Herbstfinale: Bundesliga braced for marathon 27 games in 10 days

It might be cold enough for snow, but things are hotting up in the Bundesliga as Germany's top tier braces itself for a year-ending marathon 27 matches in the space of just 10 days.

There are three rounds of fixtures still to be played before the Bundesliga's customary winter break. That means two weekends, as well as one dose of midweek delight, to determine who sits where in the standings at the halfway stage of the 2019/20 campaign. Yes, it's Christmas come early...

Matchday 15

After renewing acquaintances with former coach Julian Nagelsmann, whose RB Leipzig side have been decking more than the halls, Hoffenheim take on Augsburg in Matchday 15's opening fixture on 13 December. Unlucky for some, but not the legions of Bundesliga fans worldwide, who'll have festive treats such as the north-south derby between Bayern Munich and Werder Bremen, as well Cologne's regional rumble with near-neighbours Bayer Leverkusen, to unwrap over the course of a bumper weekend.

Fixtures in full

13 December
Hoffenheim vs. Augsburg

14 December
Bayern Munich vs. Werder Bremen
Cologne vs. Bayer Leverkusen
Mainz vs. Borussia Dortmund
Fortuna Düsseldorf vs. RB Leipzig
Paderborn vs. Union Berlin
Hertha Berlin vs. Freiburg

15 December
Wolfsburg vs. Borussia Mönchengladbach
Schalke vs. Eintracht Frankfurt

Werder Bremen striker Claudio Pizarro (r.) could face former club Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena for the last time on Matchday 15. - imago images / MIS

Matchday 16

The gift that keeps on giving, the Bundesliga's Hinrunde finale resumes just 48 hours after Schalke's meeting with Frankfurt with a fabled Englische Woche (a busy schedule where teams play in midweek, as is the norm in England). Nine ties, including one feast fit for a king as Borussia Dortmund host Leipzig on 17 December - the result of which could go a long way to deciding who tops the tree and claims the nominal Herbstmeisterschaft (autumn championship) for the team sitting in first over the break.

Fixtures in full

17 December
Borussia Dortmund vs. RB Leipzig
Werder Bremen vs. Mainz
Union Berlin vs. Hoffenheim
Augsburg vs. Fortuna Düsseldorf

18 December
Freiburg vs. Bayern Munich
Bayer Leverkusen vs. Hertha Berlin
Borussia Mönchengladbach vs. Paderborn
Wolfsburg vs. Schalke
Eintracht Frankfurt vs. Cologne

Axel Witsel scored home and away as Borussia Dortmund did the double over RB Leipzig last season. - imago/DeFodi

Matchday 17

Matchday 16 melts into Matchday 17 like the finest slither of basted Turkey on the tongue, giving you just enough time to finish your Christmas shopping before cosying up for Dortmund's trip to Hoffenheim. We can't promise you six geese a laying, but there's potential for five goal rings when Robert Lewandowski welcomes favourite opponent Wolfsburg to the Allianz Arena. The world's best striker usually brings bad tidings for the Wolves, with 21 goals in 18 career outings against the Auto City club, including five in one record-breaking nine-minute spell four years ago.

Fixtures in full

20 December
Hoffenheim vs. Borussia Dortmund

21 December
Bayern Munich vs. Wolfsburg
RB Leipzig vs. Augsburg
Cologne vs. Werder Bremen
Mainz vs. Bayer Leverkusen
Schalke vs. Freiburg
Hertha Berlin vs. Borussia Mönchengladbach

22 December
Fortuna Düsseldorf vs. Union Berlin
Paderborn vs. Eintracht Frankfurt

Watch: Robert Lewandowski's FIVE goals in NINE minutes in full!

And remember, the Bundesliga is for life - not just for Christmas. So make sure you stick with bundesliga.com for all the latest from all 18 top-flight clubs right through the winter break, into the new year and beyond!