Bundesliga Matchday 6: Dortmund target top spot against Leipzig
The fledgling Bundesliga table is beginning to take shape — and Bayern Munich's rare slip-up last time out has given their title rivals a glimmer of opportunity.
Borussia Dortmund will be keen to keep their noses in front of the Bavarians but face a tricky trip to RB Leipzig.
The reigning champions, meanwhile, will feel confident of bouncing back from their 1-1 draw with Union Berlin as they host winless Stuttgart.
League leaders Freiburg entertain Borussia Monchengladbach in an intriguing encounter, while Union and Mainz travel to FC Cologne and Hoffenheim, respectively.
Game of the week: RB Leipzig vs Borussia Dortmund (Saturday, 2.30pm)
Dortmund may still be smarting after their league encounters with Leipzig last season, losing both by an aggregate scoreline of 6-2.
However, Saturday's hosts have only ever kept one clean sheet against BVB, conceding in each of their last 12 clashes.
New boss Marco Rose will hope to get one over his former employers, having replaced Domenico Tedesco on Thursday but faces an uphill task.
Leipzig are enduring their second-worst ever start to a Bundesliga season, picking up just five points from their first five games and losing their last league outing against Eintracht Frankfurt 4-0 — their joint-highest margin of defeat in the competition.
Meanwhile, Dortmund have scored in each of their last 33 league games and boast the joint-most clean sheets in the division this season (three).
Edin Terzic's side will feel confident of righting last season's wrongs and ensuring they remain at least one point clear of third-placed Bayern.
Bayern Munich vs Stuttgart (Saturday, 2.30pm)
Having been ousted from the top of the table for the first time in a year after dropping points against Union, Bayern will be keen to bounce back with a victory — and Stuttgart are perhaps the perfect opponents.
No team has beaten another more often than Bayern have triumphed against Stuttgart, in either the league (67 wins) or all competitions (80 wins), since the Bundesliga was founded.
And in Serge Gnabry, the reigning champions possess a player who has proved particularly effective against Saturday's opponents, with the winger contributing directly to six of the seven goals Bayern netted against Stuttgart last season.
Stuttgart, meanwhile, are winless after five league games — they were relegated the last two times this happened — and have not won a single Bundesliga away match in 2022 (seven draws, four defeats).
However, there is a glimmer of hope for the Swabians, who have collected more points from their last four league games in Munich (four) than any other current Bundesliga side.
Freiburg vs Borussia Monchengladbach (Sunday, 4.30pm)
Freiburg — top of the league after a matchday for only the second time in their history — will fancy their chances of extending their stay at the summit ahead of their clash with Monchengladbach.
They boast a remarkable record against their next opponents, losing just one of their 20 Bundesliga meetings at home and going unbeaten in the last 14 in a row.
Additionally, Freiburg have scored more goals against BMG in the competition than against any other team (64) and have only picked up more points against Schalke.
However, Monchengladbach have not lost any of their last six away league games (two wins, four draws) and will hope to at least grind out a point on the road against the early league leaders.
FC Cologne vs Union Berlin (Sunday, 2.30pm)
FC Cologne have never beaten Union in the Bundesliga (one draw, five defeats) averaging fewer points per game against them (0.17) than any other side, while Union have never beaten a team more often in the division.
Union are undefeated in 12 league games — a club record — and are enjoying their best-ever start to a Bundesliga season with 11 points from five games.
Cologne, though, are on an unbeaten run of their own, winning two and drawing three of their first five outings this term.
It is just the second time they have managed this feat in the last 30 years, previously doing so in 2016-17 — a season in which they finished fifth and qualified for the Europa League.
Hoffenheim vs Mainz (Saturday, 2.30pm)
Mainz have enjoyed a strong start to the season, with their tally of 10 points putting them fifth, just two points off the top of the table.
It is their joint second-best start to a Bundesliga campaign — and they have only ever collected more points in 2010-11 (15).
Additionally, their average of 1.6 away points per game against Hoffenheim is their best record against a single opponent in the competition. They have not beaten any side away from home more (six).
Hoffenheim have also started well, however, accruing nine points in their first five matches (three wins, two defeats), so will hope to defy the history books.
The weekend's other games
Werder Bremen vs Augsburg (Friday, 7.30pm)
Hertha Berlin vs Bayer Leverkusen (Saturday, 2.30pm)
Eintracht Frankfurt vs Wolfsburg (Saturday, 2.30pm)
Schalke vs Bochum (Saturday, 5.30pm)
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