The important games to watch on Matchday 17

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Bayern go into the last match of the first half of the season as league leaders, and with a four-point advantage they're guaranteed to be on top at the halfway stage. The defending champions can further extend the lead with their trip to Augsburg (Wednesday, 20:30 CET), because the four closest pursuers are all competing against each other. fcbayern.com takes a look at the most important games of Matchday 17, involving the closest teams and upcoming opponents of the record champions.

Bayer 04 Leverkusen – Borussia Dortmund

Kick-off: Tuesday, 19.01.2021, 20:30 CET

Significance: This is the big game of the matchday in terms of the table. Third-placed Leverkusen host a Dortmund side who are level on points but behind on goal difference. Last weekend was not ideal for either team, as Leverkusen lost 1-0 at Union Berlin, and Dortmund only managed a 1-1 draw at home to Mainz, who were in last place at the time. Now they both want to keep in touch with the league leaders, as they lie seven points behind FCB.

Key fact: Goals have been guaranteed in this fixture in recent years. There have been 36 in the past seven Bundesliga clashes between the two clubs (BVB leading 25-11), which is an average of over five per game.

It's a special game for Peter Bosz. In 2017 he coached BVB for six months, and he has been in charge at Leverkusen since Christmas 2018.

RB Leipzig – Union Berlin

Kick-off: Wednesday, 20.01.2021, 20:30 CET

Significance: Leipzig lost some ground to FCB with their draw in Wolfsburg on Saturday, but they remain Bayern's closest pursuers and are only four points behind. A win against the surprise package from Berlin would ramp up the pressure on the record champions. Die Eisernen travel to Saxony with a lot of confidence, as they managed a win against Leverkusen last Friday and continue to establish themselves in the European spots.

Key fact: In Wolfsburg, Nordi Mukiele became the 14th player to score for Leipzig this season. This means RB have the most different goalscorers in the league.

FC Schalke 04 – 1. FC Köln

Kick-off: Wednesday, 20.01.2021, 18:30 CET

Significance: FCB play Schalke next Sunday (15:30 CET) to start the second half of the season. However, the strugglers have a big game ahead of them before they take on the record champions. Schalke are currently in last place in the table with seven points, and their upcoming opponents Köln are in 16th place with 12 points. A victory is imperative for S04 so they don't lose sight of safety.

Key fact: Schalke won their last home game 4-0 against Hoffenheim, while Köln lost their away game 5-0 at Freiburg.

19-year-old Matthew Hoppe is the current high-flying hope for Schalke. His four goals in 2021 are the most in the league - joint with Robert Lewandowski.

Matchday 17 overview

Tuesday, 19.01.2021 | 18:30 CET
Borussia Mönchengladbach – SV Werder Bremen

Tuesday, 19.01.2021 | 20:30 CET
1. FSV Mainz 05 – VfL Wolfsburg
Bayer 04 Leverkusen – Borussia Dortmund
Hertha Berlin – TSG 1899 Hoffenheim

Wednesday, 20.01.2021 | 18:30 CET
FC Schalke 04 – 1. FC Köln

Wednesday, 20.01.2021 | 20:30 CET
FC Augsburg – FC Bayern
Arminia Bielefeld – VfB Stuttgart
RB Leipzig – 1. FC Union Berlin
SC Freiburg – Eintracht Frankfurt

Find out Hansi Flick's expectations for the matchday in Tuesday's live press conference ahead of the Augsburg game:

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