1- Will Dortmund awake from their early season slumber?
Dortmund may have started the season unbeaten, but in neither of their opening two matches have they emerged with a whole lot of credit or positivity. The fact that Gregor Kobel was arguably their best player and Köln the better team in their opening day win says a lot. So too does the fact that there wasn’t much to praise about their draw away at Bochum on matchday two other than they managed to emerge with a point.
It is time for BVB to bring more urgency, more creativity, more energy and more dominance to their game. Newly promoted Heidenheim are up on Friday at the Signal Iduna Park, which in theory at least will give the Schwarzgelben the opportunity to buck up their ideas. That said, remember what happened on matchday 3 last season when a newly promoted side arrived in Dortmund (Werder’s smash and grab 3-2 win).
2- Who will win the battle of the East?
The late game on Sunday sees Union Berlin looking to maintain their 100% start to the season and also bag the bragging rights as the best team from the East. RB Leipzig are the visitors to the Alten Försterei. After winning their opening two games with four goals scored in each, the Eisernen have come out of the blocks in fine style and having now learnt their Champions League fate this season, will want to carry their form forward against their Sachsen rivals.
Leipzig suffered a slight blip following their Supercup triumph over Bayern, but got things back on track with a 5-1 thumping of VfB Stuttgart last week. Leipzig have lost 2-1 on their last three Bundesliga visits to the Alten Försterei so will be keen to put an end to that particular stat.
3- Can Hoffenheim’s defence shut out Jonas Wind?
He’s been less of a wind and more of a tornado so far this season! VfL Wolfsburg striker Jonas Wind only managed six Bundesliga goals in the whole of last season, but in the opening two matches thus far, the Dane has bagged a brace in both.
Hoffenheim will the next team to face the full force of the in-form forward with his coach Niko Kovac referring to him this week as the league’s number one striker. “He’s the number one striker for us at the moment and probably in the league too. He’s hitting everything right now and he’s in a really good mood. You could see that in the preparation. He’s physically fit, very motivated and a leader.”
4- Will Werder remain pointless?
Werder were the joint worst performing team in last season’s Rückrunde (along with relegated Hertha Berlin) and the hangover seems to be continuing in to the new season. Knocked out of the DFB Pokal in the first round by Viktoria Köln, the Grün-Weißen are the only side without a goal so far and have lost both their opening two fixtures.
The arrival of Mainz to the Weser Stadion will give them a chance to put that right this weekend. A third consecutive league defeat to start the season (and the loss of Niclas Füllkrug) would be the worst possible start and increase the fears that the dreaded ‘second season syndrome’ might be kicking in.
5- Could Gladbach cause a Klassiker upset?
To the older generation this is still THE Klassiker of German football with the two rivals from the halcyon days of the 1970’s stirring the emotions as the Foals host the Rekordmeister. Gone are the days when Gladbach were the team to push/ usurp Bayern for the Meisterschale, but the game still attracts plenty of attention.
Gladbach have a decent home record against the Bavarians in recent years with two wins and two draws in the last four league meetings at the Borussia Park. Last season’s 3-2 will inspire them, but as last weekend’s loss to Bayer Leverkusen showed, Gerardo Seoane still has a lot to do to get his much-changed side functioning smoothly. Will this be the spark to ignite the fire or will Bayern pour cold water on their hopes?
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