This weekend the Bundesliga is presenting the world with what appears to be a slate full of intriguing games. Last week presented us with two remarkable score lines with Wolfsburg smashing Schalke 4-0 and Hoffenheim humbling Hamburg 5-1. What will this week bring us?
Friday, August 23
Borussia Dortmund vs. Werder Bremen
Friday's match gives us two teams that have played the same two opponents and are sitting on six points. However, nobody is looking similarly at the two sides. BVB should take care of business at home, but they're not the interesting team in this match. Before the season started, a number of people expected Werder to be one of the teams that would be fighting relegation all season long; however, the six points out of six start to the season has a few people questioning if they'll be a legitimate mid-table team this season. One thing to remember, Werder's first two games were against two teams that were predicted to be battling them in the relegation battle: Eintracht Braunschweig and Augsburg. Augsburg outshot them by a lot last week, and BVB won't miss that number of times. Expect Die Borussen to come away on top.
Time & Location: 20:30 Local / 2:30 PM Eastern; Signal Iduna Park, Dortmund
Prediction: Borussia Dortmund 2 - 0 Werder Bremen
Saturday, August 24
Bayern Munich vs. Nürnberg
Bayern will look to make it three wins in three matches when Nürnberg visit the Allianz Arena. The first two matches have been dominant performances, even if that's not translated well to the final score. Ribery has missed a few days of training this week, so he may not feature this weekend. After missing out on his debut last week, it's possible that Mario Götze will finally see the field in an official match for Bayern. Nürnberg have managed two 2-2 draws so far this season, but Bayern is obviously a better side. Der Club only rescued a point last week on a last minute free kick from Hiroshi Kiyotake. Can they manage to steal a point this week in Munich?
Time & Location: 15:30 Local / 9:30 AM Eastern; Allianz Arena, Munich
Prediction: Bayern Munich 3 - 0 Nürnberg
Bayer Leverkusen vs. Borussia Mönchengladbach
A candidate for match of the weekend takes place when Gladbach visit Leverkusen. One of the best stories over the last year is the work that Sami Hyypiä has done with Leverkusen. If any club is a legitimate challenger to break last season's Bayern/BVB duopoly, it's Leverkusen. Stefan Kießling is one of the best goal scorers in European football and will probably find a way to hit the back of the net against Gladbach. The visitors biggest issue in the BayArena will likely be the number of quality chances that they manage to generate. Can Lucien Favre's side create enough? Leverkusen are going to be a tough out for anyone this season.
Time & Location: 15:30 Local / 9:30 AM Eastern; BayArena, Leverkusen
Prediction: Bayer Leverkusen 2 - 1 Borussia Mönchengladbach
Hannover vs. Schalke
Oof, both of these clubs had disastrous results last week. Hannover was beaten 3-0 by Gladbach, and Schalke was beaten 4-0 by Wolfsburg. Schalke followed it up with a 1-1 draw in Gelsenkirchen against PAOK in their Champions League qualifier. While it's an awful week for Jens Keller, many of us are still trying to figure out how/why he was given a full contract by Schalke. Mirko Slomka's side never adjusted to Gladbach's attack last week and suffered for it throughout the match. Once they were down, they were never going to get back into it. They'll need to be prepared from the start on Saturday, as Schalke should be coming out en force to strike quickly. They don't need another poor result heading to Greece for the second leg of their qualifier.
Time & Location: 15:30 Local / 9:30 AM Eastern; HDI-Arena, Hanover
Prediction: Hannover 1 - 1 Schalke
Hoffenheim vs. Freiburg
Freiburg have struggled to date this season, and their reward is a Hoffenheim side that's scored seven goals in their first two matches. Christian Streich's team could use a jolt of energy here that a win would give them. It's a young, rebuilt side, and who knows what it's going to take for Streich to come close to reaching the standard set last season.
Time & Location: 15:30 Local / 9:30 AM Eastern; Rhein-Neckar Arena, Sinsheim
Prediction: Hoffenheim 1 - 2 Freiburg
Mainz vs. Wolfsburg
This should be a very fun game. Mainz is sitting on six points after two games, and Nicolai Müller has been a star so far. It's lead to some speculation of when, not if, he'll leave Mainz for a bigger side. Wolfsburg received a big boost last week when they signed Luiz Gustavo from Bayern Munich, and the Brazilian midfielder helped them to their big win over Schalke. His presence in the middle of the park was immense, and it may go down as one of the signings of the seasons.
Time & Location: 15:30 Local / 9:30 AM Eastern; Coface Arena, Mainz
Prediction: Mainz 2 - 3 Wolfsburg.
Hertha Berlin vs. Hamburg
Hamburg were absolutely embarrassed by Hoffenheim 5-1 last week. The club's patience with Thorsten Fink must be running thin at this point. How much longer can he remain in charge of a club when his record over the last year has been so poor? Defensively, they're shambolic. Offensively, they're anemic. Will it take a coaching change to kickstart their season? Maybe. There are rumors that Felix Magath may be coming in to be the club's new director of football.
Time & Location: 18:30 Local / 12:30 PM Eastern; Imtech Arena, Hamburg
Prediction: Hertha Berlin 1 - 1 Hamburg
Sunday, August 11
Eintracht Braunschweig vs. Eintracht Frankfurt
The two Sunday matches feature four teams with a combined zero points. Not good. The first match is Braunschweig hosting Frankfurt, and it's tough to argue that Frankfurt have looked any better than Braunschweig this season. Die Adler were destroyed 6-1 by Hertha on opening day, and they fought hard last week before falling 1-0 to Bayern. Braunschweig have lost each of the first two games by one goal. I think we'll see Frankfurt finally turn things around this week and put together a performance that we've been waiting to see from them.
Time & Location: 15:30 Local / 9:30 AM Eastern; Eintracht-Stadion, Braunschweig
Prediction: Eintracht Braunschweig 1 - 3 Eintracht Frankfurt
Augsburg vs. Stuttgart
I still believe that Augsburg are going to be relegated at the end of the season. Stuttgart finally will get their season on track with their first win and first points on the road in Stuttgart. If Die Schwaben don't take home all three points at the end of this match, there's a very good chance that Bruno Labbadia will be unemployed soon.
Time & Location: 17:30 Local / 11:30 AM Eastern; SGL Arena, Augsburg
Prediction: Augsburg 1 - 2 Stuttgart