This weekend features a number of interesting fixtures, with much at stake for all involved and as matchday 15 showed us, you can never be too certain of what the Bundesliga might throw up.
The Topspiel sees a resurgent Borussia Mönchengladbach side - fresh off their win against Bayern Munich - travel to VfB Stuttgart, who themselves are returning to a good run of form.
Elsewhere though, Union Berlin hosting Bayer Leverkusen on Friday night should make for an entertaining spectacle of two high-flyers, whilst VfL Wolfsburg taking on RB Leipzig pits two very impressive, well-drilled sides against each other. Bayern Munich have a lot to prove as they welcome SC Freiburg to the Allianz Arena, looking to bounce back following two straight defeats in all competitions.
Let’s take a look at three things to look out for across the weekend.
Freiburg to test Bayern’s mettle
This fixture is really one of two sides with opposite trajectories facing off against each other. Bayern, who were knocked out of the DFB Pokal on Wednesday night on penalties, have not only now lost twice in a row, but have also failed to keep a clean sheet in their past ten games, a career worst for Manuel Neuer.
This record does not bode well against a Freiburg outfit which won 5-0 against 1. FC Kӧln last time out and have recorded five victories in a row coming into the game in Bavaria. Christian Streich’s side are playing with tremendous confidence and will look to capitalise on Bayern’s current plight.
This will be a real test of character for Bayern, who will be wanting to not only bring an end to this difficult period, but reassert their dominance as the league's best. It is sure to be a fascinating affair.
Borussia Dortmund to climb up into second place
Despite entering this weekend only occupying the last of the Champions League berths, it is entirely possible Dortmund could end it sitting prettily in second. First of all, they will fully expect to overcome a very poor Mainz 05 side who are currently rooted to the bottom of the table and showing little side of springing into life any time soon.
If Leverkusen fail to beat Union Berlin, which seems entirely possible given the tremendous form of the Eisern so far this year and a struggling Leipzig side fall to defeat at the hands of Wolfsburg, Edin Terzic will see his side move within just one spot of Bayern at the top of the table with a win.
They may need a few things to go in their favour, but regardless of what happens elsewhere in the league, expect Dortmund to end this weekend breathing further down the neck of the Rekordmeister.
Bielefeld to compound Hoffenheim’s issues
Arminia Bielefeld have quietly gone about their business and now sit outside of the relegation spots through nothing else other than sheer grit and determination. Despite having the lowest budget in the league, they have compensated for their lack of financial power with a stubborn playing style which has so far reaped its due rewards.
In TSG Hoffenheim, they face a team which rather astonishingly lost 4-0 to lowly Schalke last week and has been in freefall for much of this season, conceding thirty goals already this term - the third worst in the league.
With Sebastian Hoeneß having reason to believe his job may well now be on the line and Bielefeld having the opportunity to leapfrog his side with a victory, expect this match to be a tightly contested one; one which may just play right into the hands of the newly promoted side.