What to watch out for on Bundesliga Matchday 16 | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 19.12.2016
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What to watch out for on Bundesliga Matchday 16

The main attraction on the final matchday before the winter break is Bayern against Leipzig, but the final matchday of 2016 is overshadowed by the tragic events in Berlin on Monday night.

Showdown at the top

The Bundesliga has delivered a title race for Christmas and just before presents are opened around the world, Germany's top flight will open one of its own as Bayern Munich take on Leipzig in the long-awaited clash between the two. Leipzig have the best record of any promoted side ever, but if they are to beat Bayern they will likely have to do so without Naby Keita in midfield who is suffering from a thigh injury. Leipzig will be weaker without their midfield maestro, but their remarkably high tempo could be enough to see them through. The Bundesliga's youngest team takes on the oldest, Robert Lewandowski battles Timo Werner (the league's top German goalscorer) for goals and all of Europe wants to see who will wear the Bundesliga's Christmas crown.

Unlikely relegation battle

Andre Schubert's seat as head coach of Gladbach is wobbling so much that even a home win to finish 2016 might not be enough to keep him on it. While Gladbach tend to do better at home than away, their record against Wolfsburg is worse than against any other team in the Bundesliga (18 of 32 games lost) and there are few signs to suggest they're going to snap a run of form that has seen them win just one of their last five. Wolfsburg are in a slightly better place after upsetting Frankfurt on the weekend, and while they're not in a relegation spot (by just one point), the winter break cannot come soon enough for a club that never really got started this season. Neither side wants a draw. Whoever wins might just be able to save face for the festive season.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Borussia Dortmund (picture-alliance/AP Photo/M. Meissner)

How many goals will Aubameyang finish 2016 with?

Royal or Christmas blues

Two of Germany's bluest and biggest clubs play each other on Tuesday night, but their glory days are behind them - at least for now. This season, the pair have collected a combined total of 28 points - eight fewer than upstarts Leipzig. This season has been a story of struggle for both clubs, although Schalke have returned to better form than their northern opponents. Hamburg have yet to score from a set-piece this season and have just come off a weekend that saw them lose and move down into an automatic relegation spot. Schalke haven't won in three and if 20-point Leverkusen are judged to be enduring a torrid time, then Schalke will need a win here to avoid being tarnished with the same brush.

Ambitious Auba?

Not normally a headline game, Dortmund's hosting of Augsburg should be worth watching for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang alone. If not for his smiles, crazy hair or remarkable speed, then for his record against this matchday's visitors to Dortmund. Aubameyang has scored two hat tricks against Augsburg, and with 16 Bundesliga goals to his name already this season there's no reason to think he won't make it three trebles on Matchday 16. A win for Dortmund could leave them in the top three over Christmas and would likely go some way to calming down an agitated Thomas Tuchel. Augsburg's interim head coach, Manuel Baum, will be hoping to spoil BVB's final home game of 2016, with the club still delighted after beating Gladbach 1-0 last time out.

Bundesliga Matchday 16

Tuesday (20:00 CET)

Dortmund - Augsburg

Gladbach - Wolfsburg

HSV - Schalke

Frankfurt - Mainz

Wednesday (20:00 CET)

Bayern - Leipzig

Hertha - Darmstadt

Cologne - Leverkusen

Ingolstadt - Freiburg

Hoffenheim - Werder Bremen

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