Summary

  • Leipzig defend top spot in Freiburg.
  • Bayern look to snap three-game winless streak at home to Leverkusen.
  • Nordderby six-pointer as Hamburg entertain Bremen.

After a busy week of European action, there are sure to be plenty more spills and thrills as the Bundesliga returns on Matchday 12.

bundesliga.com takes a closer look at what to expect this weekend ...

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1) Leaders Leipzig looking to extend their lead

RB Leipzig have had a week to get used to being Bundesliga leaders for the first time in their history. Ralph Hasenhüttl's talented side will now look to defend top spot as they travel to SC Freiburg on Friday evening. The promoted side certainly look like the favourites on paper – they come into the game on a six-game winning streak, while Freiburg have suffered back-to-back defeats against VfL Wolfsburg and 1. FSV Mainz 05. Emil Forsberg is in red-hot form, having clocked up two goals and three assists in his last two outings, and Hasenhüttl will be counting on the Swedish international to come up with the goods again as Leipzig bid to go six points clear on Friday night.

Read: Ten reasons why Leipzig deserve to top the Bundesliga.

Watch: The unstoppable rise of RB Leipzig:

2) Return of the Reus

Borussia Dortmund's Marco Reus is in line to make his first Bundesliga appearance since May after recovering from a long-term groin injury. The Germany international certainly made a splash in the UEFA Champions League this week, captaining Dortmund in their incredible 8-4 thrashing of Legia Warszawa. "It was absolutely excellent," enthused coach Thomas Tuchel. "An outstanding comeback which highlights the quality we have been without for months. Marco has been sorely missed." Reus was officially denied a hat-trick after UEFA classed his third as an own goal, he still notched up two goals and three assists, and even left with the match ball. Eintracht Frankfurt have been warned.

Read: Reus delighted with dream comeback for Dortmund.

Marco Reus grabbed two goals and three assists as he captained BVB to an 8-4 win over Legia on his comeback.

3) Bayer wary of wounded Bayern

It hasn't been the easiest couple of weeks for FC Bayern München, who have gone three games without a win for the second time this season. After drawing with TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, Bayern were undone by Dortmund in Der Klassiker, before a shock defeat to FC Rostov in the Champions League ended their hopes of progressing as group winners. The champions will be looking to get things back on track against Bayer 04 Leverkusen, who were beaten by Leipzig last time out, but received a boost in midweek by reaching the knockout stage of the Champions League. Roger Schmidt's side will be wary, though – Bayern snapped their previous three-game winless streak this term by thrashing PSV Eindhoven 4-1.

Watch: World-class keepers Manuel Neuer and Bernd Leno prepare to go head-to-head:

4) Hamburg and Bremen face off in Nordderby six-pointer

Hamburger SV and SV Werder Bremen come into the 105th Nordderby of the Bundesliga era in desperate need of points. Rock-bottom Hamburg have picked up just three in 11 matches, and remain the only team in the league without a win this season. 16th-placed Bremen are faring little better, with only four more points than their great northern rivals. Both sides are in serious need of a confidence boost, and what better way to get it than by claiming victory in the Nordderby? Recent history is on Hamburg's side – they have won three of their last four meetings with Bremen, including both last season – and how Markus Gisdol would love to chalk up the first win of his tenure against the old enemy.

Watch: Check out how the Nordderby played out on FIFA 17:

5) Gladbach seeking to end barren run against Hoffenheim

Borussia Mönchengladbach have now gone two months without a Bundesliga win, following a poor run of four defeats and two draws. Worse, perhaps, is that Andre Schubert's side have only managed a single goal in those six games, in last weekend's 2-1 Rheinderby loss to 1. FC Köln. BORUSSIA-PARK is no longer the fortress it once was, either – after a run of 10 straight wins, Gladbach played out two goalless draws before losing their first Bundesliga home game since January against Köln. With his side slipping down the table, Schubert will know how important it is to steady the ship, but it won't be plain sailing against Hoffenheim, one of only two unbeaten teams in the league this season. After a frustrating draw with Hamburg, Julian Nagelsmann's side will be determined to get back to winning ways and hold on to their place in the top five. 

Read: Gladbach secure a place in the UEFA Europa League knockout stage. 

Gladbach captain Lars Stindl (c.) will be hoping to inspire his side to their first win since Matchday 5 against Hoffenheim.