- Lewandowski and Aubameyang's shootout continues
- Jonker and Ljungberg hope for winning start at Wolfsburg
- Stindl the star as Gladbach get familiar with Schalke
Robert Lewandowski, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Lars Stindl continue to bang the goals in, while Andries Jonker and Freddie Ljungberg get ready for their Bundesliga bow with Wolfsburg.
bundesliga.com gets up to speed with everything you should be looking out for on Matchday 23...
1) Top scorers' race hotting up
It seems a case of anything you can do I can do better when it comes to Robert Lewandowski and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Before he moved to Bayern Munich, Lewandowski hit the net 74 times in 131 Bundesliga matches for Borussia Dortmund. Aubameyang, with 73 goals in 116 games so far, could surpass that record against Bayer Leverkusen this weekend.
Watch: Lewandowski and Aubameyang's goal hunt
This season the two hitmen are neck-and-neck at the top of the scoring charts with 19 goals apiece. But Lewandowski has now racked up 30 goals in all competitions after following up his hat-trick in the 8-0 win over Hamburg on Matchday 22 with a brace in Bayern’s 3-0 DFB Cup win over Schalke in midweek.
2) FIFA upgrades give Bayern, Dortmund and Leipzig a boost
Speaking of Aubameyang, his Hinrunde form did not go unrecognised by EA SPORTS, who have boosted the Gabon captain’s statistics with the latest FUT 17 Ratings Refresh. USMNT star Christian Pulisic has also had a significant boost, though the Dortmund boys aren’t the only ones to gain. Joshua Kimmich has gone from stop-gap defender to goalscoring midfielder this term - check out the Bayern squad’s injection of skills here. RB Leipzig, the record champions’ nearest challengers, have unsurprisingly seen their ratings given an overhaul. Emil Forsberg has been the Bundesliga’s deadliest winger this season and he gets a boost along with fellow attackers Timo Werner and Naby Keita.
3) Jonker and Ljungberg aim to turn Wolfsburg’s season around
Defeat at Werder Bremen on Matchday 22 meant the end of Valerien Ismael’s brief spell in charge of Wolfsburg. The 2009 German champions moved swiftly on Monday by appointing Dutchman Andries Jonker in his stead. Jonker arrives from Arsenal, where he was academy manager, and returns to the club where he worked as assistant manager from 2012 to 2014. Gunners legend Freddie Ljungberg has also left his role as a youth coach at Arsenal to join Jonker’s coaching staff. But can they turn things around at Wolfsburg? The Wolves have lost four of their last five matches and sit just two points above the relegation zone going into Matchday 23. A win at Mainz would be a perfect start for the new coaching ticket.
WATCH: Highlights of Wolfsburg's Matchday 22 defeat at home to Werder Bremen
4) Super Stindl continues to drive Gladbach
Borussia Mönchengladbach captain Lars Stindl seems in the form of his life right now. He got the opening goal in Wednesday night’s cup quarter-final win at Hamburg, shortly after getting his fourth Bundesliga goal of 2017 to help the Foals win 2-0 at Ingolstadt on Matchday 22. A couple of days before that, of course, the 28-year-old inspired an unlikely Europa League comeback with a hat-trick in their win over Fiorentina.
On Saturday Gladbach will be out to continue their revival when they play the first of three matches against Schalke in 13 days. The Foals host the Royal Blues before Gladbach visit Schalke next Thursday for the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final tie.
5) Russ nears Bundesliga comeback for Eagles
There was not just a DFB Cup quarter-final win for Eintracht Frankfurt to celebrate against second-tier Arminia Bielefeld on Tuesday. There was also a welcome return to action for Marco Russ - less than a year after he was diagnosed with testicular cancer. Russ was given the all clear in October and football fans everywhere will have been delighted to see the defender come on as a late substitute against Bielefeld.
The 31-year-old will now be hoping to line out for the Eagles in a Bundesliga match sooner rather than later. And it seems they could do with all the help they can get, since Niko Kovac’s men will be out to end a three-game losing streak in the league when they host Freiburg on Sunday.