- All to play for in the Bundesliga on Matchday 13.
- Bayern visit Mainz; Leaders Leipzig host in-form Schalke.
- A pair of six-pointers at the bottom.
The 2016/17 Bundesliga campaign has had fans around the world on the edge of their seats every single weekend and Matchday 13 promises to be another thrilling round of fixtures.
Several games fall in the 'crunch-match' category, but all nine have something on the line. bundesliga.com breaks down what each team is playing for this weekend.
Watch: Check out the fantastic prizes up for grabs in the next round of the Bundesliga's big Christmas giveaway:
Mainz are firmly ensconced in mid-table with 13 points separating them from Leipzig at the summit and Hamburg at the foot of the table. If they are to repeat last season's top-six feat again, they will need to produce more consistent performances. While it will be tough against Bayern, they did beat them last season.
The record titleholders will be looking to avenge that 2-1 loss and continue building their confidence up after bouncing back to winning ways last weekend. You can bet that no one in the Bayern camp is happy to be three points behind newly promoted Leipzig so they will need to maintain form to capitalise on any slip-ups from the league leaders.
Watch: Matchday 12 highlights of Bayern's 2-1 win against Leverkusen:
After the disappointing defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt last weekend, Dortmund find themselves nine points adrift of league leaders Leipzig. As a result, BVB go into the 'Battle of the Borussias' with their namesakes from Mönchengladbach knowing they have to pick up three points to avoid falling further off the pace at the top of the table.
Gladbach find themselves in the unfamiliar position of being in the bottom half of the table 12 games into the season. Another loss could see them slip precariously close to the drop zone, so it doesn't bode well for the Foals that they are without a win on the road this season and now face a game in the one of the Bundesliga's most intimidating stadiums.
Watch: Matchday 12 highlights of Gladbach's 1-1 draw with Hoffenheim:
One of only three teams in Europe's top five leagues to still boast an unbeaten record, Hoffenheim have made everyone in the Bundesliga sit up and take notice. Victory could see them move into the top four at the close of play, but to do that they will have to hope their firepower is enough to breach the league's joint-best backline.
With both sides boasting 22 points from a possible 36, it's Köln defensive record that sees them sitting above Hoffenheim in the standings. An early six-pointer at the top of the table, the Billy Goats and in-form front man Anthony Modeste will be looking to improve upon last week's goalless draw against FC Augsburg as they look to maintain their push for European football.
Watch: Matchday 12 highlights of Köln's goalless draw with Augsburg:
Having suffered back-to-back defeats for the second time this season, Leverkusen have their sights set on giving their fans something to cheer about at the BayArena when they play host to Freiburg. Being just a point above their promoted opponents in the league table is not what Roger Schmidt would have envisaged for his side and the Bayer 04 head coach could really do with Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez rediscovering his goalscoring touch.
Freiburg have a healthy seven-point cushion above the bottom three, but are taking nothing for granted after returning to Germany's top flight as Bundesliga 2 champions. Leverkusen pose a tough challenge for Christian Streich's men, who have picked up just three points from a possible 18 on the road. Losses have to be avoided, but this may be a good chance to capitalise on a vulnerable opponent.
Watch: Matchday 12 highlights of Freiburg's 4-1 humbling at the hands of leaders Leipzig:
Wolfsburg could find themselves in the bottom three, should results go against them on Matchday 13. The Wolves somehow managed to take a point off Ingolstadt last weekend, but have won just twice all season. What is more, both victories came away from the Volkswagen Arena, where the 2014/15 runners-up are winless in six attempts so far this term (D2, L4).
Hertha are in far greater fettle after making it a club record six home wins on the bounce with three points against Mainz on Matchday 12. The Old Lady sit third in the standings ahead of the trip to Wolfsburg, but will have to make do without leading goalscorer Vedad Ibisevic due to suspension. And while flawless at home, they have won only once on the road all season.
Watch: Matchday 12 highlights of Hertha's Vedad Ibisevic-inspired triumph against Mainz:
With four defeats and one draw the sum parts of their last five Bundesliga outings, Werder Bremen currently prop up the form table. The Green-Whites showed great spirit to twice come back from a goal down to draw with rock-bottom Hamburg last time out, but no matter what they do, they simply cannot stop conceding: a league-high 31 goals in 12 matches in 2016/17.
Looking to exploit Bremen’s defensive frailties, Ingolstadt make the trip north buoyed by a two-game unbeaten run. The appointment of Maik Walpurgis as head coach appears to have had the desired effect and should the run continue at the Weser Stadium with a second win of his encouraging tenure, Ingolstadt would leapfrog Bremen in the standings and move out of the automatic relegation places for the first time since Matchday 5.
Watch: Matchday 12 highlights of Ingolstadt's eventful stalemate with Wolfsburg:
Setting the gold standard in their debut Bundesliga campaign, Leipzig are every bit the team to beat right now. Playing with an intensity like no other and aided and abetted by a 27-goal tally matched only by Dortmund, the surprise Bundesliga leaders have won their last seven in a row and are yet to taste defeat since gaining promotion. Can anybody stop them?
If anyone can, it might just be Schalke. Markus Weinzierl’s galvanised ensemble are unbeaten in their last 12 matches in all competitions and have won their last three on the spin in the Bundesliga. Only Leipzig have picked up more points over the course of the last five matches, and another victorious showing at the Red Bull Arena would put Die Knappen firmly back in the hunt for European football.
Watch: Matchday 12 highlights of Schalke's 3-1 win over Darmstadt:
One of two relegation six-pointers this weekend, Darmstadt's meeting with Hamburg could have serious implications for the Bundesliga's basement battle. Darmstadt have failed to register a single point since beating Wolfsburg on Matchday 8 – only their second win of the season, both of which have come at home - and know that a fifth successive defeat could plunge them into the bottom three for the first time this season.
The relegation zone has been home to bottom club Hamburg since Matchday 3, however, and even if the Red Shorts were to pick up a first win of the season in Darmstadt, they are guaranteed to end the weekend occupying one of the automatic relegation places. Successive draws against Hoffenheim and Bremen gives them cause for optimism, but defeat could see them cast as many as seven points adrift of outright safety.
Watch: Matchday 12 highlights of Hamburg's Nordderby draw with Bremen:
Augsburg will look to put further daylight between themselves and the relegation zone when in-form Frankfurt come to town. Dirk Schuster's 12th-placed charges have won only once at home all season, but are unbeaten in their last two – holding top-four hopefuls Hertha and Köln to impressive goalless draws – and have not lost to Frankfurt in over four years.
That being said, Niko Kovac's convocation are unlike any Eintracht outfit seen in recent times. The Eagles moved up to fourth thanks to a gutsy win over Dortmund last time out, making it six games without defeat for a club that only survived via the relegation play-offs in 2015/16. Frankfurt also boast the third-meanest defence in the Bundesliga, while Augburg have the third-tamest attack.
Watch: Matchday 12 highlights of Frankfurt's workmanlike victory at home to Dortmund: