Bundesliga Opta Facts - 18-20 Dec
FC Schalke 04 - TSG 1899 Hoffenheim
Schalke have won their last four home Bundesliga matches against Hoffenheim, netting at least three goals per game in the process (aggregate score: 13-2). TSG's last win in Gelsenkirchen came in January 2011 (1-0).
S04 have won just one of their last seven games (3-1 vs. Hannover), picking up just five points in that timeframe. Hoffenheim have claimed seven points in that period, including a first win under Huub Stevens last time out (1-0, also against Hannover).
24 points from 16 matches is Schalke's worst return in five years. In 2010/11 they had just 19 on the board after the same amount of games. Felix Magath was the coach at the time and they ended the campaign in 14th place.
Despite winning last time out, 13 points is TSG's second-worst points tally after from 16 matches in their Bundesliga history. In 2012/13, when they only avoided the drop by virtue of winning the relegation play-off, they had one point fewer.
The side from Baden-Württemberg last won two consecutive league games in the same season in March 2014.
Schalke have won 10 of the last 11 Friday home games (D1). TSG have lost both of their matches in the timeslot this season (3-1 vs. Mainz, 1-0 vs. HSV).
Hoffenheim have won just one of their last 10 Bundesliga away games (3-1 in Augsburg on MD7), otherwise recording two draws and six defeats. They were also beaten on the road in the DFB Cup at the start of the season - and that was at the hands of second division side TSV 1860 München (lost 2-0).
Kevin Kuranyi played for S04 between 2005 and 2010, scoring 71 goals in 162 league appearances in the process. His last Bundesliga goal came for the Royal Blues (vs. FCB on 3rd April 2010).
Matchday 34 of last season saw a real relegation thriller between Andre Breitenreiter (then coach of SC Paderborn) and Huub Stevens (VfB Stuttgart). The game finished 2-1 to VfB, which saw SCP drop into the second division.
In 1999 Huub Stevens was voted Schalke's coach of the century. He's their longest-serving boss (239 matches, 99 wins), winning the 1997 UEFA Cup, two DFB Cups (2001 and 2002) as well as narrowly missing out on the title in 2001 with the club.
Hamburger SV - FC Augsburg
Augsburg have won four of the last five league games against HSV. However, they lost the most recent meeting (3-2 in April). Against no other side have FCA picked up more points per game on average (2.0, the same as against Stuttgart and Köln).
Hamburg have lost just one of their last five Bundesliga matches (W2, D2) - 3-1 vs. Mainz on matchday 15. However, they've won just one of their last six at home (D2 L3) - 3-1 vs. BVB.
The Swabians have picked up 10 points from their last four games (W3 D1) - far more than they achieved in the first 12 matches of the season (6). FCA have the best record of any side in the league over the last four games (10 points, 7 goals scored, 1 conceded).
With 14 points, Hamburg sit third in the away standings, behind only Bayern and BVB. However, they have picked up just eight points at home this season (10th).
Augsburg made history last week by qualifying for the knockout phase of the Europa League for the first time. Awaiting them in the round of 32 is Liverpool FC and their manager Jürgen Klopp.
Only Leverkusen (3813) have contested more duels this season than HSV (3631). Hamburg have also committed the most fouls this season (265) - but only three sides have been fouled more than HSV (246 times).
FCA have scored half of their 20 goals this season from set pieces - no other side has scored as many goals from dead ball situations as Augsburg (10).
Hamburg have conceded just five goals in the first half of games this season (same as FCB), but have let in 17 goals after the break (77% - a league high).
Augsburg have conceded 11 times in the opening half an hour of games this season - a league high, together with Stuttgart. HSV have let in just four goals in this period (the same as Schalke and Wolfsburg) - only Mainz and Bayern have conceded fewer (both 3).
HSV have scored 11 goals in their last seven matches and have scored in seven consecutive league games for the first time since the end of the 2013/14 season (8 on that occasion).
Eintracht Frankfurt - SV Werder Bremen
Eintracht face Bremen for the 91st time in the top flight this weekend (W32 D19 L39). They have never beaten a side more often in the Bundesliga (also 32 victories vs. Gladbach).
Frankfurt have lost just one of the last 10 league games against Werder (W5 D4). This defeat came last time out when Davie Selke's goal gave Bremen a 1-0 home victory.
Bremen's last win in Frankfurt dates back to May 2009 - current assistant coach Torsten Frings netted a brace in a comprehensive 5-0 victory on that occasion.
