Bayer Leverkusen will be eager to lay down another potential title marker when they lock horns with Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga on Sunday afternoon.
Currently, the only unbeaten side across Europe’s other recognised top leagues, Leverkusen aren’t ready to be knocked off their perch just yet.
Xabi Alonso has masterminded a brilliant campaign to date, and they have so far kept Bayern Munich, who have been breathing down their necks, at bay.
Dortmund, however, endured a mini wobble last month before they bounced back to beat Borussia Monchengladbach 4-2.
While it is tight between Leverkusen and Bayern, Dortmund will be mindful of closing the gap as they sit in fourth spot, 10 points adrift of the league leaders.
This is the pick of the games to look forward to in the Bundesliga over the weekend, but who will prevail at the BayArena?
I have dissected the angles and sourced a couple of betting tips for you to chew over ahead of kick-off.
Bayer Leverkusen to continue pulling up trees
In a title race, there are always pivotal moments. Getting to Christmas unbeaten and unscathed on the injury front will be the predominant target for Alonso.
While Leverkusen have gone close to lifting the Bundesliga in the past, there is still a long way to go as they continue their quest to reach the holy grail.
Moreover, Leverkusen have been in free-scoring mode, plundering home 37 goals and conceding just 10.
That perhaps illustrates the size of the task facing Dortmund. Nevertheless, they are third for overall possession stats this term (56%) which shows they have few problems keeping control of the ball.
Although home wins for Leverkusen over Dortmund have been scarce in recent seasons, they are currently a force to be reckoned with, and they are making serious headway this term.
This could well be a combustible clash with plenty of flashpoints as well as goals.
To kick things off, I think Leverkusen could end their mini hoodoo against Dortmund and bag all three points. The Leverkusen to win & BTTS line seems most appealing at a short 6/4 with Paddy Power.
Grim prospect for Dortmund
Although Dortmund will have been working hard on a plan to thwart Leverkusen marksman Victor Boniface, they should be plotting how to contain Alex Grimaldo.
Grimaldo has matched Boniface’s goal haul this term (seven), but when you also factor in his four assists, he has been averaging a goal involvement every 98 minutes which makes for impressive reading.
The marauding left-back, who is usually on free-kick duty, has been a revelation to date.
Therefore, those seeking more value in the goalscorer market, let me alert you to the price for Grimaldo to break the deadlock. Indeed, he is available at an inviting 7/1 with William Hill to net the opener for Leverkusen, which could be worth investigating further.