Hansi Flick is backing Robert Lewandowski to finally get off the mark against Fortuna Dusseldorf after years of trying.

Bayern Munich striker Lewandowski ranks among the hottest strikers in Europe, having scored over 40 goals for a fifth successive season.

But he has never netted in the Bundesliga against Fortuna, going five games without scoring against the minnows, facing them three times with Bayern and twice with previous club Borussia Dortmund.

Bayern face Fortuna on Saturday evening and Flick would love to see the 31-year-old Pole break that duck.

"Robert knows exactly the statistic that he has not yet scored against Dusseldorf," said Flick.

"He always wants to score a goal. First of all, it is important to us that we stand up well and create chances. Then if we win and he scores, it would be all the better."

Bayern would go 10 points clear with a win over Fortuna, having beaten second-placed Borussia Dortmund in a huge clash on Tuesday.

Dortmund are not in action until Sunday, while third-placed RB Leipzig play on Monday.

The Bundesliga crown looks to be destined for Munich for an eighth straight season, and it would be Flick's first as a coach.

His dramatic impact, transforming the team's fortunes since replacing Niko Kovac in November, has seen comparisons with former Bayern boss Jupp Heynckes.

But Flick does not see himself in the same category as 75-year-old Heynckes, who also had spells with Real Madrid, Athletic Bilbao, Bayer Leverkusen and Schalke, among a host of clubs.

"It's always good to stay true to yourself," Flick said in a news conference on Friday.

"You meet a lot of people who inspire you and Jupp Heynckes did that.

"He was my coach here and since that we've always had contact. It's nice that we always kept in touch. His manner is exemplary. I don't want to compare myself with Jupp Heynckes, he is on a completely different level.

"He was a very successful coach, he worked successfully for years and mastered ups and downs. I am only in this position at the beginning. Even if you like to read the comparisons."

Robert Lewandowski is out to end his disappointing goals return against Fortuna Dusseldorf as Bayern Munich look to close in on an eighth successive Bundesliga title.

The prolific Poland striker has scored 229 goals in the German top flight over the past decade, but he has never previously netted against Dusseldorf in five attempts.

Bayern head into this weekend's fixture sitting seven points clear of Borussia Dortmund, who need to quickly respond from their Klassiker defeat when they head to Paderborn.

Elsewhere, third-place RB Leipzig host Cologne on Monday in what will be the first Bundesliga match played in the month of June for 25 years.


FREIBURG V BAYER LEVERKUSEN

- Leverkusen have lost just one of their last nine league encounters with Freiburg and are unbeaten in each of the last five.

- However, Freiburg have not lost any of their last six home Bundesliga meetings with Leverkusen on home soil, with four of the last six finishing goalless.

- Freiburg have won only one of their last seven league games and could go four successive games without a win for the first time this season.


MAINZ V HOFFENHEIM

- Mainz have lost just one of their last seven Bundesliga home games against Hoffenheim, with three of those games ending all square.

- Four or more goals have been scored in eight of the last nine Bundesliga matches between these sides.

- Mainz have conceded a league-high 61 goals this season at a rate of 2.2 per game. They had never previously let in more than 57 across an entire Bundesliga campaign.


SCHALKE V WERDER BREMEN

- Bremen have won more Bundesliga games against Schalke than they have versus any other opponent, claiming victory in 43 of the previous 101 encounters.

- Schalke are winless in 10 Bundesliga games - not since the end of 1996-97, when going 11 games without victory, have they been on a longer-such run.

- Maximilian Eggestein has had a hand in five goals in six league games against Schalke. He has not been directly involved in more than two against any other Bundesliga side.


HERTHA BERLIN V AUGSBURG

- Hertha had gone nine games without defeat against Augsburg prior to their 4-0 loss in the reverse fixture earlier this season.

- However, the capital club are unbeaten in their seven Bundesliga home games with Augsburg - their longest unbeaten run at home in the top flight against one side.

- Hertha's Marvin Plattenhardt has assisted four goals in his last four league outings, which is more than he accumulated in his previous 31 matches combined (three).


WOLFSBURG V EINTRACHT FRANKFURT

- Wolfsburg have won five of their last seven Bundesliga games against Frankfurt, with the only defeat in that run coming in January 2018.

