Bundesliga Preview: Match Day 16

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After another weekend of exciting Bundesliga action, Germany has a new league leader. Borussia Mönchengladbach slipped up against Wolfsburg on Sunday, allowing RB Leipzig to leapfrog them into first place.

With the winter break closing in, the Bundesliga has the rarity of midweek fixtures – known as an Englische Woche in Germany, or an English week where clubs have to play three games in the space of seven or eight days.

It’s the second-last round of fixtures before the break, with four games on Tuesday and five more on Wednesday. Then, this weekend’s fixtures will be the last until January, meaning that despite the busy few days of football, teams may be reluctant to rotate and might not rest key players.

Match of the Week – Borussia Dortmund vs RB Leipzig 

RB Leipzig have failed to win any of their last three games with Borussia Dortmund, but are the most in-form team in Germany and currently sit at the top of the table. Timo Werner has 16 league goals in 15 games this season, but has never scored against Dortmund in his career to date.

The stats point to a score draw, with Lucien Favre and Julian Nagelsmann having drawn all of their previous meetings, while Dortmund have scored in 92 home games in a row.

Rest of the Week

Werder Bremen and Mainz kick things off early on Tuesday in a game that also promises goals. Mainz have not kept a clean sheet in 16 league games, while Bremen shipped six goals to Bayern Munich on Saturday. Jean-Philippe Mateta made a welcome return for Mainz at the weekend, playing his first game of the season after returning from injury. The French striker scored 14 goals last season for the zero-fivers.

Unlike Favre vs Nagelsmann, Bayer Leverkusen and Hertha Berlin are not fond of draws. None of the last 12 meetings between the sides have ended in a draw, and they have only ever had one scoreless draw in their competitive history. Kai Havertz is going through one of the worst spells of his career at the moment, and hasn’t been involved in a goal in six matches for Leverkusen (his worst-ever run is eight games without a goal involvement).

Wolfsburg are one of the form teams in the Bundesliga, with four wins in their last six games. They only had four wins in their previous 15 matches, but look like a rejuvenated side under Oliver Glasner. Midfielder Xaver Schalger made his first start since picking up an ankle injury in Auugust and scored the opening goal against Gladbach to help the Wolves climb up to eighth.

Bundesliga Player to Watch – Thomas Müller – Bayern Munich – £0.70

Philippe Coutinho made all the headlines for Bayern Munich at the weekend with three goals and two assists in the 6-1 demolition of Werder Bremen, while Robert Lewandowski continued his excellent season.

However, Thomas Müller’s contribution went under the radar despite scoring one and assisting another. The 30-year-old leads the Bundesliga’s assist chart this season ahead of Jadon Sancho, and his 10 assists after 15 matchdays is the highest recorded figure since detailed statistics collection began for the Bundesliga.

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About Author

Ronan Murphy is a social producer for Goal.com, where he looks after their Twitter and Facebook accounts, as well as providing written features on the Bundesliga and FIFA. He also appears regularly on radio and television, including talkSport and LoveSport in the UK, talking German football while constantly sharing his strange obsession with super-striker Sandro Wagner.

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