SGE currently hold the longest winless run in the league (6 games). They are on a run of four straight league defeats, something which last happened in October/November 2014, conceding 10 goals in the process.
Armin Veh's men have picked up just seven points from their last 12 matches - a league low. They won just once in that timeframe - 2-1 in Hannover on matchday 10 (D4 L7).
Eintracht lie behind Bremen for the first time this term but victory this weekend would see them climb back above Skripnik's side. A defeat could see them drop into the bottom three for the first time since August 2013.
11 of Bremen's 15 points have come on the road. Three of their four league wins this term have been in away fixtures (vs. Hoffenheim, Mainz and Augsburg).
Frankfurt have already lost three home games in 2015/16 (as many as in the whole of the previous season) and have won just once in front of their own fans (6-2 vs. Köln on 12th September).
Werder have gone 19 games without a Bundesliga clean sheet - an ongoing negative club record. Only VfB (36) have conceded more goals than Bremen this term (30).
SVW keeper Felix Wiedwald previously played for SGE (2013-2015) but made only 11 appearances for the Eagles - he was Kevin Trapp's deputy.
1. FC Köln - Borussia Dortmund
Köln took four points off BVB last season. Their 2-1 victory in the first meeting ended a run of eight straight Bundesliga defeats against Dortmund.
The Billy Goats' heaviest home Bundesliga defeat came at the hands of Dortmund (6-1 in 2012 and 1994).
BVB, who turn 106 on the day of the match, have the best ever record among sides second in the table after 16 games (38 points, +25 GD). FCB come close though - in 1980/81 they also had 38 points, but their goal difference was only +21 (converted to 3-points-for-a-win system).
Thomas Tuchel's side have netted 46 goals this term - they have only netted more times after 16 games on one occasion (49, in 1963/64). Dortmund managed just 47 goals in the whole of last season.
Köln have drawn 15 league games in 2015 - five more than any other side. Four of the Billy Goats' last six fixtures have seen the points shared.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored against 16 of the current 18 Bundesliga sides (the exceptions being Köln and BVB). The Gabon international has bagged more goals this term (18) than the whole of Peter Stöger's team combined (16).
Aubameyang currently tops the scoring charts with 18 goals to his name - he's just short of Gerd Müller's league record of 20 in the first half of a season (1968/69). Frankfurt's Alexander Meier was the league's top scorer in 2014/15 (19).
Timo Horn (78.7% shots stopped) is statistically the best keeper in the league; Roman Bürki is the weakest (61.8%).
Gonzalo Castro is set to make his 300th Bundesliga appearance and could also celebrate his 150th top-flight victory this weekend. Only seven current players have reached this milestone.
Köln's Anthony Modeste was directly involved in eight goals across the opening eight matchdays (6 goals + 2 assists), but has not had a hand in a single goal in the last eight Bundesliga games.
Mats Hummels is the best tackler in the league (70.4% challenges won).
Hannover 96 - FC Bayern München
Bayern München have won their last eight competitive games vs. Hannover, scoring 30 times and conceding just four goals in the process.
96's heaviest ever Bundesliga defeat took place in Munich in April 2010 (7-0, same as vs. VfB in 1986). Bayern's goals that day came from Thomas Müller, Ivica Olic (2 each) and Arjen Robben (3 - his first treble in the top flight).
This is Hannover's worst campaign for 27 years (currently 14 points). With 43 points and a +37 goal difference, this is Bayern's second-best start in their Bundesliga history.
Bayern have picked up more points than any other Bundesliga side in 2015 (77 points from 33 games) - Hannover's 27 is the lowest tally (excluding promoted/relegated teams).
FCB's victory over FCI last weekend saw them become the first side to top the table at Christmas in five consecutive campaigns (21 in total). They have gone on to lift the title on 17 of the previous 20 occasions.
Hannover have lost six of their last eight in all competitions - the exceptions being wins over Hamburg (2-1) and Ingolstadt (4-0), who Guardiola's men beat 2-0 last weekend!
The sides have mixed records in the final Bundesliga game of a calendar year. Hannover haven't won their final match of the year since returning to the top flight in 2002/03 (D6, L7) - Bayern are unbeaten in this fixture for 30 years (W16 D14).
Robert Lewandowski has missed 22 clear-cut chances in the league this term - more than the entire Hannover team have created (20).
