Bundesliga preview: Bayern face in-form Schalke
A clash of the Bundesliga titans is on the fixture list in Germany this weekend as Bayern Munich take on a very confident looking Schalke side in the Veltins-Arena on Saturday.
Jupp Heynckes' Bayern have started the season in terrific fashion, winning all three games and scoring 12 goals in the process.
Central to their success has been the form of forwards Mario Mandzukic and Thomas Mueller, who have both scored three goals, while midfielders Bastian Schweinsteiger and Toni Kroos – who netted in Bayern's 2-1 Champions League win over Valencia on Wednesday – have weighed in with two goals each.
Schalke have also started well and are one of seven unbeaten sides in the Bundesliga, with two wins and one draw from their three league outings to date.
The Gelsenkirchen outfit are also involved in the Champions League and won 2-1 in mid-week, with Benedikt Hoewedes and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar on the scoresheet in their triumph at Olympiakos.
Huntelaar – who crossed to Schalke from Milan for approximately 10 million pounds in August 2010 – scored an incredible 48 goals in 47 appearances in all competitions last season.
His signing has proved a masterstroke and Schalke have enjoyed a strong period of success since he arrived at the club.
With Hoewedes and fellow German youngsters Lewis Holtby and Julian Draxler on the club's books, in addition to the likes of Peruvian Jefferson Farfan, Switzerland's Tranquilo Barnetta and Dutchman Ibrahim Afellay, Schalke are more than capable of beating the Bavarian giants.
While that match is the pick of the weekend's fixtures, second-placed Eintracht Frankfurt – who have also won all three matches they have played – travel to Nuremberg on Friday in the hope of maintaining their terrific form.
Armin Veh's side were playing in the second tier last season and have carried on their momentum since winning promotion into the top flight.
But defeating Nuremberg – who have won two and drawn one this season – away from home will not prove easy.
Defending champions Borussia Dortmund are also on the road, travelling to the struggling Hamburg who have lost all three of their matches this season.
Dortmund shone in a 3-0 triumph over Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday and followed up with a last-gasp Champions League win over Ajax in mid-week.
New manager Sami Hyypia is already under the pressure at Leverkusen and the former Liverpool defender needs a positive result when Borussia Moenchengladbach visit the BayArena on Sunday.
Other matches on Saturday see Wolfsburg host Greuther Furth while Augsburg travel to Mainz and Fortuna Duesseldorf battle with Freiburg.
Joining Leverkusen in action on Sunday is Werder Bremen, who host Stuttgart, and bottom-placed Hoffenheim, who will be up against it when they meet an in-form Hannover.