bundesliga.com looks ahead to six must-see midweek encounters from the league of the world champions...
Pep Guardiola's FC Bayern München don't lose often, but when they do, a backlash is guaranteed. FC Schalke 04 make the daunting trip to the Allianz Arena on Tuesday night, albeit with great cause for optimism following VfL Wolfsburg's resounding 4-1 success over the league leaders last time out.
Of course, there'll be massive interest in the Wolves' trip to free-scoring Eintracht Frankfurt. Kevin De Bruyne and Co. will be keen to prove their Bayern-slaying antics were no fluke, in a game which is guaranteed goals. Don't believe us? Both sides have plundered 72 between them already, with Eintracht shipping a dizzy 38.
SC Freiburg exposed Frankfurt's frailties in a resounding 4-1 win last weekend. The result moved the south-west club off the bottom of the table at Borussia Dortmund's expense, but the prospect of Gladbach striker Max Kruse nudging his former employers back towards the mire makes for an intriguing subplot at the Borussia Park.
Dortmund return to action on Wednesday night, in the mystifying position of propping up the rest of the league, despite Jürgen Klopp having an abundance of global megastars at his disposal. Fifth-placed FC Augsburg are built on far more modest means and it's for that reason that they're fast becoming everyone's second favourite club.
Hertha Berlin would do well to follow Augsburg's example as they struggle to keep their noses above water at the deep end. The potential is huge, not least with a base as striking as the capital's historic Olympic Stadium, but unfortunately Bayer 04 Leverkusen - the Bundesliga's - don't do sentimental.
The Werkself are unlikely to shed a tear if VfB Stuttgart give up the ghost come May. The 2007 champions have been flirting with the drop all season, falling back into the bottom two after losing 1-0 to Gladbach. 1. FC Köln beat HSV on Saturday and would gladly see another founding member join their growing list of conquests.
Compiled by Christopher Mayer-Lodge