At the beginning of the season, things looked sprightly, Bayern Munich winning their first two games, scoring six goals, without ever really having to leave second gear. Two months on, and those are starting to feel long in the memory, as Die Roten have dropped out of the top five in the Bundesliga, after three league games without winning.
Perhaps Bayern Munich are the big epitome of the fall German football is experiencing, with key members of their side also being vital fixtures in the national team that is currently struggling. Four games without winning in all competitions, two goals scored, and seven conceded, Niko Kovac is surely starting to feel the pressure. If it looked like the champions didn’t have to hit top gear to get going at the start of the season, now it looks like they are struggling to do so.
So, this weekend’s trip to Wolfsburg has the feel of a must-win game, to get their season back on track. Perhaps Wolfsburg are the most ideal opponents for Bayern right now, with Die Wolfe having not won since the second weekend of the season; or it could be a case of a Bayern side low on confidence being the ideal opposition for Wolfsburg. The first of the post-international break hurdles Kovac has to cross with Bayern, surely anything less than victory at the Volkswagen Arena in unthinkable.
While Bayern languish in an uncharacteristic sixth place, Borussia Dortmund remain flying at the top. Still unbeaten under Lucien Favre and raking in the goals, Die Schwarzgelben travel to bottom-placed Stuttgart this weekend, with their hosts starting life after Tayfun Korkut.
Elsewhere, second-placed Leipzig visit Augsburg, Borussia Monchengladbach hope to continue their impressive start as they host Mainz, while Leverkusen hope to continue their recovery when Hannover come to the Bay Arena.
Fifth-placed Hertha Berlin are at home to Freiburg, Werder Bremen aim to remain in the top four as they make the trip to Gelsenkirchen to face convalescing Schalke, and Hoffenheim face a trip to Nuremberg, who conceded six last time out.
Frankfurt v Dusseldorf
Nuremberg v Hoffenheim
Augsburg v Leipzig
Wolfsburg v Bayern Munich
Monchengladbach v Mainz
Hertha BSC v Freiburg
Schalke v Werder Bremen
Stuttgart v Dortmund
Leverkusen v Hannover