The Bundesliga returns from the international break with a vengeance this weekend, with FC Bayern München, Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig all in action in the first of a blockbuster two days of action.
The DFL is assisting players returning from international duty by hosting no Friday night match in the first week back, which means that Matchday 8 will instead kick-off on Saturday afternoon.
League leaders FC Bayern München will be one of 10 teams in action in the first batch of fixtures when they play host to SV Werder Bremen. The visitors to the Allianz Arena are on a six-game unbeaten run, having drawn each of their last four fixtures 1-1 before their trip to face Bayern.
But to continue that run, Florian Kohfeldt’s side will have to find a way to stop Robert Lewandowski scoring. No player has ever scored more than his 11 goals from the first seven matches of a Bundesliga season -which the Bayern No.9 has now managed in successive campaigns.
Borussia Mönchengladbach will host FC Augsburg with Marcus Thuram returning from making his international debut for France during the last week. The Foals are just one point ahead of Augsburg, with bothteamsamong the chasing pack on the cusp of the top four places in the table.
At the same time,Bayer 04 Leverkusen -who currently sit in fourth place on the ladder-will travel to DSC Arminia Bielefeld, with Lucas Alariolooking to continue his record scoring run. The Argentine has scored braces in each of his last three Bundesliga outings.
Elsewhere, TSG Hoffenheim host VfB Stuttgart in a tasty mid-table meeting, while FC Schalke 04 go in search of their first win of the campaign when they meet still unbeaten VfL Wolfsburg.
The Saturday action then continues in the first of two evening fixtures as Eintracht Frankfurt welcome second-placed RB Leipzig to the Deutsche Bank Park. Leipzig’s top-scoring left-back Angelino (3 goals this season) will be the man to watch ahead of the later Saturday game.
The day’s play is then rounded off by the ever-entertaining meeting between Hertha Berlin and Borussia Dortmund at the Olympiastadion. The Old Lady are still looking for their first home win of the season, and will have to beat Erling Haaland -who has scored every 79 minutes he’s played in the Bundesliga so far -to earn that victory.
The game could also see a moment of Bundesliga history with teenager Youssoufa Moukoko eligible to make his debut for Dortmund after turning 16 on Friday. The Cameroon-born Germany youth international would become the youngest player in the league’s history, breaking Nuri Sahin’s 15-year record.
The action will continue on Sunday with a double-header to enjoy as Sport-Club Freiburg host 1.FSV Mainz 05 before 1.FC Köln meet 1.FC Union Berlin in the Sebastian Andersson derby -the Swede scored 12 goals for Union last season before switchingto the club on the Rheinthis summer.