Bundesliga Weekend Preview: Match Day 3

Anyone thinking the new Bundesliga season was going to be a slow burner could not have been wider of the mark. We’ve already seen goals, shocks, favourites struggling, underdogs surprising and a record quickest goal.  Nine more mouth-watering clashes await this weekend and we preview all the action for you here…

Friday August 28

Wolfsburg v Schalke

Friday night’s game this week sees Schalke travel to Wolfsburg with both sides looking to return to winning ways after disappointing draws last weekend. The transfer window can’t shut soon enough for Dieter Hecking as the dark cloud of Kevin De Bruyne’s potential transfer continues to hang over the club. It was clear that during last week’s 1-1 draw with Köln that the saga is affecting the player.

Schalke too will be looking over the shoulders (or rather over their shoulders at the Premier League vultures) with regards Julian Draxler and like their hosts will be keen to get a good performance and points on the board after last week’s stalemate at home to Darmstadt.

Saturday August 29

VfB Stuttgart v Eintracht Frankfurt

With just two games gone, it is too early to start judging teams, but the league table already shows that Stuttgart are one of only three teams without a point to their name yet this season. They looked to be on the way to a first win last week only to be overhauled by a great HSV fightback. Frankfurt will provide stiff opposition, but the Swabians will buoyed by last season’s 3-1 home win over the Adler.

An opening loss to Wolfsburg was followed by a point at home to Augsburg and Armin Veh will hope to see the first three points on the board against a Stuttgart side already under a little pressure.

Augsburg v Ingolstadt

After losing their first game and drawing their second, the logical progression is for FC Augsburg to go out and win their third as they welcome promoted side Ingolstadt on Saturday. You’d expect last season’s surprise package to take all three points, but then again, this is the Bundesliga!

Following their opening day win, Ingolstadt were brought down to earth with a bump last week by Borussia Dortmund. The trip to Augsburg will provide another stern test against a side wanting to get their first home win under their belt to get their season started.

1FC Köln v Hamburg

It has been a more than decent start from Köln with four points taken from a possible six. An impressive win against Stuttgart was followed by a draw against Wolfsburg and the Geisböcke can consider themselves unlucky not to have taken more against last season’s runners-up.

Bruno Labbadia would have been delighted with the fantastic fightback last week at home to Stuttgart, which secured a morale-boosting three points, but there is still a lot of work to be done at HSV. Saturday sees a tough away trip, but it is important that the Rothosen build some momentum following last week’s success.

Mainz v Hannover

The 05er provided the shock of the weekend last week with their 2-1 away win over Mönchengladbach and a winnable home game is on the cards for them this week. If Mainz are to achieve their target this season (safety) then this is the sort of game they are going to need three points from.

Hannover too will see the likes of Mainz as their equals in the battle for safety and picking up wins away from home could prove key. With just a single point picked up thus far, the Niedersachsen side cannot afford for a gap to open up at the bottom so early in the season.

Darmstadt v Hoffenheim

A point away at Schalke last week showed that Darmstadt are not just going to roll over and let sides walk all over them in the Bundesliga and having drawn their opening two games, will be looking for a first win this weekend with Hoffenheim their visitors.

The Sinsheim outfit are one of the three clubs still to register a point so far, but they must be wondering how that is following their plucky display against Bayern last week. They can’t dwell on what might have been and will need to focus quickly on a difficult away trip this weekend.

Bayern Munich v Bayer Leverkusen

The stand-out fixture of the weekend sees Bayern Munich hosting Bayer Leverkusen at the Allianz Arena as two of Germany’s Champions League participants go head-to-head.

Sublime against Hamburg in their opener, Bayern showed that they are fallible as the struggled last week against Hoffenheim. Saved only by a last minute winner, Pep Guardiola faces perhaps an even tougher game with the visit of Roger Schmidt’s Werkself fresh from their victory over Lazio. Jerome Boateng will be absent from the heart of defence after his red card last week.

Leverkusen will be on a high after their qualification for the Champions League group stage, but will have to quickly focus back on maintaining their 100% start to the campaign. Trainer Schmidt has gained a reputation as a wily tactician and he’ll have to have something special up his sleeve to beat Bayern.

 

Sunday August 30

Borussia Dortmund v Hertha Berlin

BVB followed up their impressive opening day win with another 4-0 victory last weekend and the arrival of Hertha will give them a chance to make it three wins from three. Thomas Tuchel’s side are making a habit of scoring four in a game, so the Berlin back four need to beware.

It’s hard to know what to make of the Old Lady so far this season and this is by far their toughest game so far. Four points from two games is a good start, but that could be about to come to an end at the Signal-Iduna Park.

Werder Bremen v Borussia Mönchengladbach

After the disappointment of the loss to Schalke, Werder produced a much better display last Friday to take a point at Berlin, but they would have been disappointed it wasn’t three.  The visit of a wounded Borussia Mönchengladbach to the Weser Stadion gives them another tough task on Sunday.

A point, a point, my kingdom for a point! This was not the start that anyone expected from the Foals, but people shouldn’t over-react just yet. The quality is there and the first points are just around the corner. Lucien Favre will be hoping that corner is away at Werder in the game that rounds-off this week’s Bundesliga action.

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Mathew Burt

A year spent living in Bremen got Mathew hooked on the Bundesliga with regular visits to the Weser Stadion getting in the way of his studies. Back in the UK now, he still keenly follows the Grün-Weißen and German football in general. Follow him on Twitter @matburt74.