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Bundesliga

What to watch out for on matchday 12 of the Bundesliga

Bayern Munich have a tough task emerging from their slump and Wolfsburg need to stop looking downwards. Here's what to look out for on Bundesliga matchday 12.

How will Gladbach cope with their Champions League exit?

One team Leipzig have usurped as top four contenders are Borussia Mönchengladbach, who have drastically underachieved in recent weeks. The 1-1 draw with Manchester City in midweek isn't a disastrous result in isolation but Gladbach have failed to win a game in November and their only two wins in their last 11 games were over Stuttgart in the German Cup and Celtic in the Champions League. That run has seen them sink to 13th in the league and put Andre Schubert under huge pressure. The visit of unbeaten Hoffenheim on Saturday could make or break the 45-year-old boss.

Deutschland Fussball enttäuschte Gladbacher nach dem Spiel gegen Köln (imago/U. Kraft)

Borussia Mönchengladbach want to recover from their Champions League exit

Can Bayern bounce back and emerge from their slump?

Bayern's unbeaten record fell in a damaging week that has seen them cede their lead domestically and fail to top their Champions League group. As always with the Bavarians, consecutive losses prompts talk of a crisis and – while neither defeat appears critical to their chances this season – anything less than three points in Saturday's late game against Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday will be damaging. With a trip back from Russia to contend with, Carlo Ancelotti might struggle to find the time to find a solution to Bayern's lack of fluency but he'll need to pick up the squad's morale against visitors who need three points themselves to get back in top four contention.

Can Wolfsburg keep the wolf from the door?

European football is far from the thoughts of those in Wolfsburg at the minute. Last season they were beating Real Madrid at home in the knockout stages of the Champions League but now they find themselves staring in to the Bundesliga abyss. Valerien Ismael has won just one of his four league games in charge and the Wolves have only two Bundesliga wins this term. That's one more than Saturday's visitors Ingolstadt. But Ingolstadt got off the mark last Saturday in Maik Walpurgis' first game in charge, suggesting the change in the hot seat might have worked in Bavaria. If Ismael can inspire his charges to a win, Wolfsburg can start to look upwards, lose and they are just a point of the second relegation spot. With their next three opponents sat in the top seven, this is the definition of a six-pointer for the Wolves.

Freiburg Fußball Bundesliga SC Freiburg vs VfL Wolfsburg von rechts Trainer Valerien Ismael

Valerien Ismael needs a win to ease relegation fears

Will Bremen or Hamburg be boosted by Nordderby?

In years gone by, the meeting of two of the Bundesliga's most northerly clubs would have been one that impacted the top of the table, but Werder Bremen and Hamburg have both now established themselves as perennial strugglers. Both have changed their managers this term but neither of those switches has had the desired effect. Alexander Nouri started brightly at Bremen, winning two of his first four matches but has now lost his last four. For Hamburg, it's even worse. They've won just three points all season and are yet to get their first league win. Should Bremen take all three points, they'll open up a seven point gap to their rivals but for hosts Hamburg, victory would put them back in the survival picture and potentially energize a side that has looked like dead men walking for the bulk of the campaign. With a draw not much use to either side, it should be an open – if tense – encounter.

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