At last, the final matchday of the year is here in the Bundesliga. Known as the Hinrunde in Germany, the period before the winter break usually makes up half the season, but the late start this year means the Hinrunde will continue in January as only 13 matchdays will have been played by the end of 2020 with 21 games to come thick and fast next year.
Any of three teams could be top at the end of the year, with just one point separating leaders Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig.
Bundesliga Game of the Weekend: Bayer Leverkusen vs Bayern Munich
A couple of matchdays ago, first played second as Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig drew. Now there is a new leader with Bayer Leverkusen on top while Bayern are in second. First plays second again to finish the year and it should be a thriller.
Both sides are extremely prolific in front of goal, so expect plenty of shots on target and plenty of work for both goalkeepers. Robert Lewandowski had an excellent midweek with two goals on Wednesday and then lifted the FIFA Best Men’s Player Award on Thursday.
With no games until January, he will not be rested and Hansi Flick should choose his best starting XI to play Leverkusen as Bayern aim to be top at Christmas.
Rest of the Weekend
Any other weekend, Borussia Mönchengladbach vs Hoffenheim would be the game of the weekend, but it’s slightly overshadowed by Bayer-Bayern this weekend. Gladbach look tired after a busy European campaign but showed great mentality to come back last weekend to get a 3-3 draw with Eintracht Frankfurt. Alassane Plea is a doubt for this game, meaning Breel Embolo could be given the chance to make an impact up front.
RB Leipzig are also in the hunt to be top at Christmas and have an appealing fixture as they host Köln. Yussuf Poulsen will once again lead the line and has been reborn this season following the exit of Timo Werner. Leipzig signed Hwang Hee-Chan and Alexander Sorloth, but Poulsen has returned to his best in 2020.
Union Berlin host Borussia Dortmund to begin the last matchday of the year, with caretaker coach Edin Terzic off to a good start after a 2-1 win over Werder Bremen. Marco Reus scored the winner in that game and is expected to be the team’s leader on the pitch as they look to become a more consistent side following the sacking of Lucien Favre.
Bundesliga Player to Watch: Amine Harit – Schalke – £0.40
Schalke have not won since January 2020 and will carry that record into January 2021 if they fail to win this weekend.
Luckily, they have one of their most appealing fixtures of the season, facing newly-promoted Arminia Bielefeld at home. Amine Harit has been forgiven for his previous indiscretions and having returned to the squad, could be their key player on Saturday.