- Frankfurt average 0.83 points-per-game against Wolfsburg in the German top flight - only against Blau-Weiss 90 Berlin (0.5 after two games) do they have a lower return.

- Maximilian Arnold had a hand in three goals for Wolfsburg against Leverkusen in midweek. His 11 goal involvements this term is a personal best for him in a Bundesliga season.

 

A touch of class #Kimmich #BVBFCB #MiaSanMia pic.twitter.com/Xdgk5CHLSF

— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) May 29, 2020 BAYERN MUNICH V FORTUNA DUSSELDORF

- Dusseldorf are winless in each of their last 11 Bundesliga meetings with Bayern - only against Hamburg (12 matches) have they endured a longer winless run in the division.

- Bayern have scored at least three goals in each of their last six league games against Dusseldorf, netting 24 in total at an average of four per game.

- Lewandowski has scored against 17 of the 18 current Bundesliga sides, the exception being Dusseldorf, having failed to score in his previous 381 minutes against them.


BORUSSIA MONCHENGLADBACH V UNION BERLIN

- Gladbach have yet to beat Union, losing both previous competitive encounters, including a 2-0 loss in the reverse fixture earlier this season.

- Marco Rose's side have tasted defeat in two of their last three league home games - twice as many losses as their previous 11 top-flight matches combined.

- Gladbach have lost only one of their last 19 top-flight home games against promoted sides - 2-1 versus Leipzig in 2016-17 - which is also their only home loss against a Bundesliga debutant this millennium.

 

PADERBORN V BORUSSIA DORTMUND

- Paderborn have failed to win any of their five previous competitive games against Dortmund, a run that includes a 7-1 away loss in the DFB-Pokal four seasons ago.

- However, Dortmund only have a lower win percentage against Bayern (25 per cent) in the entire Bundesliga than they do versus Paderborn (33 per cent).

- Dortmund fired a blank against Bayern are aiming to avoid going back-to-back matches without scoring a Bundesliga goal since March 2015.

 

COLOGNE V RB LEIPZIG

- Out of all the teams Cologne have faced at least twice in the Bundesliga, their loss percentage against Leipzig (60 per cent) is higher than against any other side.

- Cologne are without a win in their last four Bundesliga games - their longest wait for a victory under Markus Gisdol, with all four matches played behind closed doors.

- Leipzig are unbeaten in nine league matches either side of the two-month shutdown, though six of those games have ended in draws.

Erling Haaland will miss Borussia Dortmund's Bundesliga trip to Paderborn on Sunday and Mahmoud Dahoud will be sidelined for the rest of the season.

Haaland and Dahoud were injured in the 1-0 defeat to Bayern Munich on Tuesday.

Young Norway striker Haaland limped off with a knee issue after 72 minutes, while midfielder Dahoud was replaced with five minutes of normal time left after complaining of a knock.

Speaking on Friday, head coach Lucien Favre said: "Unfortunately, Mo Dahoud will miss the rest of the season. Erling Haaland will also be unavailable against Paderborn.

"We found out the day after the Bayern game [about Dahoud]. He felt something and has a little problem. It's not bad, but he can't continue."

Dortmund's defeat to Bayern at Signal Iduna Park means they are seven points behind the leaders with just six games remaining.

They will hope to return to winning ways against Paderborn, who are bottom of the table on 19 points after winning just four league games all season.

Could Spain international Fabian Ruiz be set for a return to his homeland?

Former Real Betis star Fabian, who now plays for Napoli in Serie A, is a reported target for Barcelona and Real Madrid.

The Spanish rivals are trying to lure Fabian back to LaLiga.

 

TOP STORY – BARCA, MADRID DO BATTLE FOR FABIAN

Barcelona and Real Madrid are set to battle each other for the signing of Napoli star Fabian Ruiz, according to Gazzetta dello Sport.

Spanish midfielder Fabian has been linked with a return to LaLiga throughout the season, having left Real Betis for Napoli in 2018.

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, Napoli are expecting Barca and Madrid to go head-to-head for Fabian – who is contracted to the Serie A side until 2023.

 

ROUND-UP

- L'Equipe says Inter have made an offer for Arsenal forward Alexandre Lacazette. With Inter star Lautaro Martinez linked to Barca, the Nerazzurri are eyeing alternatives, however, Lacazette is not interested in swapping London for Milan.

