Jerome Boateng is planning for his future at Bayern Munich rather than scoping out the possible next stops in his career - and he gives Hansi Flick all the credit. 

The defender had been toying with a move away from the Allianz Arena before Flick stepped in to replace previous head coach Niko Kovac in November. 

His contract runs to the end of the 2020-21 season, and the 31-year-old feels reassured about his Bayern career after being a mainstay of Flick's team. 

That was not always the case under Kovac, but the change has not only lit a flame under Bayern but sent confidence surging through Boateng. 

"Before Hansi Flick, I was already thinking about my future. At the moment, I feel good and can imagine that I will stay," Boateng told Welt am Sonntag. 

Boateng has been at Bayern since arriving from Manchester City in 2011. 

He added: "I need the trust of the coach and his coaching team. I have it again. 

"Even before the time with Hansi Flick, I trained well and hard, but was not allowed to play and never had the chance to get into my rhythm. 

"It is difficult for every player. Hansi Flick told me right from the start that he was planning with me and appreciated my qualities. Now I'm really enjoying football again." 

Bayern Munich are planning an inquest into the two goals they conceded against Eintracht Frankfurt, with Hansi Flick calling for a clean sheet against Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday.

Thanks to goals from Leon Goretzka, Thomas Muller and Robert Lewandowski, Bundesliga leaders Bayern looked comfortable with a 3-0 lead after 50 minutes at the Allianz Arena on Saturday.

However, they were caught napping at two set-pieces in the space of three minutes, with Hinteregger allowed space to bundle a volley past Manuel Neuer before powering a header into the back of the net.

Alphonso Davies quickly put Bayern back in control before a comical own goal from Hinteregger secured a 5-2 triumph for Flick's men.

The Bayern coach hopes to see better defending when his team take on Dortmund, who sit four points back in second, at Signal Iduna Park on Tuesday.

"After 3-0 we switched off. Frankfurt set very good standards, we knew that. We didn't look good there. We have to talk about it," Flick told Sky.

"We want to keep a clean sheet against Dortmund. It will be difficult because Dortmund have a very good team. We all hope for a good game of football."

Muller, who registered his 17th assist and seventh goal of the Bundesliga season, acknowledged Hinteregger is a significant threat from dead balls but felt Bayern should have been more alert.

"You never know how to get into games without fans, but I still expect us to go to the maximum," said Muller.

"Hinteregger is a very good player in set-piece situations, but if the ball comes in and no one feels responsible for it, of course we have to talk about it.

"We have made it our goal to have three victories this week. This is a very crucial week for us. We are marching, Dortmund are marching, we can look forward to Tuesday.

"We want to bring the championship to Munich, where it belongs."

Goretzka added: "I think Hinteregger is one of the strongest players when it comes to set-pieces, but, of course, we have to talk about it. That is not possible. It does not work that way."

Bayern Munich can make a fool of you. Ask Niko Kovac.

How, for instance, did he lead Bayern to a 5-1 defeat against Eintracht Frankfurt back in November?

Kovac, who was head coach of Frankfurt before landing the Bayern job, cleared his desk at Sabener Strasse shortly after that aberration and would have been forgiven for giving Saturday's rematch a swerve.

What he missed in the battle of his former teams was a sometimes confusing 90 minutes, and further proof that Bayern can make one feel a fool.

At the 50-minute mark, they looked an unstoppable force, 3-0 to the good against a Frankfurt side who had lost four Bundesliga games in a row before arriving at the Allianz Arena.

Leon Goretzka, Thomas Muller and Robert Lewandowski punished increasingly feeble defending, and Bayern were rampant. It would have been easy to lionise them at that point.

Tuesday's Klassiker clash with Borussia Dortmund looked like a fixture they could tackle without any questions asked over their levels since the league resumed.

Enter Frankfurt's Martin Hinteregger, whose most memorable involvement to that point had been landing an accidental blow that caught Lewandowski near the eye.

In the space of three minutes, he twice embarrassed Bayern's defence, first when allowed far too much space on the edge of the six-yard box to bundle beyond Manuel Neuer, and then when he jumped between a gang of red shirts to head home a corner.

Game on? Not really. Order was restored as Alphonso Davies danced through a dithering Frankfurt defence for a gift of a fourth Bayern goal.

And then came another reminder of how Bayern can make even a towering footballer cringe, as Hinteregger made it onto the scoresheet for the third time in the half, albeit this time at the wrong end.

