As the 2017/18 Hinrunde draws to a close, bundesliga.com casts an eye over the race for the Torjägerkanone, which is hotting up very nicely...
Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich, 15 goals)
The seasons come and go, but Lewandowski continues to demonstrate why he is the best striker in world football. The two-time winner of the Torjägerkanone clearly didn't appreciate losing his crown to Aubameyang last time around, and appears determined to wrest it back from the BVB star. Lewandowski has scored in all but four of his 16 league appearances this season, netting three braces, and looks on course to match or even surpass his 30-goal return from the past two seasons. As if that wasn't enough, the Poland captain also outscored Cristiano Ronaldo in European qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, with a record-breaking 16 goals securing his country a place in Russia.
Watch: Robert Lewandowski - The world's most complete striker
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund, 12 goals)
It is a testament to Aubameyang's talent that even during a difficult Hinrunde for Dortmund - including an eight-game winless streak - he has managed to notch up 12 goals in 14 league appearances. Last season's Torjägerkanone winner recently became the all-time highest-scoring African player in Bundesliga history, with 97 goals in total, and remains very much in the hunt for a second straight top scorer's crown. As well as his hat-trick in the 6-1 demolition of Borussia Mönchengladbach, the Gabon captain hit braces against Cologne and RB Leipzig, and has also provided three assists.
Watch: Each of Aubameyang's 31 Bundesliga goals in 2016/17
Alfred Finnbogason (Augsburg, 11 goals)
Enjoying his best-ever scoring sequence for Augsburg since signing for the Bavarian club in 2016, Iceland international Finnbogason may find himself in the running for best performance in a dramatic finale along with the top goalscorer's award following his exploits against Freiburg on Matchday 17. Not only did the 28-year-old register Augsburg's third-ever goal in the opening minute of a game, he also weighed in with an injury-time double to claw his team back from 3-1 down, making him the first player to score two hat-tricks in the Bundesliga this season. Finnbogason's first treble this term came against Cologne on Matchday 3.
Kevin Volland (Bayer Leverkusen, 9 goals)
Volland has played a starring role in Leverkusen's recent renaissance under Heiko Herrlich, scoring nine goals in 16 games to lift Die Werkself up to fourth in the table, just two points off second place. Currently the Bundesliga's top-scoring German, Volland is only two goals shy of his best return in the top flight (11 for Hoffenheim in 2013/14), and all of his strikes this term have come from open play. The 25-year-old scored braces in comfortable home wins over Freiburg and Hamburg, and then enjoyed a run of five goals in six games during Leverkusen's 11-game unbeaten run, which is still ongoing. If he can keep it up, Volland may even find himself on the plane to Russia next summer.
Mark Uth (Hoffenheim, 9 goals)
The 26-year-old goal getter has already bested his previous top scoring tally for Hoffenheim, which came when he finished the 2015/16 campaign with eight goals for the Sinsheimers. Uth hasn't been shy when it comes to finding the target against the big guns, either, with the Cologne native hitting the net against last season's top three finishers Dortmund, Leipzig and Bayern Munich. Indeed, an eye-catching double against the Bavarians on Matchday 3 helped Julian Nagelsmann's side to a notable 2-0 victory. Uth finished the Hinrunde with four goals in his last six Bundesliga outings.
Watch: Mark Uth scores yet another late winner for Hoffenheim
Timo Werner (RB Leipzig, 8 goals)
Following a magnificent debut season in which he scored 21 goals for Leipzig, finishing as the Bundesliga's highest-scoring German, Werner has very much picked up where he left off in 2017/18. He has netted 12 goals in all competitions - including eight in the Bundesliga - and in the space of less than a year he has gone from Germany debutant to FIFA Confederations Cup winner, and likely starting centre-forward at next summer's World Cup. Leipzig have yet to lose a league game this term in which Werner has netted. As well as starring with a brace in the 4-1 win over Freiburg and grabbing a late winner against Hannover, he has also provided two assists.