Berlin (AFP) – Bottom faces top on Saturday when basement dwellers Ingolstadt host unbeaten Bundesliga leaders RB Leipzig, who are chasing an eight straight win to keep Bayern Munich off the top.
RB Leipzig’s coach Ralph Hassenhuettl returns to Ingolstadt, who he left in May having taken them from the bottom of the second division to Germany’s top flight in his three seasons.
Ingolstadt, who have slipped down to 18th in the table after their 2-1 defeat at Werder Bremen, have yet to win a match at home this season.
Leipzig, meanwhile, have the best away record in the Bundesligawith five wins and two draws.
RB are the surprise package this season and have now been top of the table since Bayern’s 1-0 defeat at Borussia Dortmund a fortnight ago.
Timo Werner, the club’s top scorer with eight goals, has been in the spotlight for the wrong reasons this week.
After being awarded a penalty just 19 seconds into last Saturday’s 2-1 win at home to Schalke, replays showed Werner dived.
Second-placed Bayern Munich host VfL Wolfsburg on Saturday in a repeat of the match which broke four Bundesliga records last season when Robert Lewandowski scored five goals in nine minutes.
Bayern’s Germany forward Thomas Mueller is without a Bundesliga goal is his 12 games so far, while Lewandowski has been regularly hitting the net.
The Poland hot-shot netted twice in last Friday’s 3-1 win at Mainz before drilling in the winning goal in Tuesday’s 1-0 home win against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League.
Wolfsburg are struggling with just two wins this season to leave them just two points from the relegation zone and their Germany forwards Julian Draxler and Mario Gomez have failed to gel.
They have picked up just four league points since Valerien Ismael replaced Dieter Hecking as head coach in October.
Cologne host a Borussia Dortmund side buoyed by their 4-1 romp at home to Borussia Moenchengladbach last Saturday and Wednesday’s 2-2 draw at Real Madrid.
Both Cologne and Dortmund are just outside the Bundesliga’s top five.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang netted twice to leave him as the league’s top scorer with 15 goals so far, while Cologne crashed to a 4-0 drubbing at Hoffenheim last weekend.
The match pits the league’s top strikers against each other with Anthony Modeste having hit 12 goals in 13 league games.
Both Aubameyang and Marco Reus are in form as the pair both scored at Real.
Andre Schubert is in danger of becoming the sixth Bundesliga coach fired this season and his Borussia Moenchengladbach badly need a win at Mainz on Sunday.
Gladbach are winless in their last eight games following Tuesday’s 4-0 trashing at Barcelona.
Schubert’s side are currently 13th, five points from the relegation places, and their last league win was in late September.
Director of sport Max Eberl says Gladbach’s next three Bundesliga games, against bottom-half clubs Mainz, Augsburg and Wolfsburg are crucial.
Fourth-placed Hoffenheim, who along with Leipzig are the league’s only unbeaten teams, are at Eintracht Frankfurt on Friday with both sides on 25 points.
Under Julian Nagelsmann, the youngest coach in Bundesliga history at 29, are one of the league’s surprise packages this season.
Frankfurt, fifth, are gaining momentum and are unbeaten in their last eight games, triggered by a 2-2 draw at home to Bayern and earned a 2-1 win over Dortmund a fortnight ago.
Fixtures (all times 1430 GMT unless stated)
E. Frankfurt v Hoffenheim (2030)
Bayern v Wolfsburg, Cologne v Borussia Dortmund, Hamburg v Augsburg, Ingolstadt v RB Leipzig, Freiburg v Darmstadt, Hertha Berlin v Werder Bremen (1730)
Borussia Moenchengladbach v Mainz, Schalke v Bayer Leverkusen (1630)
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