2022/23 Bundesliga title race: Can Borussia Dortmund hold off Bayern Munich, RB Leipzig and Co.?
Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich are battling it out at the Bundesliga summit, with Union Berlin, Freiburg and RB Leipzig not out of the running yet. bundesliga.com has the latest on the the most fiercely contested title race in Bundesliga history...
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Points: 53 (25 games)
Goals: 55-31 (+24)
Next fixture: Bayern (a)
Like Leipzig and Union, Dortmund have already drawn with Bayern this season - in a 2-2 thriller in October. BVB lost three of their next six, but have re-emerged as title contenders after making a perfect start to 2023 (with wins over Augsburg, Mainz, Bayer Leverkusen, Freiburg, Werder Bremen, Hertha Berlin, Hoffenheim and Leipzig). Although the 2-2 draw against fierce rivals Schalke in the Revierderby ended that winning run and saw them fall two points behind Bayern, Die Schwarzgelben reclaimed top spot - overnight at least - with a 6-1 drubbing of Cologne. They resume their title quest with a trip to Munich in Der Klassiker on 1 April.
Watch: The changing face of the 2022/23 Bundesliga table
Points: 52 (25 games)
Goals: 72-27 (+45)
Next fixture: Dortmund (h)
Bayern trailed Union by five points after a shock 1-0 defeat to Augsburg on Matchday 7, but recovered ground to top the pile at Christmas and take the nominal autumn championship as leaders at halfway. However, three straight 1-1 draws against Leipzig, Cologne and Frankfurt to start 2023 allowed the chasing pack to close back in - and a win for Union on the Saturday of Matchday 19 toppled Bayern at the top for a night. The record champions returned fire with wins over Wolfsburg and Bochum, but a 3-2 loss in Mönchengladbach meant Union and Dortmund moved level at the top. Successive triumphs over Union - a game that marked Sadio Mane's comeback after three months out injured - VfB Stuttgart and Augsburg briefly put them back in control of their own destiny, but a shock 2-1 reverse at Bayer Leverkusen mean Bayern - with new coach Thomas Tuchel at the helm - will be playing catch-up in Der Klassiker.
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Watch: Bayern net five in victory over Augsburg
Points: 48 (25 games)
Goals: 38-28 (+10)
Next fixture: Eintracht Frankfurt (h)
Competing in only their fourth season of Bundesliga football, Union continue to exceed expectations. The Berlin outfit are showing last term's fifth-placed finish was no fluke in what has been a club-record campaign so far. After ending 2022 on a three-match winless streak, Die Eisernen kicked off the new year with five successive wins - sensationally sending them top of the table again (albeit only overnight) after beating Mainz 2-1, and they showed their mettle by coming from behind to beat fellow title contenders Leipzig on Matchday 20. Urs Fischer's side endured draws with Cologne and Wolfsburg that looked to cut them adrift of the top two, but a 2-0 victory over Eintracht Frankfurt on Matchday 25 moved them back into third.
Watch: Union showing they belong at the top
Points: 46 (25 games)
Goals: 38-34 (+4)
Next fixture: Hertha (h)
Freiburg finished sixth last season and are upsetting the apple cart again in 2022/23, even topping the table at one stage. They have only lost five times - against Bayern (5-0), Dortmund (3-1 and 5-1), Hoffenheim (2-1) and Wolfsburg (6-0) - and are one of the toughest nuts to crack on their own patch. Steered by one of the brightest minds in the business, in Christian Streich, expect them to maintain their charge right until the last, while their Europa League last-16 first-leg trip to Juventus was another highlight of this special season regardless of the 1-0 loss. The team from the Black Forest could well have done without being denied at the death against Mainz on Matchday 25, particularly with fixtures against Bayern, Leipzig and Union still to come.
Points: 45 (25 games)
Goals: 49-30 (+19)
Next fixture: Mainz (h)
Marco Rose oversaw a 12-match unbeaten run in the Bundesliga (17 in all competitions), until Matchday 20's stumble at home to Union. Leipzig showed the stuff of champions by bouncing back to beat Wolfsburg 3-0 and Eintracht 2-1, but defeats to Dortmund and Bochum, either side of a 3-0 win over Borussia Mönchengladbach and their elimination from the Champions League, have left the DFB Cup holders eight points adrift of top spot after 25 matches.
Union vs. Stuttgart: team news
The hosts are out to keep their title hopes alive when VfB and new Germany international Josha Vagnoman visit.
Leipzig vs. Mainz: team news
Josko Gvardiol and Timo Werner plan to get the home team back on track against an in-form visiting side on Saturday.
Freiburg vs. Hertha: team news
Can Vincenzo Grifo fire the high-flying hosts to victory against a team that have struggled on their travels?