Welcome back from the international break. Stuttgart and Koln kicked off (pun intended) the weekend with Chadrac Akolo helping the home side grab all three points.
This weekend sees a couple of top six match-ups with implications that could alter the table significantly between now and the international break. What follows is Matchday 8 divided into our three tiers of watchability:
TSG 1899 Hoffenheim v. FC Augsburg: The battle of the league’s biggest surprises starts off our weekend and tops our list. Hoffenheim were shocked by Freiburg before the break and may be without Lukas Rupp and Robin Hack. For the visitors, Rani Khedira is a doubt for a side that looks to build on a defeat to BVB. Fun fact, the last time Augsburg defeated Hoffenheim was when both played in regional leagues in the fall of 2005.
Hannover 96 v. Eintracht Frankfurt: Protect this house versus road warriors. Hannover’s unblemished home record should help them try to bounce back from a loss to Gladbach last time out. Meanwhile, Frankfurt has won twice on the road this season already. Both sides should have their full rosters healthy and an eye on climbing in the table.
BVB v. RB Leipzig: Thus begins our heroes gauntlet through the next international break. Timo Werner looks to be fit enough to feature, which would be a great test for Peter Bosz’s defence. More previews and details on this site.
Hertha BSC v. FC Schalke 04: The new Captain America Weston McKennie will not feature for the visitors in a match that sees two sides underperforming so far this season but capable of quick turn arounds. Salomon Kalou has been a force for Hertha and we could finally see Davie Selkie debut after a summer transfer.
1.FSV Mainz 05 v. Hamburger SV: This could be a good early season six pointer as two struggling sides with talent look to avoid sinking closer to the automatic relegation zone. Despite some criticism, it looks like Bobby Wood will continue to start for the visitors where he hopes the midfield will provide some services for his runs. For Mainz, they are unbeaten in their last two matches after an abysmal start to the campaign so this match could be about building momentum for a mid-table run.
FC Bayern Munchen v. SC Freiburg: Willy Sagnol, we mis you already. Jupp Heynckes is back and his first match in charge sees his side facing a club that has never won in Munich. Bayrn will likely be missing both Franck Ribery and Arturo Vidal, so who the new manager will start and how he will play may be the only reason to watch.
Bayer 04 Leverkusen v. VfL Wolfsburg: The home side seem to be prospering with the Kevin Volland playing behind Lucas Alario. Add in an in-form Leon Bailey and the visitors will have a hard time grabbing points in this match. Fun fact – the last eight meetings between these two sides have averaged 4.6 goals a match.
SV Werder Bremen v. Borussia Monchengladbach: Both sides ended matchday 7 well and both are expected to repeat their previous starting XI. If you are placing a wager on this match, bet on a draw. Werder have yet to win at home this season and Gladbach have yet to win on the road.