing fourth in 2017/18, Lucien Favre’s side have taken the Bundesliga by storm in 2018/19 and have suffered just one defeat all campaign – a surprise 2-1 loss at newly promoted Fortuna Dusseldorf midway through December. Since then, Die Schwarzgelben have registered three consecutive victories capped off most recently with a 5-1 hammering of Hannover 96 on Saturday. Belgian midfielder Axel Wistel was on the scoresheet for the second time in as many weeks following his winner over Leipzig last weekend.
It wont be an easy task however against Adi Hutter’s side on Saturday with Dortmund having failed to pick up a win at the Commerzbank-Arena in any of their last four league visits there since a 2-1 win in September 2013.
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The corresponding match last season ended in a 2-2 draw after the home side had to claw themselves back from two goals down to ultimately salvage a point. Paco Alcacer – Dortmund’s leading scorer this season along with Marco Reus on 12 goals apiece – was on the scoresheet when the sides last met back in September, putting the final nail in the coffin of a 3-1 home win.
The duo locked horns in the DFB Pokal final in May 2017 with Dortmund coming away 2-1 winners before Frankfurt eventually got their hands on the trophy a year later with victory over Bayern in the 2018 showpiece.
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