Bayern will count on England captain Harry Kane to once again make the difference when they visit bogey team Borussia Mönchengladbach on Matchday 3 of the Bundesliga.
Bayern against Gladbach is a special fixture in the calendar, with the two clubs having shared the league title over nine consecutive seasons between 1968 and 1977.
Gladbach have not been champions since then, but they have been a constant thorn in the side of the defending champions in recent seasons. They are unbeaten in five games in all competitions against the Bavarians, drawing 1-1 in Munich last August before winning 32 at home in February.
Their current defensive record – coupled with Kane’s impressive start – does give cause for concern ahead of Saturday evening’s encounter. Gladbach fought back to draw 4-4 at FC Augsburg on the opening weekend but they lost 3-0 at home to Bayer 04 Leverkusen last time out.
While the Foals have conceded seven goals in two matches, Bayern have scored seven. Former Tottenham Hotspur star Kane has got three of them – including two in last week’s 3-1 victory over Augsburg.
Bayern are one of five teams to take maximum points so far, with 1. FC Union Berlin leading the way on goals scored. They recorded back-to-back 4-1 wins over 1. FSV Mainz 05 and promoted SV Darmstadt 98.
Just days after learning their opponents for their maiden UEFA Champions League campaign, Union next play last season’s DFB Cup winners RB Leipzig, and must do without USA midfielder Brenden Aaronson on Sunday as he serves a suspension. They do have four-goal leading scorer Kevin Behrens though. A late-blooming striker who only made his Bundesliga debut at the age of 30, he was spotted casually cycling home after his opening-day hat-trick against Mainz.
Behrens tops the Bundesliga scoring chart – along with VfL Wolfsburg’s Jonas Wind – while Germany wing-back Robin Gosens is settling in nicely at the capital club after scoring twice last week.
Union went unbeaten in the league at home last season and Leipzig did lose their first road match of the new campaign at Leverkusen. Sunday’s visitors bounced back in style on Matchday 2, however, hammering VfB Stuttgart 5-1.
Leipzig’s Dani Olmo has five goals in all competitions after scoring again in that game, while two exciting recent signings – Belgian forward Lois Openda and Dutch attacker Xavi Simons – also got on the scoresheet.
Matchday 3 kicks off on Friday evening when Borussia Dortmund meet newcomers 1. FC Heidenheim 1846. Last week Donyell Malen netted for the second game running but Dortmund could not add to his equaliser at local rivals VfL Bochum 1848.
An early slip means Dortmund now have four points on the board, but Bundesliga 2 champions Heidenheim are one of four teams still to get off the mark. Last week they led 2-0 at home to TSG Hoffenheim 1899, only to lose 3-2.
Things are going much better for Xabi Alonso’s Leverkusen. Nigerian striker Victor Boniface grabbed two goals – his first in the Bundesliga – as they made it two wins from two by beating Gladbach.
Alonso’s team next host Darmstadt on Saturday afternoon, when two other teams with six points from six are on the road. Wolfsburg visit Hoffenheim while SC Freiburg are away to midtable Stuttgart.
Augsburg and Bochum – with a point apiece so far – will face each other. SV Werder Bremen – bottom of the table and without a point or even a goal to date – are at home to Mainz.
1. FC Köln have also lost both of their matches so they could do with a positive result away to unbeaten Eintracht Frankfurt on Sunday.
On the same day the top two in the second tier will do battle when Bundesliga 2 leaders Hamburger SV host FC Hansa Rostock.
Also on Matchday 5, fourth-placed 1. FC Magdeburg welcome Hertha Berlin on Saturday. FC Schalke 04 – who like Hertha have only banked three points so far following their relegation – are away to promoted SV Wehen Wiesbaden.