The Bundesliga returns this Friday with Matchday 3. Can the top 3 maintain their 100% start to the season?
Just as we were comfortably getting deeper into the new season’s excitement, along came the international break, but the Bundesliga returns this Friday with another round of intriguing match-ups. Three teams have a 100% record, but how many will retain it beyond matchday 2?
- The Bundesliga returns on Friday as Dortmund host Frankfurt
- Bayern Munich top the league table with a convincing start of the campaign but are level with 3-Teams
- Who gets to maintain their status at the end of matchday 3?
- Watch all Bundesliga games live on StarTimes DTV and Sanyuka TV
Borussia Dortmund v Eintracht Frankfurt.
Lucien Favre will be determined to make amends when his side hosts Frankfurt on Friday. The last time the two sides met ended in a 5-goal thriller (3-2) in favor of the hosts.
While Dortmund failed to score in their first of 53-games versus Hannover 96 before the break, Frankfurt have scored in their last 2-Bundesliga games, despite their unfortunate stoppage time loss in their last against Bremen.
Barcelona loanee, Paco Alcacer is expected to make his debut for Westphalians and should lead the attack with skipper, Marco Reus. American youngster, Christian Pulisic suffered a muscle injury which forced him to miss his team’s visit to Hannover a fortnight ago and remains sidelined. The others on the absentees’ list are Rafael Guerrero (muscle) and Ömer Toprak (thigh).
On the other side, Adi Hutter faces a defensive crisis and will have to work without right-back Timothy Chandler and center-back Carlos Salcedo who are out with knee and ankle injuries respectively, while, Dutchman, Jetro Willems serves his second game of suspension he received in the loss to Bremen.
Forward Gonçalo Paciência remains out with a knee injury but Ante Rebic’s rush to recovery could spell a ray of hope for Hutter.
Roman Burki, Lukasz Piszczek-Manuel Akanji-Abdou Diallo-Marcel Schmelzer, Mahmoud Dahoud-Axel Witsel-Thomas Delany, Jadon Sancho-Paco Alcacer-Reus
Kevin Trapp, Taleb Tawatha-Evan Ndicka-David Abraham-Danny da Costa, Lucas Torro-Gelson Fernandes, Ante Rebic-Mijat Gacinovic-Nicolai Muller, Sebastien Haller.
Dortmund have made a promising start to life under Lucien Favre and are likely to make it 2-home wins for 2. On the visitor’s side, Adi Hutter has struggled to gel-in since taking over from Niko Kovac.
Under his start, Frankfurt lost the Super Cup to Bayern, and the ‘defending Champions’ are famously out of the DFB Cup after falling 2-1 to SSV Ulm 1846 in the first round.
Dortmund remain favorites to challenge Bayern Munich for this season despite faltering to a 29-point deficit against the Bundesliga defending champions last season. This is one of the games they should win convincingly.
The Bundesliga continues on Saturday
3-teams have won their first 2-games and surprisingly, last season’s relegation play-off survivors, Wolfsburg, are part of the list.
However, by the end of the Saturday games, one or two of the three will have fallen from grace and perhaps tumbled rows below their current table standing.
Bayern Munich v Bayer Leverkusen
Leaders, Bayern Munich are top of the table after back-to-back wins; - a relatively fresh team face relegation lurking Bayer Leverkusen. Can Die Werkself end Bayern’s run this weekend?
Bavarians have had a brilliant start to the season and have been witnessed in the way they outclassed Eintracht Frankfurt (0-5) in Super Cup and built on it with DFB Pokal win over Drochtersen (0-1) and more convincing Bundesliga wins over Hoffenheim (3-1) and Stuttgart (0-3).
While Bayern have been impressive from the start; - very solid at the back conceding only 1-goal in their last 4, Bayer Leverkusen are struggling for points and have suffered 2-consecutive losses to Borussia Monchengladbach (2-0) and Wolfsburg (1-3), which makes the possibility of causing an upset and bouncing back at Allianz Arena even harder to think of.
Neither their defense nor attack have been at their best so far; - conceding 5-in-2-games 1-less by the tally their opponents have scored. But not to wash all Heiko Herrlich’s effort to this weekend's game down the drain, the return of some key players should help them regain stability.
Lukás Hrádecky should return from injury to make his Leverkusen debut in goal following a successful dental surgery while Sven Bender is expected to be fully fit as well to start at center-back. Charles Aránguiz could also return to the starting XI to partner Lars Bender in central midfield. But, Julian Baumgartlinger (knee), Sven Bender (ankle), Thorsten Kirschbaum (thigh), Joel Pohjanpalo (ankle) and Panagiotis Retsos (thigh) remain sidelined.
James Rodriguez could make his first start of the season for Bayern Munich after coming off the bench in their opening 2 and will have to find space between Corentin Tolisso and Leon Goretzka for a place in the middle while Serge Gnabry can only find a spot on the flanks if Robben and Ribery are absent. Jérôme Boateng, Niklas Süle and Mats Hummels compete for two spots at center-back.
They are a fresh team. Aren’t they?
Manuel Neuer, Kimmich-Niklas Süle-Boateng-Alaba, Thiago-Jarvi Martinez, Robben-Müller-James, Lewandowski
Lukas Hradecky, Mitchell Weiser-Jonathan Tah-Sven Bender-Wendell, Lars Bender-Kai Havertz, Julian Brandt-Kevin Volland-Leon Bailey, Lucas Alario
Leverkusen have struggled to impress in the final third and the Champions should be able to capitalize on that, considering the fact that they will need to use this game as a means of lifting their spirits ahead of their Champions League opening clash with Benfica on Wednesday.
Expect Bayern to dominate the game from the outset and will put on another confident display at the back and win to Nil.
Other games will have the other 2-teams with a perfect start go to a self-test when Wolfsburg host Hertha Berlin.
Here is a summary of this weekend’s Bundesliga fixtures
Friday, 14 September - Borussia Dortmund v Eintracht Frankfurt
Saturday, 15 September
Bayern Munich v Bayer Leverkusen
Wolfsburg v Hertha Berlin
Fortuna Dusseldorf v TSG Hoffenheim
RB Leipzig v Hannover 96
Mainz v FC Augsburg
Monchengladbach v Schalke 04
Sunday, 16 September
Werder Bremen v Nurnberg
SC Freiburg v VfB Stuttgart