- There could be some big changes at Madrid in 2022. AS Diario says Los Blancos want Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappe and Borussia Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland to team up with Eden Hazard in a new strike force. The likes of Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale and Isco will be out of contract at the end of the 2021-22 season.

Juventus are ready to negotiate a deal for Santos teenager Kaio Jorge, according to Calciomercato. Santos are demanding €30million for the 18-year-old, though Juve are only prepared to pay €15m.

- The Daily Mail claims Manchester City and Newcastle United have joined Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid in the race for 18-year-old Penarol winger Facundo Pellistri.

Odion Ighalo is prepared to pass on a £75m contract with Shanghai Shenhua to stay at Manchester United, reports the Daily Star. Ighalo's loan deal is set to expire at Old Trafford.

Achraf Hakimi is aiming to play for Real Madrid, the Borussia Dortmund loanee's agent Alejandro Camano said.

Achraf has attracted interest from across Europe following his exploits during a two-season loan spell at Dortmund, which is set to come to an end.

The 21-year-old full-back, who emerged from Madrid's youth team in 2017, has been linked to the likes of Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus and Chelsea.

Inter have reportedly emerged as serious admirers of Achraf, however, Camano previously poured cold water over reports the Serie A side had made an offer.

Amid the speculation, Achraf sees his long-term future at the Santiago Bernabeu with LaLiga giants Madrid.

"He will link back up with Real Madrid when the season finishes," Camano told Onda Madrid. "We'll see what happens after that.

"He wants to play games, like this season, where he has started every match. There's no rush. His only aspiration is to play games to help his development.

"There's a magnificent dialogue with Real Madrid and they always expect to have him on their radar and what we don't want is to distance ourselves from them too much.

"So, we'll reach an agreement of some sort over whether he stays or goes, but without forgetting that the aim is to play for Real Madrid one day because, for him, it's the best club in the world."

"It could be a short wait if Real Madrid offer him to stay now or a long wait if he doesn't stay, but the aim is always the same - end up [playing for] the best club in the world."

Union Berlin have announced striker Sebastian Polter will not play for the club again this season due to "unsupportive behaviour".

The Bundesliga side released a statement on Thursday saying the 29-year-old, whose contract expires this year, has played his final match for the club.

He will, however, continue to train with the team.

Club president Dirk Zingler said: "It is one of the fundamental values of 1. FC Union Berlin that we, as Unioner, form a solid, tight-knit community in which we stand up for each other and for our club.

"Sebastian, the only player in the first-team squad, coaching and backroom team, does not do this, unfortunately.

"This is not understandable for us and extremely disappointing. It's my immediate task, during difficult times, to protect the cohesion of the club's employees and squad, so we do not jeopardise the goals on the park.

"We have therefore decided that Sebastian will no longer be part of our matchday squad with immediate effect."

Polter, who joined Union from QPR in 2017, has started only two Bundesliga matches this season.

He has scored twice in 13 appearances in the top flight in 2019-20, in a 2-1 loss to Bayern Munich in October and a 1-0 win over rivals Hertha Berlin in November.

Erling Haaland will end up in the Premier League but the Borussia Dortmund striker is unlikely to rush a move to England, according to Jan Aage Fjortoft.

Fjortoft, who won 71 caps for Norway in his playing career as well as spending time in the Premier League with Middlesbrough and Barnsley, has been hugely impressed by his compatriot.

Haaland and his management team have chosen their transfer-market moves with careful planning, a trend that should continue even if English clubs come calling for him again.

Manchester United were in the hunt for the Norway international's signature before he moved to Dortmund from Salzburg in a €20million January move.

The 19-year-old has gone on to score 13 goals in 14 games across all competitions for BVB and Fjortoft thinks the speed of his rise this season may have taken him by surprise.

"What I've been impressed by from Erling and the team around is they have chosen the places where he can develop as a player," Fjortoft said to Sky Sports.

"He went from Molde – where Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was his manager, so you can imagine how hard it was for Manchester United not to get him when he moved to Dortmund – to Red Bull Salzburg.

"They chose to go to Salzburg because it is a great arena for a young kid, not going to Juventus when they had a fantastic offer from them at the time.

"And this time he went to Dortmund, which is the right place for him to be now.

"Do I think he will play in the Premier League in the future? Absolutely, I think he will go to the Premier League eventually, but where he will end up, I am not sure.

