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Bundesliga weekend preview: Title race to stay tight at the top

The weekend Bundesliga action starts on Friday evening when Augsburg host Bayer Leverkusen, while leaders Bayern Munich and second-placed Union Berlin play on Sunday and Saturday respectively.

Bayern, who are just a point clear of Union at the top with the halfway stage of the season now passed, go to seventh-placed Wolfsburg on Sunday, after Die Eisernen travel to Mainz, who are 11th, on Saturday.

It would be no surprise to see both pick up victories to ensure it stays very tight at the top.

With all 18 German top-flight teams in action across the weekend, it should be another exciting few days with big matches set to affect how things are looking at both ends of the table.

Friday evening action in Augsburg

WhatAugsburg v Bayer Leverkusen
WhereWWK Arena, Augsburg
When19:30, Friday 3rd February 2023
How to watchSky Sports Football
OddsAugsburg 10/3, Draw 14/5, Bayer Leverkusen 4/5

Augsburg are still in the relegation mire as they sit two places and two points clear of the bottom three in 14th.

They welcome ninth-placed Bayer Leverkusen to the WWK Arena looking to improve their recent form after a run of three defeats from their last four league games.

The visitors' impressive restart following the winter break was halted by a 2-0 home defeat to Borussia Dortmund, who brought Xabi Alonso's side's two-game winning streak to an end with that away victory.

The table and recent form suggests this should be an away win, available at 4/5 in the Full Time Result market.

Union eye top spot again

WhatUnion Berlin v Mainz
WhereStadion An der Alten Forsterei, Berlin
When14:30, Saturday 4th February 2023
OddsUnion Berlin 19/20, Draw 5/2, Mainz 3/1

Union have been the surprise package in the Bundesliga thus far in 2022-23 and they go top of the table, albeit maybe for just a day, if they can see off Mainz, who are 11th and nine points off the top six.

Urs Fischer's side have won all four of their games since the action resumed last month, three in the league and last time out a 2-1 success at home against Wolfsburg in the DFB-Pokal.

Keeping pace with leaders and the usually-dominant Bayern in the Bundesliga is a huge ask over the remainder of the season.

However, they should be able to at least rack up another win at home against a Mainz side who have only won one of their last eight in all competitions and who went down 4-0 at home to Bayern in the cup on Wednesday night.

Another Union victory, which would take them to 12 wins from 19 games played this season, is 19/20 in the Full Time Result market.

Two of the top six face off

WhatBorussia Dortmund v Freiburg
WhereSignal Iduna Park, Dortmund
When14:30, Saturday 4th February 2023
OddsBorussia Dortmund 13/20, Draw 3/1, Freiburg 17/4

Fourth plays fifth on Saturday afternoon when Dortmund, who are only ahead of visitors Freiburg in the table on goal difference, meet at Signal Iduna Park.

This is set to be a closely-fought clash with BVB seeking their fourth straight league win and Freiburg coming into the game on the back of a solid 3-1 home victory over Augsburg.

With just five points unusually separating the whole of the top six in Germany, both sides know a win could keep their hopes of muscling in on the title race alive.

A draw, tempting at 3/1 in the Full Time Result market, could be the way to go, while a narrow home win also appeals. Dortmund to come out on top 1-0 is 15/2 in the Correct Score odds, while a 2-1 home success is 15/2 in the same market.

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Cologne host third-placed Leipzig

There are three other games on Saturday at 14:30 with Cologne, who are 11/4 to win, at home to third-placed RB Leipzig, who are 1/1, while sixth-placed Eintracht Frankfurt entertain Hertha Berlin, who are in the bottom three.

A win for Frankfurt, which seems likely, is 9/20 in the Full Time Result market.

Bochum host Hoffenheim with both sides struggling at the wrong end of the table. The home side are in the final relegation spot at present, while the visitors are just three points and three places better off.

Both come into the game having lost their last two Bundesliga matches, but Bochum won their last home fixture, seeing off Hertha 3-1, so may just edge it.

What would be an important victory for Thomas Letsch's side is available at a tempting 19/10.

Gladbach expected to see off struggling Schalke

The 17:30 game on Saturday sees Borussia Monchengladbach, who ended a run of two defeats with a 4-1 win at Hoffenheim last weekend, entertain rock-bottom Schalke.

It's no surprise to see the home side 11/20 to win as Schalke have picked up just 10 points in the league so far and are six adrift of safety.

Faltering Bayern face Wolves test

WhatWolfsburg v Bayern Munich
WhereVolkswagen Arena, Wolfsburg
When16:30, Sunday 5th February 2023
How to watchSky Sports Football
OddsWolfsburg 17/4, Draw 7/2, Bayern Munich 4/7

Leaders Bayern are currently being pushed hard by Union and, after they had kicked into top gear nicely before the winter break, the Bavarian giants have been sluggish in the league since the resumption, drawing their three Bundesliga matches in January 1-1.

However, they cruised to a 4-0 win at Mainz in the DFB-Pokal on Wednesday night and, as expected, they are strong favourites at 4/7 to secure all three points on Sunday afternoon to put an end to that frustrating spate of league draws.

Finally, the other game on Sunday at 14:30 is Stuttgart at home to Werder Bremen, with the hosts currently only out of the relegation zone on goal difference.

A win for Bruno Labbadia's side would therefore be welcome, on offer at 11/10, against a Werder side, who are up in 10th place and are 12/5 for victory.

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