Five questions ahead of Bundesliga matchday 23

We’re entering the final third of the season and there is no let up in the excitement at either end of the table with the title race providing so many talking points and the battle for relegation hotting up. Here we bring you five questions ahead of what promises to be another great Bundesliga weekend…

1- Can Leverkusen go 11 points clear?

Yes, Werkself fans you are reading this correctly, a win on Friday against Mainz would put Bayer Leverkusen a whopping eleven points ahead of second place Bayern Munich (albeit until the Bavarians play Leipzig on Saturday). 

Last weekend’s trip to Heidenheim was overcome with a professional performance leading to a deserved 2-1 lead and Bayern’s shock loss to Bochum then made a good weekend even better for Xabi Alonso’s side. No side has ever let slip such a commanding lead at this stage of the season, so the ‘Neverkusen’ tag could very well be thrown off for good this season. 

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2- Will the crisis continue at Bayern?

Losing to Leverkusen at the Bay Arena in the top of the table clash two weeks ago was a blow, but not an insurmountable one. The disappointing display however saw them tactically outwitted and things then took another turn when they lost the first leg of their Champions League round of 16 tie with Lazio. They had a grand total of one shot on goal across both games and once more the knives were out for coach Thomas Tuchel.

Last Sunday’s trip to Bochum was therefore a must-win, but in fact turned into a third successive defeat as the Ruhr side came from behind to stun the champions. That was the final nail in the coffin for Tuchel with the club revealing this week that he will not be continuing as Bayern trainer next season. 

They face RB Leipzig at home this weekend, which is not the ideal game for a team clearly on the ropes. Having lost at the Allianz Arena to the Roten Bullen for the first time last season, Bayern also lost earlier this season in the Super Cup to Marco Rose’s side. Could Leipzig make it a hat trick of wins and pile more woe on the Rekordmeister?

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3- Who will win the battle for fourth place?

With VfB Stuttgart showing no sign of faltering in tiger impressive form this season and looking good for third place, the battle for the remaining Champions League spot is hotting up behind the Swabians. Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig have been mainstays in the top four over recent years, but the prospect of one of them missing out on Europe’s top table next season looks a distinct possibility.

Eintracht Frankfurt look some way off a challenge for the top four, so it really seems to be a two-horse race between BVB and Leipzig. Should Stuttgart wobble, it is still conceivable for them to finish fourth and keep one of the heavyweights out of the elite places.  

4- Will Werder’s charge towards Europe continue?

Werder’s 13th place finish going into the winter break saw them six points above the relegation zone and with a semi satisfied feeling as the Christmas period began. They were keeping their heads above water and could be a tad optimistic going into the New Year.

That optimism however has blossomed into ambition that so much more could be possible. Four wins (including the fantastic result at the Allianz Arena), a draw and just one defeat has seen Ole Werner’s side climb to 7th, where they are looking to challenge Eintracht Frankfurt for the final European place. With the Adler showing inconsistency and both Freiburg and Hoffenheim below them also not on top form, the opportunity is there for the Grün-Weißen to spring a surprise.

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5- Can Bochum make the top half?

Everyone knew that Bochum would at least give Bayern a tough game last weekend, but few people would have predicted a home win against the wounded champions. Going 1-0 down to Jamal Musiala’s first half goal seemed to spell the end of their resistance, but they produced a fabulous response to lead 3-1. The win in the end was fully deserved and saw the Ruhr side jump from 14 t0 11th in the table.

They face a trip to Mönchengladbach this weekend knowing a win could see them move into the top half of the table. The Foals are themselves in freefall, but if Thomas Letsch’s side can summon up the same kind of performance levels they found against Bayern, then anything is possible.

About Mathew Burt 1058 Articles
Former writer at and JustFootball, I've been doing my thing for Bundesliga Fanatic since 2015. A long-suffering Werder Bremen fan and disciple of the Germanic holy trinity...Bier. Wurst und Fußball

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