Borussia Mönchengladbach will meet Schalke twice in four days, aiming to continue their impressive run of form under Andre Schubert. Bayern Munich could rack up a historic Bundesliga win when Cologne are the visitors.
Last season, Borussia Mönchengladbach and Schalke were contenders for the final Champions League positions. The Foals finished comfortably in third, leaving Schalke well behind, but their meeting on Sunday evening to round off matchday 10 in the Bundesliga has the raw ingredients of a heavyweight battle.
Since Lucien Favre decided to step down after five straight losses, Gladbach's revival has been nothing short of extraordinary. Not only has Andre Schubert rediscovered a winning feeling, but the Foals are playing some of their best attacking football in a while.
In four league games under the former U23 coach, Gladbach have scored 14 goals. But Wednesday's draw at Juventus in the Champions League showed another side of Gladbach. The performance was cautious and well-managed against last season's beaten finalists, highlighting the painstaking work put into defensive play under the previous coach.
Although speculation surrounds the future of Schalke sporting director Horst Heldt, the club from Gelsenkirchen have been surprisingly durable under Andre Breitenreiter. An amalgm of homegrown talents from the revered Schalke youth academy and summer signings such as Franco Di Santo, the Royal Blues are third in the table, one point behind arch rivals Borussia Dortmund.
"We're trying to keep on thinking one game at a time," admitted Max Meyer after his last minute goal against Hertha on matchday nine. "Things have been going really well for us so far – no one really expected this. You can see how the fans are back on our side. It's good fun."
Sunday's tasty encounter will be the first of two fixtures in four days between the sides in the league and German Cup.
Bayern chase 1,000th win
Elsewhere, Bayern Munich are looking for their 1,000th Bundesliga win when they welcome Cologne to the Allianz Arena on Saturday.
Bayern lost their first match in 12 on Tuesday, a 2-0 defeat to Arsenal in London. Pep Guardiola's side were second-best to the Gunners, but remain in control of their Champions League group.
"Actually nothing dramatic has happened. We're still top of the table," CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said. "It is important that the players show the right reaction immediately and continue their winning streak."
Meanwhile, Borussia Dortmund host Augsburg on Sunday following Europa League exploits, while Werder Bremen and Hoffenheim look to get out of relegation trouble with matches against Mainz and Hamburg, respectively.
Bundesliga matchday 10 fixtures:
Hoffenheim vs. Hamburg (Friday)
Darmstadt vs. Wolfsburg (Saturday)
Hannover vs. Eintracht Frankfurt
Mainz vs. Werder Bremen
Bayern Munich vs. Cologne
Leverkusen vs. Stuttgart
Ingolstadt vs. Hertha BSC
Borussia Dortmund vs. Augsburg (Sunday)
Borussia Mönchengladbach vs. Schalke