Attempting some clever footwork to fend off another Bayern raid, he contrived to trickle the ball into an empty net with some of the ditsiest defending seen this side of Djimi Traore.

Bayern finished up with five goals and have beaten Frankfurt 11 times in a row at home now, while Eintracht have now lost 10 of 13 away games in the Bundesliga this term.

Their coach, Adi Hutter, had the bragging rights in November but might now be fearing for his job.

Dortmund will analyse Bayern's performance and search for conclusions, noting those moments of vulnerability that Frankfurt exploited. There were weaknesses to be found, but it would not seem prudent to read too much into those.

The logical conclusion is that Bayern switched off, believing the game to be already won, and will be far more wary of Dortmund from the first to the last whistle at Signal Iduna Park.

So four points separate the top two again, with the Hansi Flick revolution at Bayern still sweeping all aside in Germany, regardless of the odd bump in the road.

Dortmund might take some heart from the cracks in Bayern's backline, but equally Muller and Lewandowski looked primed to exploit any weakness in any side, any day of the week. Tuesday? They can do Tuesday.

Five goals and a mid-match nap was not a bad primer for the biggest match of the Bundesliga season.

Thomas Muller and Alphonso Davies were once again pivotal figures for Bayern Munich as the champions saw off Eintracht Frankfurt 5-2 on Saturday, restoring their four-point cushion at the Bundesliga summit ahead of Tuesday's Klassiker. 

Muller and Davies have been revelations for Bayern this term and both were as crucial as ever with a goal and an assist each, though their side's defending left plenty to be desired prior to a potentially pivotal match against Borussia Dortmund. 

There was nothing surprising about the pattern of the first period at the Allianz Arena, however, and Bayern were fully deserving of their comfortable half-time lead of 2-0, the excellent Muller setting up Leon Goretzka before then getting on the scoresheet himself. 

Defensive lapses early in the second half showed a chink in Bayern's armour, however, as Martin Hinteregger netted twice in quick succession from corners after Robert Lewandowski had made it 3-0, but Davies' well-taken goal in the 61st minute was followed by an own goal by Frankfurt's Austrian centre-back to ensure a home victory. 

Although Frankfurt managed to avoid a repeat of last week when they were behind after just 34 seconds, they were fortunate to keep Bayern at bay for as long as they did, Lewandowski hitting the crossbar and Benjamin Pavard going close in the early exchanges. 

But there was no denying Goretzka in the 17th minute, the Germany international emphatically steering in a first-time effort after arriving on to Muller's inch-perfect cross. 

Muller made it 2-0 just before the break, running clear of Frankfurt's offside trap as he collected Davies' left-wing delivery and squeezing the ball past the approaching Kevin Trapp, despite an awkwardly high bounce. 

Lewandowski headed Kingsley Coman's cross in within a minute of the restart, seemingly wrapping up the points, but Bayern conspired to give Frankfurt a chance. 

Hapless defending allowed Hinteregger to tee himself up for a close-range finish in the 52nd minute - and he then netted again a few moments later from another corner. 

Yet Davies restored a modicum of calm to the Bayern bench just past the hour, finding the bottom-left corner after the ball broke kindly for him. 

Hinteregger converted for a third time with 16 minutes to go, albeit it came in the wrong net as the ball ricocheted on to him and then into the goal following a driving run from Serge Gnabry. 

 

What does it mean? Der Klassiker set up nicely 

If any single match is to determine where the Bundesliga title ends up, it will surely be Tuesday's meeting of the top two – and what a contest we have in prospect. 

Dortmund have looked solid upon the resumption, and while Bayern appear ruthless going forward, their defending on Saturday left a lot to be desired. Goals are surely guaranteed. 

Coman keeps it classy 

While Davies and Muller were obvious stars for Bayern, Coman was also impressive. The France international was a constant threat out wide and supplied six key passes, the most in the game. He also got himself a goal, too. 

Ndicka hooked

Frankfurt full-back Evan Ndicka failed to make a single tackle or interception before his half-time withdrawal. Though, to be fair to him, the visitors were not much better without him.

What's next? 

The big one is on the horizon for Bayern – Tuesday sees them go to title rivals Dortmund in the Klassiker, and a victory will take them seven clear of BVB. As for Frankfurt, they will be hosting Freiburg on the same day. 