"It might take him some time; I think it went quicker than he had thought in Salzburg, with success in the Champions League, but he is in a good place now.

"I can't see him moving in the short term, but in the long term yes, of course, he will end up in the Premier League, like all big players will eventually."

If Lautaro Martinez heads to Barcelona, Inter may land Timo Werner as his replacement as Liverpool withdraw from the race for the RB Leipzig star.

Martinez and Werner are two forwards linked with moves during the close season after impressive campaigns at Inter and RB Leipzig respectively.

And Werner could reportedly fill Martinez's boots at San Siro if the Argentina international makes the switch.

 

TOP STORY – WERNER COULD REPLACE BARCELONA TARGET LAUTARO

RB Leipzig star Werner is the leading candidate to replace Martinez if the Inter forward joins Barcelona, according to Corriere dello Sport.

Werner has been heavily linked with a transfer to Liverpool, but the Mirror reports the Premier League leaders have withdrawn from talks as they are unwilling to meet his £49.4million (€55m) release clause.

Meanwhile, AS reports Philippe Coutinho could be part of Barca's bid to land Martinez, even as Inter say the only way the 22-year-old will leave is by his reported €111m clause being paid.

ROUND-UP

- Will Barcelona and Juventus get an exchange deal done? Sport reports Juve are pushing to land Arthur, but the midfielder wants to stay with the LaLiga giants. Miralem Pjanic has been linked with a move to Camp Nou.

- Staying at Barcelona and Mundo Deportivo reports the club are willing to let Ousmane Dembele leave if a good offer arrives. The attacker has been linked with a switch to Paris Saint-Germain, with Neymar reportedly a target for Barcelona.

- David Luiz's future appears uncertain. Sky Sports News reports the defender's stay at Arsenal could be coming to an end after one season as his contract expires next month and no talks are planned over a new deal.

- It seems Tiemoue Bakayoko could be set for another transfer. Le 10 Sport says the midfielder, on loan at Monaco from Chelsea, is being targeted by Milan and West Ham, with PSG's interest having eased.

- With Kepa Arrizabalaga out of favour, Chelsea are said to be looking for a new goalkeeper. The Sun says the Premier League side are lining up a £15m (€16.7m) move for Borussia Dortmund shot-stopper Roman Burki.

- Staying at Stamford Bridge and Chelsea are also reportedly eyeing a left-back. The Mirror reports they are keeping an eye on developments around Ajax full-back Nicolas Tagliafico, who could be available for around £22m (€24.5m).

RB Leipzig chief executive Oliver Mintzlaff insisted Timo Werner "won't get any cheaper" amid reports linking the forward with Liverpool.

Werner, 24, is reportedly a target for the Premier League leaders after scoring 30 goals in 39 games in all competitions this season.

According to reports, the Germany international has a release clause of around £49.4million (€55m) that must be triggered by June 15, but Liverpool are said to be unwilling to meet that price.

Mintzlaff, however, said there was no way Werner, who is contracted at the Bundesliga club until 2023, would be any cheaper.

"It won't get any cheaper. We will not sell a player below value if he is under contract for more than a year," he told Sport Bild.

"In general, we always have to ask the following question – can we replace a player if we sell him for less than his market value?

"But, I only think about those things once I have the facts on the table."

Lucien Favre insists he is not about to quit as Borussia Dortmund head coach despite a Klassiker defeat to Bayern Munich that appeared to end their Bundesliga title hopes.

Dortmund could have closed to within a point of league leaders and defending champions Bayern with victory at Signal Iduna Park on Tuesday.

But Favre's side toiled after a strong start and went down 1-0 thanks to Joshua Kimmich's stunning chip.

Former Hertha Berlin, Borussia Monchengladbach and Nice boss Favre has not won a league title since the 2006-07 Swiss Super League and has been criticised in some quarters for a persistent failure to deliver top prizes.

This perception was put to Favre following the Bayern defeat, and he told Sky Sport: "This has been said here for months. I know how to do it. I'll talk about it in a few weeks."

The coach's comments prompted speculation his Dortmund reign could end "in a few weeks" – a year before his contract expires – but he says he was misunderstood.

"I don't think about giving up at all," Favre said on Wednesday, as quoted by Bild.

