Bundesliga, Week 8: Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munich look to make statement

Sascha Steinbach

Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munich face each other Saturday in the biggest game of the season so far.

The big match in the Bundesliga this weekend takes place at the BayArena in Leverkusen as defending champions Bayern Munich visit Bayer Leverkusen. Both clubs have started the season in top form with only one point separating the two sides in the tale. Elsewhere, Borussia Mönchengladbach host Borussia Dortmund, Hertha Berlin visit Hannover, and Schalke face Augsburg.

Friday, October 4

Hannover vs. Hertha Berlin

Hannover and Hertha Berlin lead the pack of teams just under the "top three" clubs in the Bundesliga. Hertha have definitely been one of the surprise clubs in the Bundesliga thus far with a good push to the top portion of the table, and Hannover have been tough at home again this season. Thankfully, the match is not in Berlin or picking Hertha would be a no brainer.

Time & Location: 20:30 Local / 2:30 PM Eastern; HDI Arena, Hannover

Prediction: Hannover 2 - 1 Hertha Berlin

Saturday, October 5

Schalke vs. Augsburg

Only four clubs have conceded more goals than Schalke through seven games this season. How can you not fix the defense year after year after year after year? Schalke have conceded seven goals in their last two games alone, but they should find it a little easier going against Augsburg.

Time & Location: 15:30 Local / 9:30 AM Eastern; Veltins Arena, Gelsenkirchen

Prediction: Schalke 3 - 1 Augsburg

Borussia Mönchengladbach vs. Borussia Dortmund

One of the big clashes in the Bundesliga this weekend takes place at Borussia Park when Gladbach hosts Borussia Dortmund. BVB are coming off of a big win midweek in the Champions League, and the match against Lucien Favre's side won't be an easy task. However, BVB will find a way to break down the Gladbach defense. They're too good and will win this match.

Time & Location: 15:30 Local / 9:30 AM Eastern; Borussia Park, Mönchengladbach

Prediction: Borussia Mönchengladbach 1 - 2 Borussia Dortmund

Stuttgart vs. Werder Bremen

Ever since the dismissal of Bruno Labbadia, Stuttgart have been playing better football week in and week out. Yes, Werder Bremen may have put in better performances in their last two matches, but it remains to be seen if they can get a result on the road against a decent team. Eljero Elia surely can't repeat the same performance that he put together last week.

Time & Location: 15:30 Local / 9:30 AM Eastern; Mercedes-Benz Arena, Stuttgart

Prediction: Stuttgart 2 - 1 Werder Bremen

Wolfsburg vs. Eintracht Braunschweig

Wolfsburg will win this weekend. At least, I'm not picking against them while they play Eintracht Braunschweig. It's not so much that Wolfsburg are a great team. It has more to do with the fact that Braunschweig isn't good.

Time & Location: 15:30 Local / 9:30 AM Eastern; Volkswagen Arena, Wolfsburg

Prediction: Wolfsburg 2 - 0 Eintracht Braunschweig

Mainz vs. Hoffenheim

Mainz won their first three games of the season. Since then, they've lost four in a row. Yeesh. Thomas Tuchel needs to get his defense to play better moving forward if the side will move up the table. Since taking over Hoffenheim in the spring, Markus Gisdol has rescued the club from relegation and currently has them in 10th place. They're going to score goals, but they're also conceding them like crazy.

Time & Location: 15:30 Local / 9:30 AM Eastern; Coface Arena, Mainz

Prediction: Mainz 1 - 2 Hoffenheim

Bayer Leverkusen vs. Bayern Munich

Saturday's match is potentially a statement by both teams. Last season, Leverkusen were the only Bundesliga club to claim a victory over the Bavarians. They're a better team than they were last season and have been proving that so far in league play. Bayern are level on points with BVB at the top of the table, and Leverkusen sit one point behind them. Sami Hyypiä has his team performing at a top level, and they will be fired up to have the reigning German and European champions visit the BayArena.

Time & Location: 18:30 Local / 12:30 PM Eastern; BayArena, Leverkusen

Prediction: Eintracht Frankfurt 2 - 1 Hamburg

Sunday, September 22

Nürnberg vs. Hamburg

Bert van Marwijk will pick up his first victory as Hamburg's manager. I'm picking them mainly because Nürnberg isn't very good.

Time & Location: 15:30 Local / 9:30 AM Eastern; Grundig Stadion, Nürnberg

Prediction: Nürnberg 0 - 1 Hamburg

Freiburg vs. Eintracht Frankfurt

Both clubs played on Thursday in the Europa League with Freiburg losing and Frankfurt winning big. It's been a struggle so far this season for Christian Streich since losing several starters over the summer. I don't know how they're going to turn things around yet. It might be a long season. Frankfurt seem to be improving weekly, and they should take this match without many problems.

Time & Location: 17:30 Local / 11:30 AM Eastern; Mage Solar Stadion, Freiburg

Prediction: Freiburg 1 - 3 Eintracht Frankfurt

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