Borussia Dortmund are hoping Mats Hummels will recover from an Achilles problem to take on former club Bayern Munich on Tuesday, but Lucien Favre revealed Jadon Sancho is not guaranteed to start.

Hummels had to be withdrawn at half-time in Dortmund's 2-0 win over Wolfsburg on Saturday, as Emre Can made his return from the bench.

BVB sporting director Michael Zorc later revealed the World Cup winner was suffering with a long-standing issue.

Dortmund face defending Bundesliga champions and leaders Bayern at Signal Iduna Park in midweek.

Zorc said of Hummels, who spent three seasons at Bayern before returning to Dortmund: "I spoke briefly to the doctor. Mats has a complaint with his Achilles tendon.

"He has had this from training for a long time. But we hope that he can play again on Tuesday."

Head coach Favre added: "I can't tell if he will play or not. I hope that he will be back on Tuesday."

Sancho's involvement in the crunch top-of-the-table clash is also in some doubt despite an impressive cameo at Wolfsburg.

The England winger earned his 16th assist of the season as he teed up Achraf Hakimi for the second goal, adding to the in-form Raphael Guerreiro's first-half opener.

But Sancho was again only appearing from the bench, as he had against Schalke, following a calf injury upon his return from the coronavirus-enforced break.

Any assumptions Sancho was simply being rested in order to start against Bayern were seemingly dismissed by Favre.

"He's only been training with the team for 10 days. That is not much," Favre said. "I can't say for sure if he will play on Tuesday."

On the day it was announced that Mario Gotze will be leaving Borussia Dortmund again, it was Erling Haaland who played the role of forgotten man in a 2-0 win at Wolfsburg.

It's the stunning rise of players such as Haaland that has brought Gotze's second spell at his boyhood club to an end. Last time, he was leaving for Pep Guardiola's Bayern Munich; seven years on, nobody is sure of his next move.

He does not suit the flowing 3-4-3 in which Haaland, Jadon Sancho, Thorgan Hazard and Julian Brandt are thriving - head coach Lucien Favre admitted as much on Friday. While not exactly a relic at 27, Gotze needs a new lease of life in fresh pastures. His career has drifted for too long for a player of his talent.

Sitting as an unused substitute on Saturday, he might have sympathised as Dortmund's latest young superstar went missing.

Between joining from Salzburg in January and facing Wolfsburg this weekend, Haaland had scored 10 goals in six starts in the Bundesliga. His latest came in last week's 4-0 derby of thrashing of Schalke, in which he set up Raphael Guerreiro for the fourth. The 19-year-old has been in Germany barely five months and is already in high demand, lined up for a move to Real Madrid and touted as the heir to Brazil great Ronaldo.

All this made his performance against Wolfsburg surprising. He managed 29 touches, only one more than goalkeeper Roman Burki, won under half of his duels and lost possession nine times. His 20 attempted passes was the lowest number of any outfield player to start the match bar Daniel Ginczek, who was withdrawn after 64 minutes.

The explosive turn of pace, the power with which he can make defenders look amateurish, was not there. He was closed down, eased off the ball and tripping over too easily against Wolfsburg centre-backs John Brooks and Marin Pongracic, who pushed high to keep him far from goal. They didn't exactly bully Haaland, but he might want to check if they at least pilfered his lunch money.

He still managed to play his part in the opening goal, despite his best efforts. The Dortmund right flank was their best avenue throughout and it was from there that Brandt, Achraf Hakimi and Hazard combined, the latter given space to cut the ball back across the box. Haaland stepped, turned and swung his foot, missed the ball completely, and thumped down on his backside, giving Guerreiro a tap-in.

Dortmund's lead was comfortable, but largely by virtue of Wolfsburg's tepid early efforts. After half-time, Oliver Glasner got his side playing the sort of football that had set them on a seven-game unbeaten league run. Renato Steffen should have scored when he bustled his way into space, beat Burki but only found the crossbar, and his compatriot did well to parry a second effort from 25 yards out that swerved dangerously towards the left-hand post.

In the end, Dortmund only made the win safe as Wolfsburg went for broke, with substitute Sancho racing away on the break and teeing up Hakimi to bury the second. Haaland had a half-chance for a third, but it petered out when he stood on the ball and watched it run for a goal kick.

Strikers are, by their nature, often isolated figures, and Haaland has set such extraordinarily high standards that he's allowed an off-day, particularly in what was only the second game back after a substantial break caused by the coronavirus crisis.

