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Bundesliga Matchday 15: Top five talking points

From striking options for Germany to a crisis in Gladbach, the narratives continued on Matchday 15 of the Bundesliga. Christmas might be around the corner, but presents aren't easy to be found.

1. Timo Werner

One week it's Sandro Wagner, another it's Timo Werner. Germany have plenty of striking options to choose for Russia 2018, but it remains unclear who will replace Mario Gomez in Joachim Löw's squad. On the basis of this weekend, and perhaps most of this season, Leipzig's Timo Werner has thrown his name in the hat. Another neat finish from close range effectively decided Leipzig's game against Hertha and took the 20-year-old's tally for the season to nine in 15 games. Given the wealth of experience at his young age - he has 110 Bundesliga appearances - it's key not to overload Werner too soon. But if he carries on like this (and less like he did against Schalke) then Sandro Wagner will have some competition.

2. Hat trick hero

Danny Latza went two better than just scoring his first goal in the Bundesliga. After 33 games without a goal, he scored three stunners from range. Not only did it give Mainz a much-needed win in the league after three defeats on the bounce, but it's also a feel-good story for a midfielder who spent most of this season out injured with an abductor injury.

Deutschland FC Augsburg v Borussia Mönchengladbach (Getty Images/Bongarts/A. Pretty)

The masked man haunts his former team

3. Gladbach

Gladbach have won once in their last 17 away games and there was further evidence of why in Augsburg on Saturday. The attacking fluency that many used to endlessly tweet about is missing and this weekend it can't all be blamed on the absence of normal hero Lars Stindl (who was sick). The real salt in the wound was Martin Hinteregger being the goalscorer, a former player who has now scored three past Yann Sommer - two own goals for Gladbach, one for Augsburg. Gladbach are a mess. Since the start of October, they've won three games - one in the Bundesliga, one in Europe and one in the German Cup. Max Eberl's future remains unclear, Andre Schubert seems to be on the verge of departure and the club are just six points off a relegation spot. Wolfsburg at home before Christmas and Darmstadt to start 2017 are two relegation battles, whoever is in charge.

4. Disaster for defending

The Bundesliga might well be one of the most entertaining leagues in the world, but on the weekend the defending left the entertainment somewhat bittersweet. In Leipzig's win, Hertha left Willi Orban remarkably unmarked for his header, while Freiburg's defense did much the same for Schalke's equalizer. Hamburg effectively asissted Danny Latza for two of his three goals and Thomas Kessler didn't do much for the reputation of talented German goalkeepers. Last weekend, it was referees who had a particularly bad set of performances (Felix Brych didn't help this weekend either though) and while mistakes are part of life let alone sport, the defensive ones made on Matchday 15 were notably poor.

5. King Julian?

Hoffenheim are looking at the serious possibility of being undefeated as 2017 starts after drawing with Borussia Dortmund on Friday night in a game they'll feel they should have won. Such is the nature of Hoffenheim's startling performances under head coach Julian Nagelsmann that a draw against BVB, especially given their numerical advantage, felt more like two points dropped rather than one gained. Hoffenheim finish at home against Bremen and restart against Augsburg. Only Real Madrid are still unbeaten in Europe's top five leagues. It's time to get serious about how brilliant this season could be for them and Nagelsmann. 

 

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