Michael Frontzeck faces Pep Guardiola for the first time in any competition this weekend. He did, however, play with Matthias Sammer at Stuttgart (1990-1992). The duo helped VfB lift the Bundesliga title in 1992.
Manuel Neuer is on the cusp of making his 300th Bundesliga appearance. A shut out this week would see him draw level in the clean sheets chart with Uli Stein (143 clean sheets) - only three keepers have kept more in the history of the division.
Thomas Müller netted a brace in his last two league games vs. Hannover. He has never scored three consecutive braces against a Bundesliga side. He has netted seven goals against 96 and HSV - he hasn't scored more times against anyone else.
FC Ingolstadt 04 - Bayer 04 Leverkusen
The sides meet competitively for the first time this weekend.
Ingolstadt have won just one of their last eight league matches (D3 L4) - 3-1 vs. Darmstadt on matchday 13. However, they have lost just one of their last four home matches (W2 D1). This defeat came at the hands of Hertha (1-0 on MD10).
Leverkusen have won just one of their last four games away from home (D1 L2) - a 3-1 vs. Frankfurt on matchday 13. They have 10 points on the road after eight games this term. Their tally has only been lower on one occasion (8 in 2006/07).
Only FCB (8) have conceded fewer goals than Ingolstadt this season (17). Furthermore, only Bayern (10) have kept more clean sheets than FCI (6, same as two other sides) and only the German champions (36) have allowed fewer shots on target than Hasenhüttl's men (58).
Ingolstadt haven't scored in the first half since the end of October. Nine of their 11 goals this season have come after the break - a league high (82%). FCI have the lowest chance conversion rate (8%) and clear-cut chance conversion rate (24%) in the league.
With 20 points to their name, FCI currently sit third from bottom in the all-time Bundesliga standings, but a draw against Bayer 04 would take them up to 50th place! They are currently 10 adrift of Preußen Münster, who lie in 49th with 30 points.
Stefan Kießling bagged a brace in the 5-0 win over Gladbach to end a 773 minute goal drought (spanning 13 league games). The striker was also directly involved in four goals in a single BL game for the first time (2 goals + 2 assists).
Chicharito scored his first competitive club hat-trick in Bayer 04's 5-0 win over Gladbach last weekend. The Mexico international has scored eight of Leverkusen's last 12 goals.
Bernd Leno could make his 150th Bundesliga appearance against Ingolstadt - in his previous 149 appearances (all for Bayer Leverkusen), he has kept a total of 50 clean sheets. Hakan Calhanoglu could also make his 50th top-flight appearance for the Werkself this weekend.
Leverkusen will still be without Sebastian Boenisch, who was suspended for two games after his controversial dismissal in the game against Hertha on matchday 15.
VfB Stuttgart - VfL Wolfsburg
Stuttgart have lost their last six Bundesliga games against Wolfsburg. Their last victory came three and a half years ago (3-2 win on MD34 of 2011/12).
Both sides are out of form, picking up just two points out of the last nine available (D2, L1).
This is VfB's worst ever season (12 points, -17 goal difference after 16 matches).
Dieter Hecking's men have won just once on the road in the league this season (1-0 in Darmstadt on MD10) - only Stuttgart (5) have fewer away points than VfL (6) in 2015/16.
Stuttgart are without a win in five - three consecutive defeats have been followed by successive draws (1-1 vs. Bremen, 0-0 in Mainz).
VfL have the worst away attack in the league this term - they've scored just three times in their seven away league matches (the other 17 sides have scored at least 5 away goals).
Stuttgart have won just one of their last 11 matches in the Saturday evening slot - a 2-0 win over Mainz in 2014/15 (MD32).
The Wolves have scored 99 goals in their 52 competitive games in 2015 to date - they could make it a century in their final game of the year...
Stuttgart have lost more Bundesliga games than any other side in 2015 (18, same as Hannover). Wolfsburg, on the other hand, have only lost six.
Andre Schürrle has scored just one goal in 28 league appearances for VfL, which came in the 3-1 home win over Stuttgart last term (MD27).
Bas Dost has scored eight of his nine competitive goals this season in Wolfsburg (7 in the Bundesliga, 1 in the Champions League). His only away goal to date came in Stuttgart - when the Wolves beat Stuttgarter Kickers 4-1 in the first round of the DFB Cup.
Jürgen Kramny's only ever Bundesliga red card came against VfL (in 2004 with Mainz).
