The Bundesliga kicked off last weekend with technology and energy drinks being the big stories. On one hand, the VAR system made its presence known immediately and showed it will no doubt at some point seem to influence the title race. On the other hand, our favorite energy drink sponsored club suffered a shock defeat to begin their season. As much as we’d like to assume they will spend the season battling relegation, the reality is they could right the ship as soon as this weekend.
Just like last weekend, we rank the matches into our three tiers.
Bayer Leverkusen v. Hoffenheim – The home side were sacrificed to Bayern in the Bundesliga’s first match of the season and now return home, where they have not won in their last six matches. However, Die Werkself are Hoffenheim’s nemesis. Since Die Kraichgauer came up to the Bundesliga in 2008, they’ve lost 13 times to Leverkusen. However, they did win both matches last season under manager Julian Nagelsmann.
BVB v. Hertha Berlin – A battle of two teams with Champions League and title aspirations. Not to miss!
RB Leipzig v. Freiburg – Leipzig will try to shake off a tough defeat last week as they host Freiburg. The home side could have Emil Forsberg back in the starting XI along with Diego Demme. The visitors have no major injuries to report and are looking for their first goal of the season. Leipzig won both matches against Freiburg last season by an 8-1 aggregate.
FC Koln v. Hamburg – Koln need a good bounce back match after losing the Rhine Derby last week. They could be welcoming back Yuya Osako. Meanwhile, Hamburg and Nicolai Mueller made news for all the wrong reasons last week when he ruptured his ACL celebrating a goal.
Werder Bremen v. Bayern Munich – Manuel Neuer is probably back in net for the defending champions, who look to build a strong start to the season. Javi Martinez and Thiago may feature off the bench, making life harder for home side Bremen. Positive stat for the visitors: they have lost none of their last 20 meetings against Bremen.
Hannover v. Schalke – Look for Schalke to try and build some momentum of their own coming off their shock victory over Leipzig. Manager Domenico Tedesco likely will feature his same starting XI against a Hannover side who could feature new signing Jonathas.
Eintracht Frankfurt v. Wolfsburg – As we mentioned last week, even Kevin Prince-Boateng could not convince us to drop everything and watch Frankfurt’s match against Freiburg. Turns out were picked correctly as it ended in a dull scoreless draw. He will likely start this week’s match. On the other side of the pitch, Wolfsburg was destroyed by BVB last week and saw four regulars felled by flu in training. Andries Jonker could struggle in composing his team sheet.
Stuttgart v. FSV Mainz – Stuttgart fans will be thrilled to see their club again in a top flight home match after a year plus absence. They are to this point undefeated at home in 2017, making Mainz’s task more difficult. Also difficult will be holding in emotions as new signing Alexandru Maxim returns to face the club he helped win promotion last season.
Augsburg v. Monchengladbach – Gladbach have momentum from their Rhine Derby victory but also have a number of key injured players. The visitors will also be trying to snap a six-match streak with no victories at Augsburg. Other than those interesting facts, there’s not much to catch your attention unless you’re a fan of one of these clubs.