The Bundesliga continues this weekend with matchweek 27 kicking off tonight with a mouth-watering encounter; the Berlin derby. This appetising clash pitting Union Berlin and Hertha BSC is a rivalry that is more than just a football match. It is interlaced by historical and political issues, highlighted by the fact that it involves teams from east and West Berlin. Union won the reverse Berlin derby in November in a nail-biting affair. Tonight’s encounter will be behind closed doors meaning it will be robbed of a vociferous crowd. However, this match should live up to the hype. Union are the first club from East Berlin to play in the Bundesliga. They are 12th, seven points above the relegation play-off place. Hertha, on the other hand, are one place and one point higher.
Berlin derby and more: Top four battle: Monchengladbach v Leverkusen
These two sides are in form and go head to head on Saturday with a place in the top four at stake. Borussia Monchengladbach are third in the table while Bayer Leverkusen are fifth on 50 points, two behind their hosts. Both sides won their fixtures last weekend but Gladbach’s impressive home form gives them the advantage. Furthermore, Monchengladbach have won the last two fixtures between these two. However, those wins came away from home. Surprisingly, the hosts have beaten Peter Bosz’s side at home once in the last eight fixtures.
More gloom for the bottom two
Paderborn and Werder Bremen are treading on thin ice. These two sides occupy the bottom two positions in the Bundesliga with just eight matches to go. Bottom side Paderborn are winless in their last seven league matches, losing five of those matches. Meanwhile, Bremen are in a crisis. The former Bundesliga champions have won just two league matches since September. They have lost six in their last seven. Paderborn host Hoffenheim while Bremen visit top-six hopefuls Freiburg. If their form is anything to go by, things look bad for both sides.
Bayern heap more misery on Frankfurt
Bayern returned to action last registering a routine win over Union Berlin. They are looking to strengthen their grip at the top when they face Frankfurt in Saturday’s late kick-off. Frankfurt are in terrible shape right now. The enforced break in play seems to have done little to reverse their dwindling fortunes. They lost 3-1 last week to Monchengladbach to make it four consecutive league defeats. They are 13th in the table, just five points clear of the relegation play-off zone. Bayern have won 11 of their last 12 league games, therefore, Frankfurt are in trouble.
RB Leipzig stuttering form. Can they get back to winning ways?
Leipzig will take their 8-0 demolition of Mainz earlier in the season as inspiration as they visit them this weekend. However, Julan Nagelsmann’s side are not in their best form. They dropped down to fourth in the Bundesliga standings, last week, with Monchengladbach moving up to third, after their 1-1 draw with Freiburg last weekend. Leipzig have won just two of their last seven league matches and are seven points behind leaders Bayern. There is still plenty of time for Leipzig to turn things around but that must start now if they want to reach the top.