Bundesliga Matchday 3: BVB look to bounce back from shock defeat
Borussia Dortmund need a win when they host Hoffenheim on Friday night after being stunned by Freiberg.
Meanwhile, Bayern Munich will look to make it another victory on home soil against Hertha Berlin having picked up their first Bundesliga win of the Julian Nagelsmann era last time out.
In Sunday’s action, title hopefuls RB Leipzig travel to face the league’s only remaining 100% side Wolfsburg, who have made an impressive start to 2021-22.
Borussia Dortmund vs Hoffenheim (Friday, 7:30pm)
It was not the happiest of away days for Dortmund last time out as they fell to a 2-1 defeat against Freiberg.
With Bayern so dominant in the German top flight, Marco Rose's side will be desperate to bounce back to avoid losing early ground on their rivals in the title race having also lost to them in the DFL-Supercup last week.
But they are up against a side they have had problems against in recent times — failing to win in any of Hoffenheim's past three visits.
What is more, Die Kraichgauer are on an unbeaten run of nine Bundesliga games, their longest since 2018 under former boss Nagelsmann.
Former Dortmund player Jacob Bruun Larsen will be out with a point to prove and goes into this fixture in good form after netting in both of Hoffenheim’s first two games, where they picked up four points.
While in-form striker Andrej Kramaric has netted seven career goals against Friday’s opponents.
But the Black and Yellow will be determined to prove last week was just a blip, with Erling Haaland hoping to be back among the goals after two strikes and three assists in their Bundesliga opener.
Augsburg vs Bayer Leverkusen (Saturday, 2:30pm)
After they were held to a 1-1 draw by Union Berlin in their Bundesliga opener, Bayer Leverkusen's season roared into life last week with an emphatic 4-0 win over fellow European hopefuls Borussia Monchengladbach.
Goals from Mitchel Bakker, Patrik Schick, Moussa Diaby and Nadiem Amiri proved there is life after Leon Bailey at the Bay Arena, and they can end the day top of the league if results go their way on Saturday.
Euro 2020 star Schik carried on his summer form with an influential display — his xG rating of 2.12 is the highest in the Bundesliga of any player so far this season.
Winger Diaby will be another man to watch after being directly in involved in three of Leverkusen’s five goals this season (two goals, one assist).
Die Werkself will be heavy favourites against Augsburg, who are still looking for their first win of the season and are on a 20-match winless streak in the top flight against their opponents.
Leverkusen have also scored 27 goals in 10 away matches against last season’s 13th-placed side and after shipping four in their only other home game this season, the omens don’t look great for Markus Weinzierl’s men.
Bayern Munich vs Hertha Berlin (Saturday, 5:30pm)
After failing to win his first game, Bayern are fully up and running under Nagelsmann with three consecutive victories in all competitions, including a stunning 12-0 win over Bremer SV in the DFB-Pokal on Wednesday evening.
The 30-time champions were made to work for the win against FC Koln in their last Bundesliga tie as the visitors fought back from 2-0 down to draw level, before Serge Gnabry netted the winner.
You have to go back to October 1977 to find the last time Bayern lost to Saturday’s opponents Hertha Berlin at home, a run of 26 matches without a defeat.
Keeping Robert Lewandowski quiet is never easy and he has scored in each of his last 12 Bundesliga games, as well as netting four against Hertha in a 4-3 win last season.
After surviving by only two points last season, it hasn’t been an ideal start for Die Alt Dame.
Despite leading in both games, they have suffered back-to-back defeats and shipped five goals already, leaving them rock bottom going into Matchday 3.
But Pal Dardai’s men will hope to spring an upset and have a man with a knack of scoring at the Allianz in their ranks — midfielder Dodi Lukebakio four goals there are the joint-highest by an opposition player at the ground.
Saturday’s other games
VfB Stuttgart vs SC Freiberg (2:30pm)
Main vs Furth (2:30pm)
Koln vs VfL Bochum (2:30pm)
Arminia vs Eintracht Frankfurt (2:30pm)
Union Berlin vs Borussia Monchengladbach (Sunday, 2:30pm)
After upsetting the odds last season by pipping Monchengladbach to a European place, Union Berlin will look to get one over on their opponent’s again in Sunday’s early game.
Die Eisernen are one of seven Bundesliga team still unbeaten in 2021-22, but they will be hoping to register their first win of the season after letting leads slip in their first two games.
New Foals manager Adi Hutter is also searching for his first win and will be hoping to prove last week’s drubbing at Leverkusen was just a flash in the pan after a respectable opening-day draw against Bayern.
Previous meetings have generally gone in favour of the home side, with Union yet to lose in any their previous three competitive home games against Saturday’s opponents — recording a 2-0 win and a 1-1 draw since their promotion to the top flight.
Urs Fischer’s men are also enjoying a club-record 17-game unbeaten streak at home in the Bundesliga, the third-longest current streak in the league behind Eintracht Frankfurt (20) and Bayern Munich (28).
Striker Taiwo Awoniyi scored in both the two previous matchdays — the first for the club to do so in the Bundesliga — and will fancy his chances after signing permanently this summer.
Wolfsburg vs RB Leipzig (Sunday, 4:30pm)
Sitting pretty on top of the Bundesliga with two wins from two so far, Wolfsburg’s home clash against RB Leipzig in the weekend’s final fixture looks a tantalising prospect.
Narrow wins against newly-promoted Bochum and regular bottom-half finishers Hertha Berlin will have provided some optimism but last season’s runners-up Leipzig will provide the Wolves with a vastly superior test.
Going three from three looks a tall order with the visitors unbeaten in their last eight Bundesliga games between the two sides, while Wolfsburg have scored just nine goals in their last 10 games against Leipzig.
With Jesse Marsch coming in from RB Salzburg, Leipzig bounced back from a surprise defeat against Mainz to record a resounding 4-0 win against VfB Stuttgart last weekend as Andre Silva got off the mark for his new club.
The former Frankfurt striker scored 28 goals in the Bundesliga last season, with only Lewandowski netting more, while he struck once and claimed two assists against Wolfsburg in October 2020.
But if you’re looking for goals, last season suggests this might not be the game to watch. Leipzig conceded the least goals last term (32), while Wolfsburg had the second-meanest defence and only let in 37.