Posted on August 31, 2007
Bayern Munich have a 100% record in the Bundesliga so far, but their first major test is around the corner.
The league leaders travel to Hamburg on Sunday, the first team to beat them after a similarly impressive start to the season two years ago.
Back then, Rafael van der Vaart and Piotr Trochowski sealed a 2-0 win for Hamburg, who moved to the top of the Bundesliga in the process.
Although last Friday’s defeat to Bochum has ruled out a similar scenario for the north Germans this time, they could still claim a morale-boosting victory and send a message to the rest of the Bundesliga that Bayern can be beaten.
By the time Hamburg and Bayern take to the field on Sunday, there could already have been a change at the top of the Bundesliga.
Arminia Bielefeld, Bochum and Eintracht Frankfurt have all hit the ground running this campaign, and the three clubs being touted as relegation candidates during pre-season all have the chance to move to the top of the pile on Saturday.
Bielefeld travel to Duisburg, Bochum are at Hannover while Frankfurt face Werder Bremen.
In stark contrast, the teams tipped to do well have made less of an impact with Schalke, Stuttgart, Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen all struggling.
Two of those sides, Schalke and Leverkusen, have the chance to put right what has gone amiss in their first three games when they meet at the Arena AufSchalke on Friday night.
Defending champions Stuttgart only managed their first win of the season against Duisburg last weekend, and will be relying on Germany striker Mario Gomez once again in the derby with Karlsruhe on Sunday.
And Dortmund travel to Hansa Rostock looking to build on their first success of the campaign last time out, when they overcame Energie Cottbus 3-0.
Thomas Doll’s side will be keen to keep their season on track against a side who have yet to pick up a single point.
Struggling with Rostock at the bottom of the standings are Energie. Their coach, Petrik Sander, has found himself under pressure recently but can ease that with a victory over Nurnberg on Saturday.
Finally, Felix Magath will be hoping his Wolfsburg side can claim all three points at Hertha Berlin.