Yet Dortmund will hope for a sharper display in Tuesday's Klassiker. Whether you're playing for or against Bayern, anonymity is never tolerated. Gotze can attest to that.

Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge revealed the Bundesliga champions have not activated their purchase option for Philippe Coutinho and the clause has now expired.

Coutinho joined Bayern on a season-long loan deal from LaLiga holders Barcelona at the start of the 2019-20 campaign but he has struggled to establish himself in Munich.

The Brazil international arrived with the option to buy for €120million but Bayern have opted not to exercise the deal, though Rummenigge did not close the door on Coutinho.

"The option expired and we haven't activated it," Rummenigge told German magazine Der Spiegel.

"We're going to plan our squad for next season and we'll see if he still has a role to play with us or not."

Coutinho has failed to live up to the hype since swapping Liverpool for Barca in a blockbuster transfer in 2018.

The 27-year-old has scored eight goals and set up another six goals in 22 Bundesliga matches for Bayern this season, which has been disrupted by coronavirus.

As Bayern reportedly eye Bayer Leverkusen star Kai Havertz and Manchester City's Leroy Sane, Coutinho does not appear to be at the top of the club's list.

Mauro Icardi seemingly has no future at Inter.

But Icardi is wanted in Paris, where the Argentina international has spent the 2019-20 season on loan.

Paris Saint-Germain are reportedly looking to sign Icardi permanently.

 

TOP STORY – PSG LODGE ICARDI BID

Paris Saint-Germain have offered Inter €50million to secure loanee Mauro Icardi on a permanent basis, according to Sky Sports.

Out of favour at Serie A outfit Inter, the forward was loaned to Ligue 1 champions PSG at the start of the season.

Icardi's loan deal included a €70m purchase option but PSG are determined to negotiate, with Juventus reportedly interested.

 

ROUND-UP

- Mundo Deportivo reports Barcelona full-back Nelson Semedo is prioritising a move to Manchester City. Semedo has been linked with a switch to City – a transfer which would see Joao Cancelo swap clubs. Juve are also reportedly eyeing Semedo but the Portugal international wants to leave Camp Nou for the Premier League.

Lucas Hernandez to Newcastle United? Bild says the Premier League outfit are considering a move for the Bayern Munich defender ahead of their proposed takeover.

- According to ESPN, Bayern are eyeing Manchester United target and Borussia Dortmund sensation Jadon Sancho. The England international has also been linked to Liverpool, Chelsea, Real Madrid and Barca.

Juve, Chelsea, City and Bayern are interested in Barca goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, says Sport. However, the German is poised to sign a contract renewal with the LaLiga holders.

- Calciomercato claims Milan are moving closer to signing Marseille's 20-year-old defender Boubacar Kamara.

- Everton and Newcastle are both tracking Napoli forward Hirving Lozano, according to Corriere dello Sport. The Mexico international only arrived from PSV at the start of the season.

Inter remain interested in Fiorentina star Federico Chiesa, says Calciomercato. While Brescia's Sandro Tonali is at the top of the list for Inter, Chiesa has not been forgotten about in Milan.

Manuel Neuer wants to captain Bayern Munich until 2023 and is hoping to lead them out in a home Champions League final at the Allianz Arena in 2022.

The Bayern goalkeeper and skipper on Wednesday signed an extension to a contract that was due to expire at the end of the 2020-21 campaign.

He is now tied to Bayern until 2023, though he will have added competition from next season, when Alexander Nubel will join from Neuer's former club Schalke.

However, Neuer clearly has designs on retaining his place as number one between the posts and wants to keep the armband for the duration of his deal.

"I am convinced by our team and the whole club and I am sure we will be playing successful football throughout the coming years," he told club media. 

"Of course, we have some goals we can reach within this current season. We have a good team for the next few years and it is a lot of fun working for FC Bayern, also as captain. This is also my job and I want to continue until 2023."

Bayern lead the Bundesliga - which resumed last weekend having been suspended since March because of the coronavirus pandemic - by four points.

They are also in the DFB-Pokal semi-finals and hold a 3-0 lead over Chelsea from the first leg in the Champions League last 16.

Neuer is hopeful Bayern can complete the treble and has an eye on May 2022, when the Champions League final comes to his home stadium 10 years after their penalty shoot-out defeat to Chelsea on the same stage at the same venue.

