FC Schalke 04’s Revierderby showdown with Borussia Dortmund is the headline act on Bundesliga Matchday 9. There’s nothing like a meeting between Schalke and Dortmund to get the pulses racing.
The two respective fans sets like nothing more than getting one over on their fierce Ruhr district rivals, separated by a single point in the current Bundesliga standings. Awin could send either club top, and the fact Dortmund’s hopes of a first league title since 2012 suffered a hammer blow at Schalke’s hands back in April only intensifies the need for bragging rights in what Germans aptly call ‘the mother of all derbies’.
1. FSV Mainz 05 and 1. FC Köln share their own rivalry – the fight to be Germany’s ultimate Carnival Kings. The Bundesliga’s self-styled ‘Carnival clubs’ kick-off Matchday 9 at the Coface Arena, where visitors Köln have won only once in their last eight visits.
1. FC Union Berlin has never won in Munich, but that’s only because they have never faced FC Bayern München before. The odds are certainly against the Bundesliga new boys, not least given Robert Lewandowski’s incredible run of scoring at least once in every game this season. If he strikes again, the Pole will break Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s record of scoring in the first eight games of a Bundesliga campaign.
RB Leipzig begins the weekend level on points with Bayern, despite winning only one of their last five league matches and taking two points from their last three. History, as well as form, is against them at Sport-Club Freiburg, where they have lost their last two.
Rock-bottom SC Paderborn 07 are still chasing their first win since being promoted. Fortuna Düsseldorf provides the opposition, fuelled by the goals of veteran striker Rouwen Hennings.
Like Hennings, Andrej Kramaric was among the goals on Matchday 8, marking his injury comeback in TSG 1899 Hoffenheim’s win over Schalke. However, repeating the trick against a Hertha Berlin unit that has taken a lead-leading seven points from their last three matches might be easier said than done.
Bayer 04 Leverkusen has been involved in some real humdingers with upcoming opponents SV Werder Bremen in recent seasons, thumping the Green-Whites 6-2 away only to lose 3-1 at home last term. With the likes of Kai Havertz and Josh Sargent on the pitch, further goals are a given.
FC Augsburg has the not insignificant task of ending VfL Wolfsburg’s unbeaten start to the campaign. The Wolves had Wout Weghorst to thank for preserving their unbowed run in Leipzig last weekend but will have taken note of Augsburg’s spirited performance in their draw with champions Bayern. Wolfsburg may have replaced Borussia Mönchengladbach by the time the early-season frontrunners kick-off against Eintracht Frankfurt.
Marco Rose’s men retained pole despite being cut down by former flame Marco Reus in the Battle of the Borussias.
Frankfurt extended their unbeaten run to four matches after downing Leverkusen 3-0 and could welcome back Andre Silva for the trip to Gladbach. The Portuguese striker has scored three goals in his first four Bundesliga matches.