"We were all disappointed [on Tuesday], but my words in the interview immediately after the game seem to have been misunderstood in many ways.

"The only thing I wanted to answer to relevant questions was that now is not the time to take stock of the season.

"Why? Already on Sunday, in Paderborn, we have to achieve a top performance again. We have to focus on that, nothing else."

Julian Nagelsmann blasted RB Leipzig for their early defensive efforts against Hertha Berlin before taking aim at the DFL for their "really s****y" Bundesliga scheduling.

Leipzig missed the chance to climb to second in the table and saw their slim title hopes reduced further in a 2-2 home draw against Hertha.

The Champions League quarter-finalists trailed early to Marko Grujic's close-range volley, and Nagelsmann fumed at the lax marking from a corner.

"I'm not at all satisfied. We have to ascribe this to ourselves," he said. "We simply have to learn so that we are not constantly lagging behind.

"In the beginning, we defended like a student team. The frustration is deep."

Leipzig still had the opportunity to take all three points as they hit back through first Lukas Klostermann and then, after an awful Rune Jarstein error, Patrik Schick.

An earlier red card for Marcel Halstenberg meant the third-placed side had their backs against the wall, though, and they could not cling on.

Krzysztof Piatek netted an 82nd-minute penalty and Hertha threatened a winner, remaining unbeaten under April appointment Bruno Labbadia.

And Nagelsmann suggested it was to be expected Leipzig would struggle, having played Mainz on Sunday, two days after Hertha's Berlin derby win.

"It was difficult to get into the game, which is normal; for us, it was the first 'English week' for months," he said.

"It wasn't an 'English week' for Hertha. They had a four-day break. I don't understand how the game is scheduled. Hertha play on Friday, we on Sunday and have our game on Wednesday.

"It is again the case that we get a really s****y game plan. That was addressed at the DFL meeting, but nobody is interested."

Labbadia was rather happier despite Hertha's failure to beat 10 men.

"The team played a really good game – above all, with the reaction after we went 2-1 down out of nowhere," he said. "Coming back was great.

"Usually that's the blow to the neck. But we showed a great reaction and more than deserved the point."

RB Leipzig missed the chance to move second in the Bundesliga and take a big step towards Champions League qualification as they were held to a 2-2 draw at home to Hertha Berlin.

Top-four rivals Borussia Dortmund, Borussia Monchengladbach and Bayer Leverkusen all dropped points on Tuesday, but 10-man Leipzig could not capitalise 24 hours later.

Julian Nagelsmann's side trailed to Marko Grujic's early strike, although goals from Lukas Klostermann and Patrik Schick – the latter aided by an awful Rune Jarstein error – looked to have clinched a hard-fought victory.

However, Leipzig had seen Marcel Halstenberg sent off prior to Schick's strike, and Hertha substitute Krzysztof Piatek converted a late penalty to earn a share of the spoils.

The visitors remain unbeaten under new coach Bruno Labbadia, with their relegation fears behind them, but third-placed Leipzig have work to do to secure a return to the Champions League, where they have reached the quarter-finals this term.

Just four points separate Dortmund in second and Leverkusen in fifth after a tough weekend for the European chasers, with leaders Bayern Munich comfortably seven points clear at the top.

Hertha were good value for their point and a lively start produced the opener after just nine minutes as Grujic met Marvin Plattenhardt's left-wing corner full on the volley eight yards from goal, beating the helpless Peter Gulacsi.

A set-piece at the other end saw Leipzig level 15 minutes later, though, with Klostermann darting towards Christopher Nkunku's near-post delivery and nodding across Jarstein into the bottom-left corner.

Captain Vedad Ibisevic could have restored Hertha's lead but blazed over the crossbar when a move down the right cut Leipzig open late in the first half.

Goalmouth action was scarce following the restart, and Leipzig's hopes of victory looked to have been dealt a sizeable blow as Halstenberg earned a second booking for a foul on former team-mate Matheus Cunha.

But Jarstein failed to gather Schick's powerful drive and the ball squirmed over the line, seemingly taking the match away from Hertha.

Ademola Lookman felled Cunha inside the area, however, and Piatek kept his cool from 12 yards to pick out the bottom-left corner and set up a frantic finish in which Labbadia's side could not force a winner.

