By Peter Auf der Heyde
For the last two seasons RB Leipzig and Borussia Dortmund have been the best of the rest behind Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga.
And there is little to suggest that Dortmund and Leipzig will not be amongst the main challengers this time around again.
On Saturday, Dortmund travel to Leipzig in a match-day 15 game, both teams need to win to try to keep the pace with Bayern at the top of the table.
Dortmund, who somewhat surprisingly fired coach Lucien Favre last month after the team slumped to a 5-1 defeat at home against VfB Stuttgart, secured a 2-0 victory against Wolfsburg on Sunday to move to fourth place – eight points behind Bayern.
The result was not the only good news for new coach Edin Terzić, as the 38-year-old, who has been given a top flight team to coach for the first time in his career saw Jadon Sancho score Dortmund’s second goal.
It was the first goal the English international scored in the league this season.
Sancho was one of Dortmund’s top scorers last season, scoring 17 goals, but has been struggling to find his form since the start of the season.
Leipzig, meanwhile, also go into the game in the RB Arena on the back of a victory, having won 1-0 at VfB Stuttgart through Dani Olmo’s second half goal.
Table topping Bayern, who face old rivals Borussia Mönchengladbach in Friday’s match, also won in the weekend – turning a 2-0 half-time deficit against Mainz into a 5-2 victory.
Bayern and Mönchengladbach were fierce rivals in the 70s, as they were the dominant clubs in Germany during that time, winning eight titles.
The four club facing each other in the two games are the Bundesliga’s representatives in the Champions League and all four have made it out of the group stage and will be participating in the first round of the knock-out stage that will be played over four weeks in February and March.
Mönchengladbach midfielder Florian Neuhaus knows the Bayern players well from his time with the German national team. “We want to measure ourselves against the best teams in the world. We have already done that in the Champions League and we are now facing the next huge task in the Bundesliga.
“Bayern Munich is probably presently the best team in the world. It will be an absolute highlight-game, but one in which we do not have to hide ourselves.”
For Zambian football fans, the game will no doubt also be a highlight.
For highlights they can watch live and exclusively on the TopStar channels.