Bundesliga's top three ready for action

The Bundesliga's top three will look to move further ahead of the rest of the pack this weekend, which starts with Borussia Dortmund's Friday evening game against Stuttgart.

Jurgen Klopp can celebrate signing a new contract as Dortmund coach by moving to the top of the table for at least one night with victory over Stuttgart, which is unbeaten in seven games since Thomas Schneider took charge.

Even a draw would take Dortmund above Bayern Munich, although the same result for the Bavarian side at Hoffenheim the next day would equal a Bundesliga record for long-term invincibility.

It have not lost since going down at home to Bayer Leverkusen last October, a run of 35 games unbeaten, one short of the record Hamburg set between 1982 and 1983.

Coach Pep Guardiola could set a record of his own by avoiding defeat at Hoffenheim, stretching his start as Bayern boss to 11 league games unbeaten, more than any of his predecessors on the Bavarian side's bench.

Hoping for either - or both - to stumble is third-placed Bayer Leverkusen, which was allowed to keep the three points it took from Hoffenheim after an appeal against the 'phantom' goal in its 2-1 victory earlier this month was rejected.

It goes to bottom-placed Eintracht Braunschweig looking to improve on a nine-point cushion over fourth place ahead of its UEFA Champions League tie with Shakhtar Donetsk next week.

At the foot of the table, winless Nurnberg and Freiburg meet at the Frankenstadion with both sides looking to earn maximum points for the first time this season.

With the two clubs providing the greatest number of draws this season - Nurnberg with seven, Freiburg five - that result would seem the most likeliest again.

Elsewhere, Hamburg hosts Borussia Monchengladbach and Hertha Berlin entertains Schalke with all four sides vying for fourth place, where Wolfsburg could end up if it wins at Eintracht Frankfurt.

Strugglers Augsburg and Mainz meet in Bavaria and Werder Bremen hosts Hannover in a north Germany derby with both sides keen to bounce back from heavy defeats a week ago.

 

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