France coach Didier Deschamps has backed the decision to end the 2019-20 Ligue 1 season amid the coronavirus pandemic, insisting others are only resuming due to financial reasons.

Following guidance from the government, the Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) made the decision to prematurely end the Ligue 1 campaign and decide the final standings by virtue of points per game at the end of April.

Some clubs have threatened to take legal action, while Lyon and their president Jean-Michel Aulas have been particularly vocal in their displeasure, urging the decision to be overturned following the resumption of the Bundesliga and confirmation that LaLiga can continue next month.

Serie A and the Premier League could also recommence in June, meaning Ligue 1 will be the only one of Europe's top five leagues to not be concluded on the pitch.

But Deschamps believes the French authorities have made the correct decision, highlighting inconsistencies with certain protocols in Germany and suggesting monetary concerns are behind LaLiga and the Premier League returning.

"I don't want to judge, to condemn, to blame," he told Le Parisien. "The containment conditions are not the same for everyone.

"I have watched the Bundesliga since the resumption of matches in Germany. It certainly looks like soccer. I'm not going to talk about the pace or intensity of the meetings, but some images seem so incoherent to me.

"I see players playing a game with all the elements specific to football: namely contact and tackles. And then, we see in the stands masked substitutes two metres away from each other.

"Honestly, I don't understand. They are in the same enclosure, likely to come into play at any time. In the stands, is the risk increased? What an inconsistency. I do not like it.

"Life resumes with a lot of restrictions in all areas. In football, the resumption of certain championships obviously responds, first of all, to an economic problem.

"Look at the decisions made in Spain and England. These two major football countries are planning the resumption of LaLiga and the Premier League, but they have decided not to resume the women's championships, which generate much less revenue. That says everything."

Deschamps, who is contracted to be France coach until the end of the 2022 World Cup, is also concerned players in the leagues that have resumed are not prepared enough, and the risk of injury will be increased.

"It worries me. Whether you are a coach or president of a club, we all have interests specific to our function," he continued. "The physical integrity of my players is my main concern.

"Some abroad will resume competition without having carried out full preparation. No matter how much you say, such a stop requires six weeks of refresher training with at least five friendly matches. That's far from being the case.

"They will chain matches every three days in summer, with high temperatures. The risk of injury is increased. I was already denouncing very busy calendars. It will not work out and it looks even more sensitive with very few breaks."

Manchester United star Paul Pogba returning to Juventus is apparently shaping as impossible.

Pogba, 27, has been linked with a move away from Old Trafford, with Juventus and Real Madrid reportedly interested in landing the midfielder.

But it seems the Serie A giants will find such a deal impossible.

 

TOP STORY – POGBA RETURNING TO JUVENTUS IS IMPOSSIBLE

Pogba leaving Manchester United to return to Juventus is looking impossible, according to Sport and Corriere dello Sport.

Sport says the Bianconeri cannot afford the €100million (£89m) United would want for the France international.

Pogba left Juve to join United for £89m (€105m) in 2016.

ROUND-UP

- James Rodriguez is pushing for a stay in the Spanish capital. Mundo Deportivo reports the Real Madrid playmaker is determined to sign for Atletico Madrid.

- Real Madrid may be looking for a back-up in his position, but Casemiro is seemingly going nowhere. Marca claims the midfielder recently extended his contract until 2023.

- Odion Ighalo is set for a return to China. The Mirror reports the striker is expecting to go back to Shanghai Shenhua from his loan spell at Manchester United after just eight appearances for the Premier League club, with the Chinese Super League side demanding he returns. Goal says United will focus on RB Leipzig forward Timo Werner and Lyon's Moussa Dembele with Ighalo leaving.

- Forget trying to land Ansu Fati this close season. According to Sport, Barcelona will keep the 17-year-old, who is reportedly wanted by Borussia Dortmund and Premier League clubs.

- Newcastle United are looking at signing Liverpool midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri if they are taken over, according to the Daily Mail.

- It seems Adam Lallana is set to leave Liverpool when his contract expires at the end of the season. The Mirror reports Burnley have joined the fight for the midfielder, who is also said to be a target for Leicester City, Arsenal, Tottenham and West Ham.

After Borussia Dortmund saw their Bundesliga title hopes seemingly end with defeat to Bayern Munich in the Klassiker, Lucien Favre's side could slide to third place on Wednesday.

