Separated in the table by a place, and the fine margins of goal difference, Borussia Dortmund and Eintracht Frankfurt go head-to-head at the Signal Iduna Park on Sunday.
It’s little secret that Die Schwarzgelben have improved since the arrival of Peter Stoger, losing just once in the league, and gaining plaudits for their ability to defend and run lengths of the pitch, a feat not quite apparent under the stewardship of Peter Bosz. But they suffered a 2-1 loss in the Europa League at Salzburg, and will have to pick themselves up for this game, otherwise they could easily drop to sixth place.
Frankfurt, meanwhile, are one of the surprise packages of the season so far; Niko Kovac’s side lie in the final Champions League place, after an impressive campaign to date. They know the job is barely half done, though, and will have to keep up their good work to get something in Dortmund. A win here, however, might just be further proof that they can mix it with the elite.
Elsewhere, fifth-placed Bayer Leverkusen, looking to benefit from whatever outcome arrives from the Dortmund-Frankfurt game, host Borussia Monchengladbach, who have European aspirations of their own. Bayern Munich, champions in waiting, host Hamburg, who look well set for a first ever relegation.
Second-placed Schalke aim to maintain their own momentum, as well as league position, when they travel to Mainz, who aim to get out of the relegation playoff place, above Wolfsburg, who visit seventh-placed Hoffenheim, while Hertha Berlin play host to Freiburg and Hannover welcome Augsburg to the AWD Arena.
Bayern Munich v Hamburg
Hertha BSC v Freiburg
Werder Bremen v Koln
Leverkusen v Monchengladbach
Dortmund v Frankfurt
Hoffenheim v Wolfsburg
Mainz v Schalke
Stuttgart v RB Leipzig
Hannover v Augsburg