"You start every year from the beginning of course wanting to win it all. There is now the championship to win this year and we are still in every competition," he added.

"But right now it is a different situation for us and everyone has to adjust to the current situation, not only us football players.

"One of our big goals for the next few years is definitely having the chance to play a home Champions League final, like we did in 2012. 2022 will be another European final in Munich, which is a great incentive for me and the whole team.

"It would be a dream for us all to be able to reach this final at home."

Hansi Flick has revealed Thiago Alcantara is struggling with a muscular injury just four days before Bayern Munich visit Borussia Dortmund for Der Klassiker.

Spanish midfielder Thiago completed 90 minutes as leaders Bayern beat Union Berlin 2-0 last weekend, picking up where they left off in their first Bundesliga game since the resumption.

However, Flick has confirmed the 29-year-old has since picked up a muscle problem that puts his availability for Saturday's clash with Eintracht Frankfurt in doubt.

Though Flick has not ruled Thiago out of that match, it is a quick turnaround for Tuesday, when Bayern face their nearest rivals Dortmund in a game which could have a huge say in the eventual destination of the title.

Discussing Bayern's injury problems at his pre-match news conference, Flick told reporters: "With Serge [Gnabry], it looks good.

"With Thiago, we have to wait. We hope that we have both with us. We will catch up.

"Otherwise the situation is like last week."

Thiago has played in all but three of Bayern's 26 Bundesliga matches to date, the Bavarians beginning this round of fixtures four points clear of Dortmund.

They have kept three successive clean sheets too, despite not having centre-back Niklas Sule available since October because of a knee injury.

Germany international Sule is still keen to be involved before the campaign finishes, though Flick is cautious.

"We don't want to rush anything," he added.

"Niklas has expressed the wish to play this season. We have to see how stability in the knee allows."

Eintracht Frankfurt coach Adi Hutter has denied talk of a "crisis" at the club ahead of their trip to Bayern Munich, but is urging his players to begin performing on the pitch like they do in training amid an unsatisfactory season.

Frankfurt resumed their 2019-20 campaign last Saturday with a 3-1 defeat at home to Borussia Monchengladbach, who rarely appeared in any danger of dropping points – Andre Silva's consolation coming nine minutes from time with the visitors 3-0 up.

The result saw them pick up from where they left off before the coronavirus-enforced suspension, as they had lost back-to-back matches against Bayer Leverkusen and Basel, conceding seven goals in the process.

It will not be any easier this weekend when they go to pacesetters Bayern, who were easy 2-0 winners at Union Berlin last time out, but Hutter was keen to steer away from talk of a crisis with Frankfurt five points above the relegation play-off spot.

"We are not satisfied, the game against Gladbach showed us what we have to improve, but it went according to the season," he told reporters on Friday. "I'm not talking about a crisis, I'm talking about a team that trains hard. There are no nuances.

"I don't think about the result, but about the fact that the team does what it showed in training: to be compact. We need the conviction that we can perform well. Then there is a surprise in it.

"Bayern are the measure of all things in football – the benchmark. They're the clear favourite for the championship, the ultimate in German football.

"If our performance isn't right, it could be very uncomfortable. We have to get through the initial phase and remain highly concentrated. This applies especially to the duels, but also the forward game.

"Bayern are tactically flexible, appear homogeneous and variable with good counter-pressing. That was already the case with Niko Kovac, who, like Hansi Flick, did an outstanding job.

"They don't have many weak points. They not only have great individual players, they also harmonise well within the team and are broadly positioned everywhere on the pitch."

Victory for 13th-placed Frankfurt could take them up to 11th, but Bayern's win at Union extended their unbeaten run in the Bundesliga to 12 matches and they are four points clear at the top of the table.

Bayern Munich's record signing Lucas Hernandez will have to wait for his chance because coach Hansi Flick prefers a settled back four.

France international Hernandez was signed from Atletico Madrid for €80million prior to this season, but the World Cup-winning defender has started just seven Bundesliga games.

Knee and ankle injuries have not helped the 24-year-old's cause, though he has been an unused substitute in the previous three Bundesliga games either side of the break enforced by the coronavirus pandemic.

David Alaba, who has been converted to a centre-back because of injuries, and Jerome Boateng have instead been at the heart of Flick's defence, with Niklas Sule also sidelined at the moment.