A victory for RB Leipzig over Hertha Berlin would take Julian Nagelsmann's team up to second spot in the table.

There are some growing winless runs in the German top flight, with worrying times for the likes of Union Berlin and Hoffenheim.

Alarm bells will be ringing at Schalke, however, if their fruitless streak stretches to 10 games. David Wagner's side tackle third-bottom Fortuna Dusseldorf.

RB LEIPZIG V HERTHA BERLIN

- Leipzig usually enjoy this fixture, having won six of their previous seven Bundesliga matches against Hertha – losing the other 3-2 at home in December 2017. They have won more Bundesliga games against Hertha than against any other side, and have scored 26 goals in those seven previous clashes.

- Leipzig have taken 54 points from 27 matches this Bundesliga season, just shy of the 55 they had at this stage of their debut top-flight campaign in 2016-17.

- Striker Timo Werner has had a hand in 31 Bundesliga goals for Leipzig this season, with 24 goals and seven assists, including a hat-trick against Mainz at the weekend. Since detailed data collection began in 2004-05, no other player has been involved in as many goals at this stage of a season.

- Hertha have been rejuvenated under new boss Bruno Labbadia, with a 3-0 win over Hoffenheim followed by a 4-0 victory against city rivals Union Berlin last Friday. Curiously, every goal in those two games came between the 51st and 77th minutes.

UNION BERLIN V MAINZ

- Mainz parted company with head coach Sandro Schwarz after losing 3-2 when these two teams met in November. It was just Union's second win in seven competitive matches against Mainz.

- Union sit 13th in the Bundesliga but have not won in their past four Bundesliga matches, losing their past three, including a 4-0 derby loss to Hertha. It is their longest winless run in the Bundesliga, albeit this is their first season in the league.

- Mainz must set aside their latest Leipzig humiliation. Their 5-0 loss at the weekend followed an 8-0 defeat to the same opposition earlier in the season. The last Bundesliga team to concede 13 goals in a single season against one team were Ulm in 1999-2000 against Bayer Leverkusen.

- Mainz sit 15th and have conceded a league-high 60 goals this season, more than in any previous season in their existence.

AUGSBURG V PADERBORN

- Augsburg have won four of their past six competitive matches against Paderborn (D1 L1), including a 1-0 success earlier this season when Philipp Max's goal made the difference.

- A 3-0 win at Schalke last time out ended Augsburg's run of four Bundesliga defeats in a row and gave them a first clean sheet in 2020.

- Augsburg have a rocky recent record at home against promoted teams, winning five and losing five of their past 10 such fixtures. The last promoted team they beat at home were Paderborn – 3-0 in November 2014.

- Paderborn sit bottom of the Bundesliga with 18 points from 27 matches. No team with 18 points or fewer at this stage of a season have ever avoided relegation from the league.

HOFFENHEIM V COLOGNE

- Rather a favourite fixture for Hoffenheim, they have won each of their past three Bundesliga games against Cologne and are unbeaten in the past seven in their rivalry. They have only managed to string together a longer sequence of Bundesliga wins against one team – winning five in succession against Hannover from 2013 to 2015.

- Hoffenheim will need to buck the trend of their recent 2019-20 season results, however, having not won in their past seven Bundesliga matches (D3 L4), their longest winless run since going eight games without a victory from October to December in 2015.

- Cologne's Jhon Cordoba scored his 11th goal of the season on matchday 27, a late equaliser against Fortuna Dusseldorf on Sunday. He has now netted more goals in his 23 appearances this term than in his previous three Bundesliga campaigns combined (10 goals in 69 games).

FORTUNA DUSSELDORF V SCHALKE

- Schalke have lost only one of their past six competitive matches against Fortuna (W3 D2), but that 4-0 home setback in March 2019 will be fresh in the memory.

- Fortuna sit precariously in 16th place but are unbeaten in their past five games (W1 D4) under Uwe Rosler. They have drawn six of eight games under Rosler – the only other coach in Bundesliga history to draw six of his first eight matches was Thorsten Fink with Hamburg in 2011.

- If Fortuna go ahead, they might not stay ahead, having thrown away a league-high 22 points from winning positions this season. However, they face a slumping Schalke side who have gone nine games without a Bundesliga win, scoring just twice in that dismal run.

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