The stars are coming out to play on Bundesliga Matchday 9. - © © imago
The stars are coming out to play on Bundesliga Matchday 9. - © © imago

Five things to look out for on Matchday 9

The latest instalment of the hotly anticipated Revierderby between Borussia Dortmund and FC Schalke 04 is not the only trigger guaranteed to set pulses racing on Bundesliga Matchday 9.

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Revierderbyfever grips the Ruhr

Germany's Ruhr district will come to a standstill on Saturday evening when Dortmund and Schalke do battle in the 89th Revierderby of the Bundesliga era. Seven points separate the two Ruhrpott juggernauts in the pre-Matchday 9 standings, but form counts for absolutely nothing in what the natives aptly call 'the Mother of all derbies'. The biggest fixture on the German football calendar, it is the be-all and end-all for all concerned, in a part of the world where local bragging rights can make the difference between a good season and a great one. If you think you have experienced the SIGNAL IDUNA PARK in full voice before, just wait until the whistle sounds at approximately 18:30CEST on 29 October. It promises to be a date to remember.

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Watch: Dortmund's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on the Revierderby:

Turbo-charged Bayern

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Defending Bundesliga champions FC Bayern München stole the show in a tradition-laden match-up of their own against old rivals Borussia Mönchengladbach last weekend. There were only two goals in it at the Allianz Arena, but the performance itself was conceivably the most polished of the Carlo Ancelotti era, thanks in no small part to the input of Douglas Costa and Arjen Robben. Bayern are a different animal when the jet-heeled wide men are fit and, after both were rested for the midweek DFB Cup second round win over Saturday's opponents FC Augsburg, will be raring to go once again on Matchday 9. Start your engines.

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Watch: Douglas Costa has been a revelation since joining Bayern in summer 2015:

Unbowed Leipzig the real deal

Breathing down Bayern's neck at the Bundesliga summit, RB Leipzig's unheralded title tilt shows no signs of waning. The top-flight debutants extended their unbeaten start to eight matches with a 3-1 win at home to SV Werder Bremen last time out, and currently trail the league leaders by just two points. Upcoming opponents SV Darmstadt 98 are not moving in quite so illustrious circles, sitting only two points above the bottom three, but will provide another thorough examination of Leipzig's table-topping credentials at their inimitable Jonathan-Heimes-Stadion-am-Böllenfalltor.

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Watch: Leipzig's top five Official Fantasy Bundesliga stars so far:

Fabian fuelling Frankfurt's fire

With Marco Fabian pulling the strings, Eintracht Frankfurt are no longer looking over their shoulders in the same way they were for the majority of last season. The Mexican hotshot is enjoying a new lease of life at the club after a trying introduction to Bundesliga football earlier in the calendar year, and already has three goals and four assists to show for his six top-flight outings so far in 2016/17. Playing with a tremendous sense of freedom and lining up against a Borussia Mönchengladbach side without a Bundesliga win in three, a third successive Player of the Week award is firmly within the Frankfurt No.10's reach.

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Watch: Highlights of Frankfurt's Marco-Fabian inspired win over Hamburg:

Ibisevic back to where it all began

Almost as unexpected as Leipzig's unbeaten Bundesliga start and Frankfurt's dramatic upturn in fortunes, unbeaten TSG 1899 Hoffenheim and third-in-the-table Hertha Berlin are having a big say in a season chock-full of surprises. The two clubs meet in the weekend's penultimate fixture with much in common, not least an admiration for veteran striker Vedad Ibisevic. The 32-year-old burst onto the Bundesliga scene with Hoffenheim over eight years ago, and returns to Sinsheim in the kind of form not seen since those heady days of famously firing his former employers to a nominal Herbstmeisterschaft triumph back in 2008/09.

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Watch: Vedad Ibisevic reacts to Hertha's Matchday 8 win over Köln:


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