"David and Jerome have shown excellent performances in central defence," Flick told a news conference. 

"We have the best defence in the league. Of course, Lucas is plagued by injuries. Now it is important that he shows excellent performance in training.

"I am very satisfied with his mentality, he gives always 100 per cent.

"But it is also clear that if a chain of four works well, you as a coach rely on this security. But it is clear that we need every player in our squad."

It had looked like Boateng's days in Bavaria were numbered, but Flick's appointment, initially on an interim basis in November, means he is now very much back in favour.

The 31-year-old has a contract that runs until 2021 and, having stated he believes he will fulfil that deal, Flick has praised the defender.

"He still has a year [left on his] contract, it is his decision," Flick added.

"Jerome was a German international and has now shown that he can show performance at this high level.

"He is physically fitter and has created the conditions that he currently has a regular place here. I like to work with him and he's doing very well right now."

Bayern begin the 27th round of Bundesliga fixtures with a four-point lead over Borussia Dortmund, who they will play next week after hosting Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday.

Borussia Dortmund coach Lucien Favre is not giving up on Marco Reus playing again this season despite reports claiming his 2019-20 campaign is already over.

Reus suffered a groin injury during a DFB-Pokal match in February, and although he was only thought to be facing a month out, the 30-year-old still has not been able to return to full training.

It was reported earlier in the week that Reus will definitely miss next Tuesday's Klassiker against Bayern Munich, and an absence until the end of the season is likely.

Favre, speaking ahead of Saturday's trip to Wolfsburg, refused to openly confirm or contradict those claims, though he did appear hopeful that Reus would be able to feature again this term as Dortmund challenge Bayern for the Bundesliga title.

"He hasn't trained with the team yet," Favre told reporters.

"We hope that he will come back as soon as possible and can help us until the end of the season."

There was positive news with respect to Emre Can and Giovanni Reyna. The midfield pair missed the 4-0 win over Schalke as Dortmund resumed their season last Saturday, and they are due to be involved in team training on Friday.

Dortmund have had to contend with numerous injuries of late, with Axel Witsel still out with a muscular problem and Dan-Axel Zagadou set for a long absence due to a knee ligament injury, but Favre feels such issues were to be expected following the coronavirus-enforced pause.

"We trained first in groups of two, then in groups of four. There is a certain danger," he said. "We all did not train normally and then had to train properly four or five days before a championship game, duels. This is not a big surprise for me."

Erling Haaland has a chance to create more Bundesliga history when Borussia Dortmund take on Wolfsburg on Saturday.

Cologne's Mark Uth is another striker on a strong run who will be hoping to help his team pick up a victory over relegation-threatened Fortuna Dusseldorf, while Kai Havertz will be out to maintain his impressive second half of the season.

Bayern remained four points clear at the summit following a victory over Union Berlin on the league's return from a two-month coronavirus stoppage last weekend and are up against Eintracht Frankfurt.

RB Leipzig fell further off the pace and would no doubt welcome a repeat of their Timo Werner-inspired 8-0 thrashing of Mainz from earlier this season when the pair meet again on Sunday.

Ahead of the next round of Bundesliga fixtures, we bring you the best Opta Facts.

FRIDAY
Hertha Berlin v Union Berlin
- Hertha lost 1-0 in the previous meeting in November 2019, which was the first time the two clubs faced each other in the Bundesliga. Hertha have never lost two Berlin derbies in a row in professional football.
- Union have won two of their past three Bundesliga away games (2-0 against Werder Bremen and 2-1 against Eintracht Frankfurt), picking up more wins and points than in their first 10 top-flight away matches this season (one win, five points).

SATURDAY
Borussia Monchengladbach v Bayer Leverkusen
- Leverkusen have lost each of their last three Bundesliga games against Gladbach – they only ever lost four in a row against the Foals across 1980 and 1981.
- Havertz has recorded 10 of his 13 Bundesliga goal involvements this season in the Ruckrunde. He has had a hand in at least one goal in each of his last five top-flight games (four goals, three assists).

Wolfsburg v Borussia Dortmund
- Wolfsburg have only taken one point from their past nine Bundesliga games against Dortmund – a goalless draw at Signal Iduna Park in January 2018.
- Haaland needed just nine games for his first 10 Bundesliga goals – only Paco Alcacer and Gert Dorfel required fewer matches (both eight). Haaland will equal the top-flight's record with an 11th goal in his 10th outing.

