Bayern warm-up for Leipzig showdown at Darmstadt

Both Leipzig and Bayern have 33 points and meet at Munich's Allianz Arena next Wednesday in a mouth-watering clash before the Bundesliga breaks for the winter.

Mat Hummels

Mats Hummels has returned to training after missing the win over Wolfsburg with illness.   -  Getty Images

Bayern Munich needs a win at bottom-side Darmstadt on Sunday to be sure of finishing the weekend top of the Bundesliga ahead of its pre-Christmas showdown against second-placed RB Leipzig.

Bayern's 5-0 hammering of Wolfsburg last Saturday allowed it to regain top spot on goal difference from Leipzig, who suffered a shock 1-0 defeat at strugglers Ingolstadt, ending RB's three-week run as leaders.

Both Leipzig and Bayern have 33 points and meet at Munich's Allianz Arena next Wednesday in a mouth-watering clash before the Bundesliga breaks for the winter.

Having tied up the services of striker Robert Lewandowski, who has signed a two-year extension to keep him in Munich until 2021, Bayern has Spain midfielder Thiago Alcantara doubtful with a bruised knee.

Mats Hummels has returned to training after missing the win over Wolfsburg with illness while centre-back partner Jerome Boateng is back after a shoulder injury.

Darmstadt has Ramon Berndroth as caretaker coach after sacking Norbert Meier last week.

The club last claimed a league point against Bayern in 1978 and have lost all of their last six league games this season.

Leipzig's test

Leipzig host third-placed Hertha Berlin on Saturday in the first of back-to-back games against the teams either side of them in the table with Bayern to follow five days later.

"It is the phase in which we will see how good we really are and where we can place ourselves," said Leipzig coach Ralph Hasenhuettl.

The Austrian has had right-back Bernardo back in first-team training, but defenders Marvin Compper, Kyriakos Papadopoulos and Lukas Klostermann are still injured.

Both Hertha and Leipzig are looking to bounce back from shock defeats.

Berlin crashed to a 1-0 loss at home to Werder Bremen last Saturday and head coach Pal Dardai has both first-choice centre-backs John Anthony Brooks and Sebastian Langkamp injured.

Mid-table Augsburg host Borussia Moenchengladbach on Saturday with caretaker coach Manuel Baum, 37, in charge after Dirk Schuster was surprisingly sacked on Wednesday after just six months in charge.

Baum has inherited a squad decimated by injuries with Brazilian midfielder Caiuby, Iceland striker Alfred Finnbogason and Raul Bobadilla all out injured.

Midfielder Dominik Kohr was sent off in last weekend's 1-0 defeat at Hamburg and is suspended.

Having broken its eight-match winless streak in the league by poaching a 1-0 win over Mainz last Sunday, 'Gladbach coach Andre Schubert will be without injured US international Fabian Johnson.

Josip Drmic and Thorgan Hazard are options up front to boost a forward line which has scored just three times on the road this season.

Having stunned Leipzig, Ingolstadt can clam another big scalp on Sunday at Bayer Leverkusen, whose winger Kevin Kampl has had a quick return from a foot injury, after being fined dancing in a club last weekend.

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