Berlin (dpa) - The winter break of the Bundesliga is over. Half-time champion RB Leipzig faces up-and-coming Union Berlin in the east duel. Chaser Borussia Dortmund has to run in Augsburg.
LEIPZIG: Now it applies to RB. Many experts from national coach Joachim Löw to ex-master coach Christoph Daum are confident that the Saxons will be able to reach for the first championship trophy in the young Bundesliga history. For the autumn champions and his trainer Julian Nagelsmannn, it is important to document the high standards right at the start of the second half of the season. In Union Berlin, an uncomfortable outsider comes to the top game on Saturday (6.30 p.m.) - however, the iron team have only celebrated one away win in their premier season. Leipzig is missing the sick Emil Forsberg.
DORTMUND: Does he play or doesn't he play? Erling Haaland is the league top transfer of the winter. Coach Lucien Favre may decide at short notice whether the Norwegian striker, who came from Salzburg for 20 million euros, will play for Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga in a guest appearance at FC Augsburg on Saturday (3.30 p.m.). The starting position is clear for the self-declared title contender: after various negligence in the first half of the season, black and yellow must not leave any points.
FRANKFURT: Seven games without a win. This miserable series should definitely come to an end for Frankfurt coach Adi Hütter at the guest performance on Saturday (3.30 p.m.) at TSG 1899 Hoffenheim. Otherwise there is a risk of another crash and tough relegation battle. In Florida, a lot of strength was used and tactics trained. Hope is keeper Kevin Trapp, who can be used again after a long shoulder injury. Opponents Hoffenheim have to do without the injured regular goalkeeper Oliver Baumann.
FREIBURG: Only one point from the last three games and still eighth with contact to the European Cup places. Freiburg is looking forward to a great first half of the season. Ironically opponents Mainz 05 awakened no good memories. In the past ten years together in the Bundesliga, the Breisgauers have not won in Mainz. Coach Christian Streich also suffered his first loss as Bundesliga coach at Rheinhessen eight years ago. On Saturday (3:30 p.m.), regular goalkeeper Alexander Schwolow returns to the goal.
BREMEN: After falling to 17th place, Werder needs a victory in order to replace the direct relegation competitor Fortuna Düsseldorf on relegation rank. The last victory in the NRW capital was a long time ago. In 1991 Werder won 2-1 with two goals from ex-Düsseldorf's Klaus Allofs. With winter loan Kevin Vogt and the recovered Ömer Toprak and Niklas Moisander, trainer Florian Kohfeldt practically has a completely new line of defense available on Saturday (3:30 p.m.). A fifth loss in a row would set the club negative record.
COLOGNE: FC wouldn't have needed a winter break. There were three victories in the final sprint in 2019. The upward trend, which led to 15th place, is to be continued on Saturday (3.30 p.m.) against VfL Wolfsburg. In Mark Uth and ex-Wolfsburg Elvis Rexhbecaj, both Cologne winter entrances could be in the starting XI. VfL manager Jörg Schmadtke is visiting his old employer, with whom he celebrated promotion to the Bundesliga in 2014, but had to leave in the 2017/2018 season. Cologne was the last to descend.