The Bundesliga returns this weekend for the second week of action in the 2013-2014 season campaign. The first matchday went according to plan with Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, and Bayer Leverkusen all pulling out wins. Those three will look to add to their win total this weekend, but only BVB get that opportunity in the comfort of their home arena. On the other end of the table, relegation candidates Eintracht Braunschweig and Augsburg both lost last week and will be hoping to grab at least a point this weekend.
Saturday, August 17
Stuttgart vs. Bayer Leverkusen
Bayer Leverkusen visit Stuttgart on Saturday with the target of "three points" ahead of them. They'll be going into most matches this season with a win as the likely outcome and should prove it again this weekend. Stefan Kießling is a great goalscorer, and he'll show it again this season. Last week's win over Freiburg was a great way to start this season, and they should continue it again this weekend against Stuttgart. The Swabians losing to Mainz last weekend wasn't necessarily unexpected, but the truth remains the same. Stuttgart rely far too much on Vedad Ibisevic to win. They need to figure out a balance on this team if they want any success.
Time & Location: 15:30 Local / 9:30 AM ET; Mercedes-Benz Arena, Stuttgart
Prediction: Stuttgart 1 - 2 Bayer Leverkusen
Wolfsburg vs. Schalke
Wolfsburg fell to Hannover in the opening match of league play, but they'll have a chance to redeem themselves this week when Schalke visit. Dieter Hecking and the club's board have been working hard to bring Luiz Gustavo into the fold to bolster their squad for the season. Adding a player of Gustavo's quality would be huge for Die Wolves going forward in this season. This weekend, however, they'll have to roll out with the squad that they have. Schalke should have the advantage rolling into this match, but they'll need to improve defensively on last weekend's performance.
Time & Location: 15:30 Local / 9:30 AM ET; Volkswagen Arena, Wolfsburg
Prediction: Wolfsburg 1 - 3 Schalke
Werder Bremen vs. Augsburg
This is basically a six pointer for Werder Bremen. They're likely to be involved in the relegation battle for long stretches of the season, and it will be a big coup for them if they can take six points from their first two matches against fellow relegation candidates Eintracht Braunschweig and Augsburg. Augsburg was on the wrong end of a beating from Borussia Dortmund last weekend. They could use a nice pick-me-up here.
Time & Location: 15:30 Local / 9:30 AM ET; Weserstadion, Bremen
Prediction: Werder Bremen 1 - 1 Augsburg
Freiburg vs. Mainz
Freiburg struggled in the opening match against Bayer Leverkusen. Of course, they did. Leverkusen are a really good team. Christian Streich is still rebuilding his side to battle for the entire Bundesliga campaign. Mainz pulled off an impressive victory against Stuttgart to kick off their campaign with aplomb. Nikolai Müller continues to show that he's really a great player. Do yourself a favor and find a game that Müller is playing in and watch it.
Time & Location: 15:30 Local / 9:30 AM ET; Mage Solar Stadion, Freiburg im Breisgau
Prediction: Freiburg 2 - 2 Mainz
Hamburg vs. Hoffenheim
Hamburg coughed up two leads against Schalke on Sunday and had to settle for a 3-3 draw. The three points would've been a huge way to start off the season for under pressure Thorsten Fink. Qualifying for European football will be the expectation hoisted upon Hamburg, and a win over Hoffenheim this weekend will do it. The Hoff took an impressive 2-0 lead over Nürnberg before conceding two goals to end up drawing. Both clubs could use a big result this weekend to really get the season headed in the right direction.
Time & Location: 15:30 Local / 9:30 AM ET; Imtech Arena, Hamburg
Prediction: Hamburg 3 - 1 Hoffenheim
Eintracht Frankfurt vs. Bayern Munich
This weekend is a big match for Eintracht Frankfurt. If they suffer another big loss, this time at the hands of Bayern Munich, they will find themselves on the bottom of the table in a big hole due to goal differential. The team is improved on from last season, but they most prove it on the field. Bayern thoroughly controlled the match against Borussia Mönchengladbach in the opening weekend, but they still showed signs of weakness in Pep Guardiola's new 4-1-4-1 formation. The counter attack is a weak point for Bayern, but it remains to be seen if Frankfurt can capitalize.
Time & Location: 15:30 Local / 9:30 AM ET; Commerzbank-Arena, Frankfurt
Prediction: Eintracht Frankfurt 0 - 3 Bayern Munich
Borussia Mönchengladbach vs. Hannover
They may have lost to Bayern Munich last Friday, but Borussia Mönchengladbach can take comfort in the fact that they played very well. They're a better side than they were last year and showed several glimpses against the champions. They were quick on the counter and cause the Bavarians a lot of trouble with their transition. Can they turn that around and put it to use against Hannover? It'll be interesting to see. Hannover put together a solid 2-0 victory over 9-man Wolfsburg in the opening weekend. The big news for Hannover was the stellar return of Leon Andreasen. The oft-injured Denmark international has been very good for Hannover over the years, when he can stay healthy.
Time & Location: 18:30 Local / 12:30 PM ET; Borussia Park, Mönchengladbach
Prediction: Borussia Mönchengladbach 2 - 2 Hannover
Sunday, August 18
Nürnberg vs. Hertha Berlin
Hertha Berlin pulled off the biggest shock in Week 1 with a demonstrative 6-1 victory over Eintracht Frankfurt. I fully expect them to come back down to earth this week when they travel to Nürnberg. Do they have the talent to pull out a second victory in as many matches? Of course, they do. Last week, Sami Allagui and Adrian Ramos both scored twice, and it's difficult seeing them both hitting the back of the net again this week. Nürnberg scored twice in the second half last week to earn a point against Hoffenheim. They'll need to put in a better performance, especially in the first half, this week if they want to come away with all three points.
Time & Location: 15:30 Local / 9:30 AM ET; Grundig Stadion, Nürnberg
Prediction: Nürnberg 1 - 1 Hertha Berlin
Borussia Dortmund vs. Eintracht Braunschweig
Eintracht Braunschweig may earn a lot of fans this Bundesliga season, but they likely won't be turning those fans into much needed points. Borussia Dortmund are better than Braunschweig at every single position on the field and will flex their muscle Sunday at Signal Iduna Park. The big star for Dortmund last week was Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The newly signed winger was spectacular in BVB's win against Augsburg. Yeah, it was just Augsburg, but Aubameyang was fantastic. Ilkay Gündogan is out for the next two weeks after aggravating a back injury in Germany's friendly this week. However, BVB should have no issues with Braunschweig this weekend, even without the engine of their club.
Time & Location: 17:30 Local / 11:30 AM ET; Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund
Prediction: Borussia Dortmund 3 - 0 Eintracht Braunschweig