Bundesliga: Three things to watch out for during Matchday 6
(Photo by Christian Verheyen/Borussia Monchengladbach via Getty Images)

As the Bundesliga table continues to take shape, the usual suspects are resuming their usual roles. While RB Leipzig still sit top, Bayern Munich are certainly breathing down their neck and look back to their best. Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen are keeping up the chase while Stuttgart are the surprise package so far, currently sitting in 5th. 

Here are three things to look out during Matchday 6:

European bounceback?

Six Bundesliga sides were in Champions League and Europa League action in the past week. In the Champions League, Dortmund and Bayern both secured wins against Russian opposition, however neither was particularly convincing.

Bayern were in Tuesday's early kick off away to Lokomotiv Moscow, triumphing 2-1 thanks to a Joshua Kimmich stunner. They had taken the lead through Leon Goretzka but were pegged back by their hosts and were under the cosh for a large period of the second half. 

On Wednesday night, it took a Zenit Saint Petersburg mistake and a penalty for BVB to make the breakthrough. Up until that point, their play had been pedestrian, and they had barely threatened Zenit's goal. Jadon Sancho converted the penalty after a handball and Erling Braut Haaland scored late on but by then Zenit had given up. 

As for the other two, Leipzig and Gladbach, it was a poor week.

For the second week in a row Gladbach threw away a famous win late on. Last week it was Romelu Lukaku who broke their hearts back in the San Siro, this week it was Casemiro from a set piece that Die Folen were unable to deal with. Marcus Thuram had put them two up with two well taken efforts and Gladbach looked good value for the win, but as soon as Karim Benzema headed in the first goal, Gladbach shrunk and Real Madrid pounced, scoring twice in the last six minutes.

They can't lick their wounds and have to get straight back on it to prepare for a fired up Leipzig after their humiliation at the hands of Manchester United.    

Leipzig shipped five without reply including a Marcus Rashford hat-trick and efforts from Mason Greenwood and Anthony Martial. The result is not only hugely detrimental in the short term, but it confirms to the doubters that they aren't ready to challenge at the top end of Europe's elite. They struggled with United's pace in transition, a problem they may face more as a result. They head to Gladbach on top but they will have one eye on their rematch with a Paris Saint-Germain side who humbled them 3-0 in the Champions League semi-final a matter of months ago. 

Bundesliga sides also had a mixed week in the Europa League. Hoffenheim were able to secure an important away win to stay top of their group, putting four past Belgian side Gent. Ten man Leverkusen, however, fell in Prague against Slavia to a late Peter Olayinka strike after Karim Bellarabi was sent off early on. Dier Wierker stay top of the group, however, with all four teams sat on three points.

Leverkusen resume their Bundesliga campaign on Sunday with a trip to Freiburg, who will be hoping to kickstart their season while Hoffenheim don't resume untill Monday when they host Union Berlin

Can Schalke just win already? 

Surely even Schalke fans must be starting to see the funny side of their baron run of form. They are that bad, not even managing a shot on target in the Revierderby against a poor Dortmund side, eventually being put to the sword 3-0. They have to win eventually, but unfortunately, it's hard to see it being this week. They play one of the in-form teams of the league in Stuttgart, who have looked very impressive, particularly on the road putting four past Mainz and two past Hertha Berlin on their own patches. They head to Gelsenkirchen full of confidence, with one of the league's top scorers (not top because Robert Lewandowski exists) and will be confident of taking another famous scalp.

Schalke just need to find the reset button and go back to basics, whether it be a penalty, or a scrappy set piece where the shot goes in off someone's back. Manuel Baum's appointment has failed to invigorate the squad, in fact they might have regressed. They need a result tonight, especially ahead of next weekend's basement battle away to Mainz. 

Who knows, it might just take one and then they'll rediscover their form, but they really just need to see out 2020 without being marooned at the bottom. Then, just like when the world hits the reset button and we enter 2021, they'll need to start fresh. Hopefully a new year means a new Schalke. 

Left-wing vs the fallen Dinosaur 

Yes, it is a 2.Bundesliga game, but outside of Gladbach vs Leipzig it's the biggest game of the weekend. Hamburg vs St Pauli is more than a cross city derby, it's a culture clash. On the surface, Hamburg is a wealthy metropolitan port city, the second biggest in Germany behind Berlin.

The biggest team in the city is Hamburger SVDer Dino were the last of the founding Bundesliga members to suffer relegation. They even had a clock to celebrate it, counting how long they had been in the Bundesliga. It all ended in sour fashion in 2018 after a dreadful season, with their final game against Gladbach being stopped due to fan protests. 

Waiting for them in the second tier were cross city rivals St Pauli. They couldn't be more different to their rivals, bobbing between the second and third tier while Hamburg were challenging in Europe towards the end of the 2010's. Despite their lowly status, they are famous across the world for their beliefs. An openly-left wing club, they have become a hipster icon, representing the punk underground that exists within the city emerging from the Reeperbahn, home to Hamburg's red light district.  

On the pitch, games used to be few and far between, mainly in the DFB Pokal as St Pauli only reached the promise land once in 2010-11. They finished rock bottom, but the highlight of their season was a 1-0 victory away to Hamburg. Time didn't exactly make the heart grow fonder to the fans when the rivalry resumed. Supporters clashed, players clashed, games were tense. In recent seasons, Hamburg put four past St Pauli in their own stadium and St Pauli went to Volksparkstadion and won 2-0. 

This will be the first derby to be played with a reduced crowd and it's a huge shame. Atmosphere makes derbies, and especially in this case where there is so much tension between the two sets of fans who regularly march to the games and unveil tifos jabbing at each other.

Hamburg are top of the league and unbeaten, winning all five of their games so far this campaign. Carried by forward Simon Terodde, they will be confident of gaining back the city bragging rights. St Pauli have had a slower start to the season, sitting in ninth, and will be hoping they can continue their recent good form over their neighbours and shoot up the table. Despite the absence of a crowd, it should be a fascinating contest.  

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