Bundesliga Preview: Augsburg seek Bayern repeat as Dortmund look to build
Augsburg beat their illustrious Bavarian neighbours 1-0 when the teams last faced each other, consequently ending Bayern's 53-game unbeaten run in the Bundesliga.
Markus Weinzierl's men have made a superb start to their fourth season in German's top tier and four successive wins have them in third – the highest position in their 107-year history.
Paul Verhaegh, Daniel Baier and Halil Altintop, whose brother Hamit enjoyed four years at Bayern, have been central to Augsburg's form, but they know they will be up against it in round 15.
The Bundesliga leaders have, after all, won 11 and drawn three of their 14 games this term, scoring 33 goals in the process. Moreover, goalkeeper Manuel Neuer – fresh from being nominated for the FIFA Ballon d'Or – has conceded just once in his previous 12 league appearances.
Wolfsburg, five points clear of Augsburg in second, will be out for their ninth win in 10 league outings when they play host to Paderborn, who have taken two points from a possible 12 to slip to 10th.
Sunday's other game pits together Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Monchengladbach, level on points just outside the top three.
The action gets underway on Friday, when Hoffenheim host Eintracht Frankfurt in a battle between eighth and seventh.
The partnership between Alexander Meier – the Bundesliga's 10-goal leading marksman – and Haris Seferovic has been key to Eintracht exceeding expectations, but the former has warned them against complacency.
"Haris and I understand each other well, and it's improving all the time," said Meier. "I'm normal; he's crazy!
"We've now won three in a row, but if we lose the next three then we're back in the thick of it at the bottom."
A number of struggling giants are in action on Saturday. Werder Bremen host Hannover, while rock-bottom Stuttgart and Hamburg are away to Mainz and Freiburg respectively.
The name of Borussia Dortmund is, indubitably, the biggest surprise in the bottom six. However, Jurgen Klopp's men did return to winning ways by beating Hoffenheim last Friday before a Ciro Immobile goal earned a 1-1 draw with Anderlecht that ensured they pipped Arsenal to finish top of their UEFA Champions League group.
"The goal was good for me and for the team," the Italy striker told Dortmund's official website ahead of the visit to Hertha Berlin.
"Now I want us to win the three remaining games in the Bundesliga so we can go into the Christmas break more relaxed."
Finally, fifth-placed Schalke entertain Cologne.