Bayern Munich lock horns with last season’s runners-up FC Schalke, Dortmund entertain Hoffenheim and much more in store as we take a look at the pick of the games in Matchday 4 in Bundesliga.
Following an exciting week chock-full of intriguing fixtures in the European competitions, matchday 4 of the Bundesliga will resume on Friday with VfB Stuttgart hosting Fortuna Dusseldorf at the Mercedes-Benz Arena.
In the weekend, Vfl Wolfsburg will look to bounce back to winning ways when they meet SC Freiburg while Werder Bremen will travel to Augsburg. Other games on Saturday afternoon include Hertha entertaining Gladbach, Hoffenheim hosting Dortmund while Hannover will be seeking their first victory of this campaign as they face newly promoted Nurnberg.
Defending champions Bayern Munich will travel Westphalia to face FC Schalke, in what will be regarded as the Topspiel of this weekend’s set of matches.
On Sunday, Bayer Leverkusen will be vying for their first point of this new campaign against a spirited Mainz while Eintracht Frankfurt and RB Leipzig will wrap things up with an exciting matchup at the Waldstadion in Frankfurt.
Hertha Berlin vs Borussia Monchengladbach
As always, Hertha Berlin have started the season on a positive note with two wins in three matches. What has changed, however, is the fact that Pal Dardai’s men seemed to have made the highly awaited transition in attack. Unlike previous campaigns, the club from the capital have been less reliant on the services of veteran forwards in Vedad Ibisevic and Salomon Kalou.
Indeed, the likes of Javairo Dilrosun, Valentino Lazaro and Ondrej Duda have impressed a lot so far this season. Duda, in particular, has already netted three goals in three matches and will undoubtedly play a key role in this fixture.
Gladbach, on the other hand, have also been one of the most impressive teams in the league thus far. But unlike Hertha, the Foals have managed to redeem a host of fringe players in this new campaign with the likes of Jonas Hofmann and Patrick Herrmann showing incredible promise. It could be an interesting matchup between a spirited Hertha and a rejuvenated Gladbach this weekend.
FC Nurnberg vs Hannover 96
Hannover 96 will be eager to register their first win of the campaign when they meet newly promoted FC Nurnberg at the Frankenstadion.
Hosts Nurnberg haven’t had the best of starts this campaign, securing just two points in three matches. They were held to a 1-1 draw by Werder Bremen in their last match, where Virgil Misdijan’s late goal saved the day for Nurnberg after they were initially trailing 1-0. Hannover, on the other hand, have appeared resolute in their opening matches this season. But, they have clearly lacked the end product in the final third.
That being said, the club from Lower Saxony scored two goals against RB Leipzig in their last game and should grab all three points against a relatively inferior opponent in Nurnberg. Niklas Fullkrug will be their main man in attack but we could also expect Hendrik Weydandt to play a key role in the second half.
TSG 1899 Hoffenheim vs Borussia Dortmund
Hoffenheim coach Julian Nagelsmann became the youngest manager to feature in the Champions League when his team clashed against Shakhtar Donetsk in midweek. And a spirited performance against the Ukrainian champions could boost their confidence ahead of their important match-up against Borussia Dortmund this weekend.
The Black and Yellows were made to work hard for their three points by Club Brugge as Christian Pulisic’s lucky goal in the 85th minute turned out to be the winner. And it goes without saying that Lucien Favre’s men need to act faster in their build-up if they are to prevail against an intense Hoffenheim side this week.
While Adam Szalai will certainly lead the Hoffe attack, having scored three goals in three matches, Dortmund may still be without their star striker Paco Alcacer, who has deemed doubtful to feature in this clash. This will allow Maximilian Philipp to be deployed as the false nine alongside Marco Reus and Christian Pulisic, both of whom will support the former Freiburg attacker from wider positions.
FC Schalke 04 vs Bayern Munich
Bundesliga giants Schalke could recede into further mediocrity should they fail to win or at least snatch a point against defending champions Bayern Munich this weekend.
The Ruhrpott giants are one of only two clubs yet to secure a single point this season and their disappointing draw with FC Porto in midweek won’t help either. However, on a positive note, Breel Embolo has looked very lively in the past couple of matches and the Swiss international could play a vital role on Saturday’s topspiel.
As for Bayern, they are coming on the back of a convincing 2-0 win over FC Porto in midweek and are all set to inflict more misery into the hearts of the Schalke fans and players alike. Thomas Muller, Thiago Alcantara and Niklas Sule could all start after being rested against Benfica on Wednesday while Lewandowski will be eager to get on to the scoresheet, after failing to find the back of the net in the last couple of matches.
Eintracht Frankfurt vs RB Leipzig
Arguably the most heated contest in this week’s set of fixtures, it will be interesting to see how Eintracht Frankfurt manage to dissect an out-of-sorts Leipzig side on Sunday evening.
The club from the east of Germany slumped to a 3-2 defeat against their sister club RB Salzburg in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday. Although Ralph Hassenhuttl’s side did make an impressive comeback after initially trailing 2-0 at halftime, a late goal from Fredrik Gulbrandsen settled all three points for the Austrian champions.
Frankfurt, on the other hand, defeated all odds to grab all three points against last season’s Europa League finalists Marseille on Thursday. The German cup winners were initially trailing from the third minute before Lucas Torro equalized in the 52nd minute.
However, things got rusty when Jetro Willems was sent off just before the hour-mark, which left Frankfurt completely exposed at the back. But, a diligent and brave-hearted display throughout the rest of the game saw Die Adler fight till the very end and ultimately finding the winner in the 89th minute through Luka Jovic. Therefore, Eintracht will certainly be confident of their chances of overcoming a strong Leipzig side this weekend.