BERLIN (AP) — The Bundesliga's top three appear to be in a league of their own before the 11th round of games, with Borussia Moenchengladbach nine points adrift in fourth.
Unbeaten Bayern Munich can match an all-time record at Hoffenheim, while Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen aim to keep pace with wins over Stuttgart and Eintracht Braunschweig, respectively.
Just six points separate Moenchengladbach and Augsburg in 15th, strengthening the notion of a two-tier league.
Here are five things to know ahead of this weekend's matches.
Avoid defeat at Hoffenheim and Bayern would match the Bundesliga record of 36 games unbeaten set by Hamburger SV between January 1982 and January 1983.
Bayern hasn't lost a league game since a 2-1 home defeat to Bayer Leverkusen in October last year, and won't expect to lose on Saturday, despite Hoffenheim's surprisingly prolific attack.
Hoffenheim, which barely staved off relegation last season, is Germany's top-scoring side with 25 goals in 10 matches so far.
But Bayern has the Bundesliga's meanest defense (six goals conceded) — and Franck Ribery. With the Frenchman in the side, Bayern is undefeated in 39 straight games.
Last week, Ribery overtook Hamburg's Holger Hieronymus as the player with the longest unbeaten streak. The European Footballer of the Year won't want his record to end so soon after setting it.
Onlookers could be forgiven for thinking Dortmund won the Bundesliga on Wednesday, such was the euphoria generated at the news Juergen Klopp had signed a contract extension to remain as coach until 2018.
Klopp, widely credited with masterminding the club's renaissance into domestic and European title contender, had a deal to 2016 but extended with his assistants by another two years because "it is important in life to be in the right place at the right time. And Dortmund for me now is the perfect place."
Dortmund will be in the mood to celebrate Friday against Stuttgart, but the visitors are unbeaten in seven games since Thomas Schneider took over as coach.
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