Bundesliga Matchday 8: Table-toppers Bayern and Leverkusen face off
Bayer Leverkusen have the opportunity to overtake Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich when they host the reigning champions in Matchday 8.
Borussia Dortmund and Freiburg could also go top with the right set of results, while Arminia Bielefeld and Greuther Furth are still looking for their first wins of the season.
Borussia Dortmund vs Mainz (Saturday, 2.30pm)
Dortmund will look to maintain their perfect Bundesliga home record as they entertain a Mainz side without a win in three games.
The Black and Yellows are on a dominant run of eight league victories in a row at the Westfalenstadion — they have scored at least twice on each occasion, beating Eintracht Frankfurt and Union Berlin 5-2 and 4-2 respectively this season.
As for Mainz, they have faded after taking nine points from their first four Bundesliga outings — Bo Svensson’s team come into this encounter on the back of consecutive losses.
However, Die Nullfunfer have collected more points at Dortmund (seven) than any team bar Bayern (nine) since the start of 2017-18.
Freiburg vs RB Leipzig (Saturday, 2.30pm)
Freiburg will put the Bundesliga’s only unbeaten record on the line, when they take on an RB Leipzig side beginning to find their feet under new head coach Jesse Marsch.
With 15 points after seven games, the Breisgau Brazilians have made their best-ever start to a top-flight campaign — helped in no small part by a stingy defence which has conceded a league-low five goals.
After winning only one of their opening five fixtures, Leipzig have recorded successive victories in impressive fashion, demolishing Hertha Berlin 6-0 before a 3-0 triumph over Bochum — they have not won their travels since April, however.
Attacker Christopher Nkunku scored a brace in each of those two wins, taking him to nine goals in all competitions in 2021-22 — two more than he managed throughout the whole of last season.
Greuther Furth vs Bochum (Saturday, 2.30pm)
Winless Greuther will be hoping to end a run of five-straight defeats as they host fellow promoted side Bochum, who have only picked up one point from their last five outings.
Since earning their only point of the campaign in a 1-1 draw with Arminia on Matchday 2, Furth have let in 13 goals to end up with the Bundesliga’s second-worst defensive record of 19 conceded — they have scored in five of their seven games so far, though, including their last three.
Bochum, on the other hand, have drawn a blank in their last three matches — and four out of seven overall — one of which was a 7-0 drubbing away to Bayern. Thomas Reis’ men have lost four out of four on the road in the league so far.
Each of these sides beat the other away from home in their two 2. Bundesliga meetings in 2020-21.
Bayer Leverkusen vs Bayern Munich (Sunday, 2.30pm)
It is winner takes all at the BayArena in Sunday’s early kick-off, with these two clubs level on 16 points at the Bundesliga’s summit.
Having scored 20 and 24 goals respectively, they boast the two most potent attacks in the division.
Leverkusen’s Patrik Schick has netted six, while Bayern’s Robert Lewandowski has struck seven times and joins Erling Haaland at the top of the scoring charts.
As well as Schick’s attacking exploits, midfielder Florian Wirtz has been directly involved in nine goals so far, scoring four and assisting five — only Haaland has more goal involvements (11) at this stage.
Bayern have accumulated 20.7 expected goals (xG) in their opening seven matches — by far the highest figure in the league.
The nine-time consecutive Bundesliga champions have already scored a whopping 47 goals in all competitions in 2021-22, with 12 of those coming against minnows Bremer SV in the DFB-Pokal.
Augsburg vs Arminia Bielefeld (Sunday, 4.30pm)
The omens are not good for Arminia Bielefeld as they chase their first victory of the season — they have never beaten Augsburg in a competitive match, losing five of the sides’ six meetings to date.
While Die Blauen’s record of 10 goals conceded is as good as any other team in the bottom half of the Bundesliga, they find themselves 16th due to their poor attack — Frank Kramer’s outfit have scored just three goals from an xG of 6.2.
Augsburg are not in great shape themselves, though, picking up only one league win so far and also finding the back of the net just three times — from an even lower xG of 5.1.
There was just one goal in the two games between these sides last season, with Augsburg winning 1-0 at Arminia.
The weekend's other games
Hoffenheim vs Cologne (Friday, 7.30pm)
Union Berlin vs Wolfsburg (Saturday, 2.30pm)
Eintracht Frankfurt vs Hertha Berlin (Saturday, 2.30pm)
Borussia Monchengladbach vs Stuttgart (Saturday, 5.30pm)