Bundesliga: Weekend preview
Werder Bremen will on Saturday become the latest side trying to end Bayern Munich's record unbeaten Bundesliga run.
Last Updated: 06/12/13 9:42am
Bayern have now gone 39 matches without defeat domestically, but will visit the 2004 champions without the injured Arjen Robben and with a doubt over the involvement of Franck Ribery - two key players for the Bavarian outfit.
"It's going to be dead easy," Bremen director of sport Thomas Eichin said. "We're going to shoot Bayern out of the ground."
While Eichin was clearly joking, captain Clemens Fritz was more serious about the size of the task his side face, even though they are at home.
"It's an extraordinary run," he told Kicker magazine. "We're going to have to push ourselves to the very limit just to be able to compete with them."
Bremen will have plenty of well-wishers up and down Germany, however, with Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen in particular hopeful that the hosts will be able to get at least a point from their clash with Pep Guardiola's side.
They meet each other, meanwhile, in the biggest game of the weekend on Saturday evening, with second-placed Leverkusen defending a three-point advantage over Dortmund at the Westfalenstadion.
"If we don't want things to get boring, then everybody should be keeping their fingers crossed for us," Leverkusen defender Jens Hegeler said in view of his side's four-point deficit to Bayern at the top of the table.
Elsewhere, fourth- and fifth-spotted Borussia Monchengladbach and Schalke - also separated by four points - do battle at the Borussia Park Stadion with pressure mounting on visiting coach Jens Keller after a midweek DFB-Pokal elimination.
Schalke could drop to sixth if Wolfsburg win at Freiburg on Sunday, while Hertha Berlin will also be aiming to narrow the gap on Sunday when they travel to bottom-placed Eintracht Braunschweig.
Nurnberg are currently sitting above Braunschweig only on goal difference, although they have yet to win this season and could set a new league record if they fail to pick up their first victory at the 15th attempt against Mainz on Friday night.
Also on Saturday, Stuttgart host Hannover and Hamburg meet Augsburg in two mid-table battles, while Eintracht Frankfurt welcome Hoffenheim to the Waldstadion.