Midweek fixtures played under the floodlights always hold a special kind of appeal, and in Germany there is even a specific term to describe them: an 'englische Woche'.
bundesliga.com outlines what to look out for in the Matchday 24 encounters on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Big week for Bayern
After beating VfL Wolfsburg on Saturday, FC Bayern München captain Philipp Lahm said that this "will be a decisive week in the title race. If we manage to win both of our next games then we can definitely talk about the title." First up, the Bundesliga leaders face 1. FSV Mainz 05 at home and with Der Klassiker against Borussia Dortmund on Saturday, Pep Guardiola may well rotate his line-up on Wednesday evening. Bayern will be confident of taking the spoils, though: the Bavarians have beaten Mainz 14 of the 19 times they have played in the top flight and are unbeaten in the sides' last eight meetings.
Golden chance for travel-sick Wolfsburg
Unstoppable force versus immovable object it is not, but something will have to give when Wolfsburg travel to Hannover 96 on Tuesday. Remarkable as it is for a team in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16, the Wolves have the in the Bundesliga this season after winning one, drawing four and losing six of their matches on the road, scoring just seven goals and conceding 20. They will not get a better opportunity to improve those figures than at the HDI Arena, as the hosts have the worst home record in the top flight. Thomas Schaaf’s side have lost nine times in front of their own fans and sit bottom of the standings – although they did win for the first time since Matchday 14 last weekend.
Fourth spot wide open
Borussia Mönchengladbach and Bayer 04 Leverkusen competed in the UEFA Champions League group stage this season, but their efforts to return to the tournament next term have stalled in recent weeks. Both clubs dropped points against mid-table opposition last weekend, while FC Schalke 04 – also regulars at Europe's top table in recent years – have stumbled and Wolfsburg's woes continued with defeat to Bayern. As such there are now five teams grouped within four points, each vying for the coveted fourth spot in the table in a race that currently lacks a clear favourite.
Pre-Klassiker test in Darmstadt for Dortmund
Eight points currently separate Borussia Dortmund from league leaders Bayern, although there is potential for much to change over the next few days. Theoretically, Dortmund could head into Der Klassiker against Bayern at the weekend with just a five-point deficit, meaning a win at the weekend would leave just two points between them. SV Darmstadt 98 will be out to ensure the opposite can happen, however, by beating Dortmund this Wednesday night and seeing that gap rise to a practically unassailable 14 points. The biggest week of Dortmund's season starts in Darmstadt, where they will lay the foundations for an assault in Der Klassiker.
VfB Stuttgart have been one of the teams of 2016, but they head to Mönchengladbach on Wednesday at something of a crossroad. A 2-1 defeat at home to Hannover 96 at the weekend stalled recent progress and underlined some old frailties. Coach Jürgen Kramny is unconcerned by what he regards as a mere stumble, however. "I basically think we've been heading in the right direction and we're going to continue on that same path. We're not going to let one defeat knock us of the rails," he said. "There are three points at stake on Wednesday and that is what we're focusing on getting." A win would take Stuttgart closer to the top six than to the bottom three - dreamland for the Swabians who have battled the drop in the last two seasons.