Freiburg v Werder Bremen
- Bremen have a higher winning percentage (56 per cent) and average more goals per game (2.2) against Freiburg than they do against any other current Bundesliga side.
- Werder's 18 points from 25 games represents their worst Bundesliga season. In league history, all of the 37 teams that have had 18 points or fewer after 25 games have been relegated.

Paderborn v Hoffenheim
- Paderborn have failed to score in all five of their competitive matches against Hoffenheim – they have only ever endured a longer barren streak in professional football against Kaiserslautern (six games between 2006 and 2010).
- Paderborn are six points behind 16th-place Fortuna Dusseldorf. Since the introduction of the three-points-per-win rule in 1995-96, no Bundesliga team has made up such a deficit after 26 games.

Bayern Munich v Eintracht Frankfurt
- Bayern have won each of their last 10 Bundesliga home games against Frankfurt – their longest winning run at home to any current top-flight side.
- Frankfurt are the weakest team away from home in the Bundesliga this season, picking up just seven points. They have lost nine of their 12 away games this term and have yet to keep a clean sheet on the road.

SUNDAY
Schalke v Augsburg

- Schalke have scored just two goals in their past eight Bundesliga games, fewer than any other side in this time frame. They have equalled a negative club record from 1965-66 with just four goals in nine Ruckrunde games.
- Augsburg's Florian Niederlechner has scored four goals in six Bundesliga games against Schalke – more than he has netted against any other top-flight team.

Mainz v RB Leipzig
- At least three goals have been scored in each of the seven Bundesliga meetings between Mainz and Leipzig.
- Mainz have 27 points and a goal difference of -19, which represents their second-worst Bundesliga campaign at this stage – they were only worse off after 26 games in 2017-18 (25 points).

Cologne v Fortuna Dusseldorf
- It has been nearly 31 years since Dusseldorf's last win away to Cologne in the Bundesliga - they celebrated a 3-1 victory in October 1989.
- Uth has had a hand in a goal in each of his eight Bundesliga games for Cologne (five goals, four assists); his longest such run in the competition.

Marc-Andre ter Stegen's future has dominated headlines.

The Barcelona goalkeeper has been linked with a move away from Camp Nou, where his current contract expires at the end of 2021-22.

But the Germany international appears on the verge of extending his stay at Barcelona.

 

TOP STORY – TER STEGEN POISED FOR BARCA RENEWAL

Marc-Andre ter Stegen will sign a long-term contract with Barcelona, according to Friday's front page of Diario Sport.

Ter Stegen and Barca have been deadlocked over talks regarding a new deal, prompting speculation about the Germany international's future.

The Barca goalkeeper had been linked to Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich before Manuel Neuer extended his contract in Bavaria.

ROUND-UP

Real Madrid and Inter have enquired about Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero, says Gazzetta dello Sport journalist Nicolo Schira. Dismissing talks between Napoli and Aguero, Schira claims City do not want to sell the Argentina international.

- Sport Mediaset reports Edinson Cavani has set his personal terms to Inter. The Paris Saint-Germain veteran is out of contract at the end of the season and has been linked with Atletico Madrid. However, the Uruguayan has reportedly told Atletico his agreed personal terms with the Spanish club are no longer valid as Inter eye the forward.

Barca are very optimistic regarding deals for Inter forward Lautaro Martinez and Juventus midfielder Miralem Pjanic, says Marca.

- According to Le10Sport, Juve have started negotiations with Mino Raiola to bring Manchester United star Paul Pogba back to Turin.

- As Roma look to make Henrikh Mkhitaryan's deal permanent, Calciomercato says Arsenal are interested in signing Justin Kluivert. Mkhitaryan has spent the 2019-20 season on loan in the Italian capital.

- Madrid forward Luka Jovic is Milan's first choice as a striker for next season, reports Schira. The Rossoneri are working on a two-year loan deal with the option to buy, however, Jovic's salary is proving problematic amid talks.

Milan's pursuit of Jovic comes as the club close in on Ralf Rangnick. According to Calciomercato, Rangnick is set to become head coach, though the German could vacate his position in season two for either RB Leipzig boss Julian Nagelsmann or Borussia Monchengladbach's Marco Rose.

- According to Mundo Deportivo, City, Juve and PSG are battling for Barca full-back Nelson Semedo. The Portugal international has also been linked to Bayern and Inter.

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