Bundesliga Matchday 4: Bayern face tricky Monchengladbach test
Bayern Munich face an early examination of their title credentials when they host unbeaten Borussia Monchengladbach on Saturday evening.
Elsewhere, Borussia Dortmund will look to shake off defeat against Werder Bremen when they travel to Hertha Berlin.
Pointless Bayer Leverkusen make the trip to Mainz while RB Leipzig search for their first win against Wolfsburg.
Game of the week: Bayern Munich vs Borussia Monchengladbach (Saturday, 5.30pm)
Bayern Munich have already made the best start to a Bundesliga campaign in the competition's history — but Borussia Monchengladbach have recent form on their side.
With nine points and a positive goal difference of 14, as well as 15 goals to their name, Die Roten's start is unmatched in the German top flight.
Yet Monchengladbach will take heart from their three-game unbeaten run against Bayern in all competitions, with Die Fohlen in search of three straight wins against the Bavarians for the first time ever.
This fixture has been played 108 times already with Bayern vs Werder Bremen (110) the only Bundesliga meeting to have taken place more frequently. Monchengladbach have more wins against Bayern (27) than any other club.
Kingsley Coman will be key to ensuring that record is not extended. The Frenchman became the first player involved in three goals in a single fixture this term during Bayern's 7-0 rout of Bochum last weekend.
Hertha Berlin vs Borussia Dortmund (Saturday, 2.30pm)
Borussia Dortmund will be looking for a morale boost after their shocking defeat to Bremen saw them throw away a 2-0 lead in the 89th minute — and Hertha Berlin provide the perfect opposition.
Although Hertha won 3-2 in their last home Bundesliga fixture against BVB, that is their only win over Saturday's visitors since March 2017.
In the intervening years, Dortmund have won seven times against Die Alte Dame. Only RB Leipzig have beaten Hertha more times (eight).
Winless in their first four games in all competitions for the first time since 2003-04, the hosts need to see an improvement in front of goal. Their conversion rate of 7% is ahead only of Bayer Leverkusen at this stage.
Conversely, Dortmund's Julian Brandt has been involved in 11 goals against Hertha (seven goals, four assists) — more than against any other team.
Schalke vs Union Berlin (Saturday, 2.30pm)
Winless Schalke will fancy their chances of putting that right against one of their favourite Bundesliga opponents in Union Berlin.
Die Konigsblauen are yet to lose to Union in their four Bundesliga meetings (one win, three draws) and have not faced another top-flight opponent more frequently without losing.
Yet to record victory in their first three league games, this is familiar territory for the Gelsenkirchen side who have now failed to secure a win at this stage in 17 Bundesliga seasons. Only Hertha and Werder Bremen can match that number.
If Union are to prolong Schalke's disappointing start to the new season, striker Sheraldo Becker will be key to their chances.
The Dutchman has scored and assisted in five league games in 2022 — something only Paris Saint-Germain superstar Kylian Mbappe can match across Europe's top five leagues. No Bundesliga player has been involved in more goals yet this term (two goals, two assists).
Mainz vs Bayer Leverkusen (Saturday, 2.30pm)
This has been the worst start to a season in Bayer Leverkusen's history — and Mainz will be licking their lips at the prospect of facing them.
For just the second time ever, Leverkusen have opened the new Bundesliga campaign with three straight league losses. Worse still, including their DFB-Pokal upset against Elversberg makes this the only time they have begun with four straight defeats.
The last time these two met, Mainz ran out 3-2 winners — their first success over Leverkusen since September 2017.
Overall, the Nullfunfer have beaten Leverkusen seven times at home, only tasting victory over Freiburg (eight) more often.
Forward Karim Onisiwo has bagged three of Mainz's four league goals this season, outperforming his expected goals tally of 1.21 by 1.79 — more than anyone else in the division.
RB Leipzig vs Wolfsburg (Saturday, 2.30pm)
RB Leipzig have failed to win any of their first three Bundesliga matches for the first time ever — but have an enviable record against their next opponents Wolfsburg.
In fact, it is the first time since winning promotion to 3. Liga in 2013 that the Red Bulls have not won any of their first four games in all competitions (two draws, two defeats).
However, they are unbeaten in their last seven home meetings with Wolfsburg in all competitions (five wins, two draws) and have only lost once to Nico Kovac's men — in March 2017.
With just a pair of points from their first three games, this is also Wolfsburg's worst start to a new season in eight years.
A better omen is the fact they last recorded just two points at this stage in 2014-15 before finishing as runners-up.
The weekend’s other games
Freiburg vs Bochum (Friday, 7.30pm)
Hoffenheim vs Augsburg (Saturday, 2.30pm)
FC Cologne vs Stuttgart (Sunday, 2.30pm)
Werder Bremen vs Eintracht Frankfurt (Sunday, 4.30pm)
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