Hertha BSC - 1. FSV Mainz 05
Hertha BSC have lost just one of their last seven meetings with Mainz (W3, D3), however, that defeat came in the most recent clash to take place in Berlin (3-1, in September 2014).
Mainz (6th) and Berlin (7th) are level on 46 points in a table representing the calendar year of 2015 - only Bayern, Dortmund, Gladbach, Wolfsburg and Leverkusen lie ahead of them. Schalke are one point behind the pair.
Hertha have secured four wins from their last five matches (L1 - 2-0 vs. FCB) and have also come out on top in five of their most recent six games on home soil (L1 - 4-1 to BMG).
Schmidt's side are unbeaten in their last six outings (W3, D3), the longest sequence of such in the top flight at present. It's also FSV's longest run without defeat for more than a year (9 games between May and October 2014, across multiple seasons).
Mainz haven't lost any of their last four on the road (W2, D2), their longest ever run within a single Bundesliga season. Across multiple campaigns, FSV have only gone on a longer unbeaten run away from home once before: Six matches between April and October 2010.
With 29 points from 16 Bundesliga games, Berlin are just one point shy of the club's best season (30, most recently 2008/09). The last time they were in the top three at this point of campaign or later was in 2008/09 - they were third in May 2009.
With 24 points and a +2 goal difference, Mainz are enjoying their second-best top-fight campaign in the club's history. They were only better off after 16 matchdays in 2010/11 when they had 30 points, finishing that season in fifth.
Only Augsburg (10) have netted more goals from set plays than BSC this term (9, same as FCB). FSV have scored just three in this manner in 2015/16 - a league low together with TSG.
Pal Dardai's first game in charge of Hertha was a 2-0 victory over Mainz (then managed by Kasper Hjulmand) on February 7th 2015. Martin Schmidt replaced the Dane 10 days later - they lost a further game in that timeframe.
Vedad Ibisevic notched his third brace of the season during the 4-0 rout in Darmstadt. The Bosnian has now had a hand in eight goals in nine Bundesliga appearances this term (6 goals + 2 assists). He has been directly involved in a goal every 82 minutes on average.
Borussia Mönchengladbach - SV Darmstadt 98
Gladbach have won two of their four Bundesliga games against Darmstadt (D1, L1) - both on home soil. Their 6-1 victory in the last top-flight meeting, back in May 1982, is the Lilies' second-highest top-flight defeat (their heaviest is a 7-1 loss to VfB Stuttgart in 1979).
However, Darmstadt came out on top in the last competitive game - after a goalless 120 minutes, the then third division side won on penalties (5-4) in the first round of the 2013/14 DFB Cup.
BMG have lost five of their last eight games to take place on the final matchday of a calendar year (W1, D2). That win cam vs. Mainz in 2011 (1-0). Darmstadt are unbeaten in the last top-flight game of the year (won 3-1 against Bochum in 1978, drew 1-1 with Gladbach in 1981).
Gladbach got lost 5-0 in Leverkusen last weekend. The last time a side managed by Andre Schubert conceded five on one match was in March 2011, when his Paderborn side were beaten at home by Cottbus in a second-division fixture (5-0).
The Lilies' 4-0 defeat to Hertha last weekend was their heaviest since September 2011 (also 4-0, vs. Saarbrücken in the third division). The last time they lost a game so comprehensively in the Bundesliga was in May 1982 - ironically, at the hands of Borussia (6-1).
Gladbach have let in 12 goals from set pieces in 2015/16 - a league high. They've also shipped the most headed goals this season (seven).
Proportionally speaking, the Lilies have netted the most goals from set pieces (53%, eight out of 15). Additionally, four of Darmstadt's last five goals have been headers. In total, the Lilies have scored six headed goals so far this season - a joint league high with three other teams.
Raffael has been directly involved in 14 Bundesliga goals in the 11 BL games under Andre Schubert (6 goals + 8 assists). Only Dortmund's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (15) can beat that tally. Raffael is the league's top provider in 2015/16 (8).
Fabian Johnson has played in all eight of Gladbach's Bundesliga victories so far this season and the team have only suffered one defeat in the USA international's 11 appearances this campaign (D2). Borussia have failed to take a single point in any of the five league games in which Johnson hasn't featured this term.
Dirk Schuster played for KSC and Köln against Borussia in the Bundesliga on a total of 10 occasions, winning six of those games and losing three (D1). As a manager, he led the Lilies to victory over Gladbach in the first round of the 2013 DFB Cup (see above).