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Bundesliga title race reaches fever pitch as three teams fight for top spot

Published at :February 24, 2023 at 8:11 PM
Modified at :February 24, 2023 at 8:49 PM
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Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and Union Berlin go head-to-head in thrilling title race.

A spellbinding Bundesliga title race goes into its 22nd matchday this weekend with three teams locked together at the top of the table on 43 points and two of them coming face to face on Sunday. Neither FC Bayern München nor 1. FC Union Berlin managed to win in their previous respective fixtures, adding a touch of extra importance to the teams’ upcoming meeting at the league summit.

As things stand, Sunday’s protagonists are separated only by goal difference, where leaders Bayern boast the far better numbers. Borussia Dortmund – in second – can claim the next best goals ratio with the Black-and-Yellows sandwiched in between the Bavarian giants and Union in the standings. Yet with nothing else to separate them, all three sides go into the weekend hoping to emerge as the sole leaders in what has developed into a title race for the ages.

Related: Bayern Munich vs Union Berlin: Predicted lineup, injury news, head-to-head, telecast

“We have to analyse the game and look forward; next we have a top-of-the-table clash at the Allianz Arena [against Union]," Bayern’s Yann Sommer said after the record champions went down by 3-2 to the Swiss goalkeeper’s former side Borussia Mönchengladbach on Matchday 21. It was a dramatic result on an edge-of-your-seat type of weekend that saw Union held by FC Schalke 04, a result that prevented Urs Fischer’s side from taking the outright lead at the top. “Logically, we would have liked to have won this game,” Union’s coach said after the scoreless draw against the Royal Blues. Nonetheless, the point gained kept the team from the Berlin neighbourhood of Köpenick well in the hunt for title glory.

Bayern’s impressive stadium is now set to rock on what looks certain to be a crucial Sunday, with Julian Nagelsmann intent on sending his attacking side out to cause problems for a stubborn Union team who will battle all the way.

Dortmund, meanwhile, can steal a march on both when they travel to face TSG Hoffenheim on Saturday. Edin Terzic’s BVB enjoyed a superb 4-1 victory against Hertha Berlin last time out with goals from Karim Adeyemi, Donyell Malen, Marco Reus and Julian Brandt lighting up Signal Iduna Park and propelling Die Schwarzgelben into the heart of this season’s title race. The five-time Bundesliga champions face a Hoffenheim side who haven’t won in eleven top-flight matches and who have lost their last four in a row. The Sinsheimers will be hoping recently appointed coach Pellegrino Matarazzo can reverse that trend by engineering an upset at the PreZero Arena this week.

RB Leipzig (in fifth position) and Eintracht Frankfurt (in sixth) are also still very much part of the challenge for the championship and they go head to head at the Red Bull Arena with plenty at stake. Defending DFB Cup champions Leipzig and 2022 UEFA Europa League winners Eintracht warmed up for their encounter with impressive Matchday 21 victories and both will be keen to take the three points on offer and stay in the hunt with the leaders. As will fourth-placed SC Freiburg, who are right back in the mix after recent back-to-back victories reignited title hopes in the Black Forest region. Christian Streich’s high-fliers host mid-table Bayer 04 Leverkusen.

A fascinating relegation battle is beginning to heat up too, with a couple of six-pointers scheduled this weekend. Hertha Berlin host FC Augsburg while basement side Schalke 04 welcome VfB Stuttgart. With 1. FSV Mainz 05 and Borussia Mönchengladbach kicking off the weekend action this Friday and 1. FC Köln against SV Werder Bremen also in the mix, we’re all set for one more magical matchday in the Bundesliga.