With the first international break coming up, we look forward to a full weekend of Bundesliga action before the players depart to their respective countries. As a way of previewing the action, let’s take a look at five talking points
1. Will Schalke fans witness their team score a goal?
After two weekends of Bundesliga action, Schalke remain the only side not to have scored a goal. Across all three top divisions in Germany after two games, only 3. Liga SV Meppen had also failed to score.
The passionate fans at the Veltins Arena got really got behind their side last weekend against Bayern and the atmosphere created (even at 3-0 down) was awesome.
That said, the long-suffering supporters are going to want to see a reaction from their team and above all they want to see goals (or a singular goal). The thing is, they are getting a little used to not seeing goals at home with nine games last season ending with no Schalke goal.
Is the Hertha Berlin back line ready for what’s coming?
2. Can VfL Wolfsburg maintain Fortress Volkswagen Arena?
New trainer Oliver Glasner must be very pleased with the start his VfL Wolfsburg side have made to the new season with two wins from two matches so far. The Austrian will be looking forward to making it three on Saturday and will be banking on die Wölfe making the most of home advantage against Paderborn.
The Lower Saxony side are actually unbeaten in their last eight games at the Volkswagen Arena and you have to go back to January 26th for their last home defeat (3-0 against Bayer Leverkusen).
Oliver Glasner has yet to taste defeat with his new club going through pre-season and the start of the new campaign unbeaten. Having celebrated his 44th birthday on Wednesday, the Wolfsburg coach will want to be celebrating another three points this weekend.
“I’m expecting a Paderborn side that will play in their own way and get the ball forward quickly, but also leave gaps. I’m expecting an open contest,” Glasner said at Thursday’s press conference. “Records don’t interest me but obviously I’m happy when we put in a good performance and win.”
3. Can Werder Bremen and their makeshift defence turn things around?
It has been far from the ideal start for Werder with two defeats from two games and to make matters worse, their defence is falling apart at the seams in terms of injuries.
Florian Kohfeldt already had Milos Veljkovic out with a toe injury and Sebastian Langkamp out with a muscle problem, but they have now lost Swede Ludwig Augustinsson for three months after the 25-year-old was forced to undergo knee surgery this week. He will be out for an estimated three months.
Ömer Toprak, who was signed from Borussia Dortmund to help ease the defensive headache is also now out for six weeks with a torn muscle. With two successive defeats, the pressure is on the Grün-Weißen to kick start their season. They will have to do that with a makeshift back four with Maxi Eggestein filling in at full back and Theodor Gebre Selassie partnering Niklas Moisander in the centre against Augsburg.
“The game is extremely important for us and we are determined,” Werder’s captain Moisander said this week. “We believe in ourselves as a team, and we play football the right way. We can gain confidence from the fact that we didn’t play badly in the first two games.”
4. Can Freiburg keep mixing it at the top?
Seeing Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen with a 100% record after two games surprises no-one, but seeing SC Freiburg up at the top with the same record does cause a brief double-take.
The Breisgauer, under Christian Streich, know that picking up points against the teams not battling for Champions League/ Europa League places is vital for them in their seasonal battle to retain their Bundesliga status.
They have done that superbly so far with successive wins over Mainz and Paderborn (the first time they have started with two victories). They will be striving to continue their positive start at home to Köln this weekend. Freiburg have been very efficient this season in attack, scoring six goals from twelve shots on target.
The Geißböcke are pointless thus far, so themselves will be striving for their first points of the season.
5. Will Robert Lewandowski let anyone else score?
After scoring both goals against Hertha Berlin on matchday 1, Robert Lewandowski went one better last weekend with his hattrick against Schalke. The 31-year-old has now scored all of the Bavarians league goals this season.
He is the first player in the club’s history to score all of Bayern’s first five goals in a Bundesliga campaign. In the 57-year history of the German top flight, only Gerd Müller had a higher tally after two matchdays when the Bayern legend scored six goals in the first two matches of the 1977/78 season.
Lewandowski will be confident of adding to his tally at home to Mainz this weekend, the question is will he let anyone else get in on the scoring act?
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