Matchday 16 headliners Bayer 04 Leverkusen and Borussia Mönchengladbach have much more in common than just regional roots.
bundesliga.com takes a closer look at an intriguing set of subplots to Saturday's Rhine derby (kick-off 18:30CET/17:30GMT).
There is no sign of Andre Schubert's honeymoon period coming to an end at Gladbach. The 44-year-old takes the Foals to the BayArena buoyed by a ten-match unbeaten Bundesliga run, the pick of the bunch coming last weekend at home to FC Bayern München. The former Gladbach U-23s coach is now one of a select seven-man group, including Leverkusen's Roger Schmidt, to have outfoxed Pep Guardiola in the Bundesliga.
Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez is also enjoying quite the love affair with Germany's top flight, even if Leverkusen have not managed to string back-to-back Bundesliga wins together since Matchday 7. The Mexico international has scored at least once in all but one of his last six Bundesliga appearances (14 in total in all competitions), proving himself to be the one constant in Die Werkself's up-and-down campaign.
The term 'purple patch' is certainly a familiar concept to Gladbach's Fabian Johnson. The USMNT international is the Bundesliga's highest-scoring American so far this season with four goals, three of which have come in his last two outings. His other, incidentally, paved the way for the Foals' first win of the season on Schubert's debut back against FC Augsburg on Matchday 6.
Since breaking their duck with that victory over Augsburg, Gladbach have won eight and drawn two in the Bundesliga, rising from rock-bottom to third in the standings. Leverkusen have had far less to cheer in that self-same period, winning only four of their last ten and falling to eighth - six points behind Saturday's visitors - as a result.
... same agenda
Needless to say, a top-four finish is once again the primary objective for both clubs. Gladbach hold all the cards on that front and may well benefit from not playing European football in the new year after finishing bottom of UEFA Champions League Group D. Leverkusen, meanwhile, having gone through the play-offs and finished third in Group E, will continue their continental voyage in the UEFA Europa League.