Bundesliga Matchday 10: Bayern bid to bounce back in Berlin
The Bundesliga continues with Bayern Munich looking to bounce back from a midweek trouncing by Borussia Monchengladbach in the DFB-Pokal.
The reigning champions travel to play Union Berlin, while title challengers Borussia Dortmund welcome Koln to the Westfalenstadion as they target 10 home wins in a row.
Meanwhile, unbeaten Freiburg could go level on points at the top if Bayern lose and Dortmund fail to win — they host rock-bottom Greuther Furth, who are yet to taste victory all season.
Game of the week: Union Berlin vs Bayern Munich (Saturday, 2.30pm)
Union are chasing their first ever Bundesliga win over Bayern, who head to the Stadion An der Alten Forsterei wounded from Wednesday night’s 5-0 cup defeat.
The omens are good for the hosts, who held FCB to 1-1 draws in both of their meetings last season — making them the only team the Bavarians did not beat en route to a ninth straight league title.
Union have kept a clean sheet in each of their last three home games but they will be wary of Robert Lewandowski, especially as the prolific Pole has not failed to score in consecutive club appearances since September 2020.
Here are the other big games to watch this weekend…
Freiburg vs Greuther Furth (Saturday, 2.30pm)
Undefeated Freiburg will be confident of continuing their best ever Bundesliga start (19 points from nine matches), as they host a Greuther Furth side who have put just one point on the board so far and are on a run of seven straight defeats.
The home team boast the best defensive record in the league, having only conceded six goals — as many as the visitors, the division’s second-lowest scorers, have netted themselves.
Freiburg are one of three clubs yet to drop a point after going in front this season — Furth, by contrast, have thrown away a league-high nine points from winning positions.
Borussia Dortmund vs Koln (Saturday, 2.30pm)
Victory for Dortmund will send them top of the Bundesliga if Bayern drop points, while Koln will be trying to make it back-to-back wins away to BVB for only the third time in their history following their 2-1 triumph in November last year.
The Black and Yellows are three wins short of equalling their longest ever Bundesliga home winning streak (12 games) but they have failed to keep a clean sheet this season — with the Billy Goats one of only two other sides, along with Furth, yet to manage a shutout in 2021-22.
Dortmund have conceded five goals from set-pieces so far — only Hertha Berlin (six) have let in more from such situations.
That may come as good news for the visitors, who have netted a joint-high five headed goals — four of which have been scored by experienced striker Anthony Modeste.
Bayer Leverkusen vs Wolfsburg (Saturday, 2.30pm)
Bayer Leverkusen go in search of a first win in five games across all competitions as they face a Wolfsburg side who have lost their last four in the Bundesliga.
The Wolves sacked head coach Mark van Bommel following last Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at home to Freiburg and will be hoping for a first league point since mid-September.
Leverkusen, meanwhile, were thrashed 5-1 by Bayern in their previous Bundesliga home outing.
No team has outperformed their expected goals more than the hosts, who have scored 23 goals from 13.4 xG, while Wolfsburg’s total of nine goals — six of which came in the first four matches of the campaign — is the lowest in the top half.
Arminia Bielefeld vs Mainz (Saturday, 2.30pm)
Arminia Bielefeld and Mainz meet for the second time in five days — Mainz won Tuesday’s DFB-Pokal second round tie 3-2 after extra-time.
The hosts remain without a league win after nine games, making this their worst ever start to a top-flight campaign.
But there may be a good omen for Die Blauen — they have only lost one of their last eight Bundesliga encounters with the 05ers, whose 4-1 victory over Augsburg on Matchday 9 ended a run of three straight league defeats.
With just five goals so far, Arminia are the division’s joint-lowest scorers — while Mainz have the Bundesliga’s joint second-best provider at their disposal in the form of Karim Onisiwo. He already has four assists to his name this season.
The weekend’s other games
Hoffenheim vs Hertha Berlin (Friday, 7.30pm)
Eintracht Frankfurt vs RB Leipzig (Saturday, 5.30pm)
Augsburg vs Stuttgart (Sunday, 2.30pm)
Borussia Monchengladbach vs Bochum (Sunday, 4.30pm)