After some wild midweek action in Matchday 12, we see a new league leader in Bayer Leverkusen who jumped ahead after Bayern Munich ground out a 1-1 draw against Union Berlin just last week. This marks the first time Leverkusen has been at the top of the table all season, and this weekend they’ll go head-to-head with Munich, giving themselves a chance to clear themselves of last year’s Bundesliga champions by an extra three points. Week 13 looks to be a doozy, so let’s look at some of the action going on ahead of the weekend.
Best of Week 13
Leverkusen v. Bayern Munich
Saturday, December 19, 12:30 p.m. ET
Watch on ESPN+
This one is a no-brainer for the best of Week 13 as the top two clubs in the league go at each other in a battle for first place. Leverkusen is on fire, outscoring their opponents 11-1 in their last three Bundesliga outings, most recently steamrolling Cologne with a 4-0 victory. There’s a lot on the line in this clash between two league giants as they’ve both been navigating their way through European competitions as well as a crowded league schedule. Leverkusen, now the only unbeaten team left in the entire league, will be without Sven Bender who’s out with a knee injury, but Kerem Demirbay should be back in the lineup after being sidelined for a few weeks. Robert Lewandowski broke the 250-goal mark in Bundesliga play after bagging a brace earlier in the week against Wolfsburg, carrying his side to a 2-1 victory and becoming only the third player in Bundesliga history to hit that mark. This match will have big implications going forward in the season as Leverkusen looks to preserve their unbeaten record while Munich will strive to get back into first place.
Worst of Week 13
Schalke 04 v. Arminia Bielefeld
Saturday, December 19, 9:30 a.m. ET
Watch on ESPN+
These two sides have been struggling all season long, and Schalke is still looking for their first win of the season as they sit at the very bottom of the table. They’ve only managed to score eight goals this campaign while allowing 35 for a league-worst -27 goal differential. Bielefeld, while faring slightly better than Schalke, is still in danger of relegation as they sit in 16th place with seven points, and only two wins to their name. They’ve also only scored eight goals, but allowed 23 for a better — but still not good — goal differential. Bielefeld have lost eight of their last nine outings, with the only win coming against the lowly Mainz a couple weeks ago with a 2-1 victory. Aside from that, they’ve struggled to find any semblance of a result as they slip further and further down the table. Schalke is fresh off a 2-0 loss to Freiburg earlier in the week, while they’ve earned four draws this season and lost the rest of their matches.
Week 13 Sleeper
Wolfsburg v. Stuttgart
Sunday, December 20, 12:00 p.m. ET
Volkswagen Arena, Wolfsburg
Watch on ESPN+
Fifth-place Wolfsburg will play host to seventh-place Stuttgart as both teams battle to climb the table while only three points separate the two. This is a huge six-point swing that could see Wolfsburg leapfrog Dortmund and into fourth with a win, or potentially fall as low as eighth place with a loss. Wolfsburg finally suffered their first defeat of the season as Lewandowski’s brace lifted Munich to a 2-1 victory, and ending Wout Weghorst’s five-game scoring streak. They’ll be looking to get back on their feet this weekend though, as Stuttgart will be no easy task having just taken down giants Borussia Dortmund with a 5-1 victory last week. This one has major implications for table positioning and could go either way as both teams have had themselves a good season so far.
This Weekend’s Full Schedule
All times listed are Eastern. All matches streaming on ESPN+ in the United States.
Saturday, December 19
9:30 a.m.: RB Leipzig v. FC Cologne
9:30 a.m.: Borussia Monchengladbach v. TSG Hoffenheim
9:30 a.m.: FC Schalke v. Arminia Bielefeld
9:30 a.m.: Mainz v. Werder Bremen
9:30 a.m.: Augsburg v. Eintracht Frankfurt
12:30 p.m.: Bayer Leverkusen v. Bayern Munich
Sunday, December 20
9:30 a.m.: SC Freiburg v. Hertha Berlin
12:00 p.m.: Wolfsburg v. Stuttgart