Bundesliga matchday seven preview: It’s crowded at the top


If you had a home win in any of the nine Bundesliga games last weekend, you had at least one one loss. If you had all away wins, you were one Bremen goal away from a perfect weekend. For the first time ever, no home team left with maximum points.

It did see Bayern return to the top of the table with five teams a point behind them including a surprising Freiburg and a resurgent Schalke. Welcome to matchday seven (All times CT).


Hertha looks back on track after winning back-to-back matches – the latter a 4-0 hiding of FC Köln. Dilrosun has two goals and two assists in the last three matches for Hertha. Vedad Ibisevic added a brace of his own in the win last week. That said, the next goal or assist Dilrosun gets would be his first in league play outside the month of September.

Fortuna are winless in their last five after a 2-1 defeat to Freiburg despite Zach Steffen’s heroics in goal. Fellow US international Alfredo Morales looks set to return to the fold after missing three weeks with a groin strain. This will be coach Friedhelm Funkel’s 500th match as a Bundesliga coach.

BAYERN MUNICH vs. HOFFENHEIM  (Saturday at 8:30am, FS1)

One can be forgiven if they do not already feel sympathy for Hoffenheim in advance of this match. Bayern are coming off a 7-2 thrashing of Tottenham in the Champions League on Tuesday night. Serge Gnabry scored four goals in the match and looks to score more on Saturday. Oh, there’s also Philippe Coutinho to deal with.

Hoffenheim are coming off a 3-0 defeat to Borussia Mönchengladbach last weekend. It doesn’t help not having Andrej Kramaric and Ishak Belfodil out to injury. While Serge Gnabry netted four on Tuesday night, Hoffenheim have netted just four all season. Again, one can be forgiven if sympathies are offered in advance.

SC FREIBURG vs. BORUSSIA DORTMUND  (Saturday at 8:30am, FS2)

Freiburg continue to surprise this season with a 2-1 away win at Fortuna to propel them to third place. It is easily the best start ever for Freiburg and the question is whether they can at least sustain a run in the top six. Another question is whether Luca Waldschmidt will start.

After a 2-2 home draw to Werder Bremen last weekend, BVB find themselves in seventh and two points behind their hosts. Paco Alcacer is a doubt with an Achilles issue, so Mario Götze could start as well as Julian Brandt. BVB are unbeaten in their last 16 league matches against Freiburg. A 17th straight unbeaten would be a record against one team. 

BAYER LEVERKUSEN vs. RB LEIPZIG (Saturday at 8:30am, Fox Soccer Plus)

Die Werkself are one of five teams on 13 points – one behind Bayern. Last week, they won 3-0 at Augsburg, but wound up losing 3-0 in the Champions League at Juventus. Kevin Volland has been involved in more goals in the calendar year than any other Bundesliga player with 20. Kai Havertz is tied for second with 15.

Timo Werner is the person tied with Havertz. However, Werner and Leipzig are coming off a pair of defeats the past few days – 3-1 to Schalke and then 2-0 to Lyon – both at home. Ibrahima Konte joined the injury list with a hip issue that will keep him out several weeks. Tyler Adams and Kevin Kampl remain injury doubts. 

SC PADERBORN vs. MAINZ (Saturday at 8:30am, Fox Soccer Matchpass)

Paderborn are the league’s last winless team and are bottom. They have scored at least once in every match, but have conceded a league-worst 17 goals thus far. Last week saw A for effort against Bayern and the debut of Khiry Shelton. Shelton will be itching to see more playing time just as much as Paderborn is itching to get out of the bottom three. 

Mainz is also in the bottom three and have scored just five goals on the year (and shipped 16). Adam Szalai has made three starts in the campaign after returning from Hoffenheim. The 05ers will hope they don’t have to wait until Szalai’s 12th league match to see him get on the board this season. They also hope for their first point away from home this season. 

SCHALKE vs. FC KÖLN (Saturday at 11:30am, FS2)

The Royal Blues are proving their resurgence is no fluke as they defeated Leipzig, 3-1, on the road. Amine Harit continues to shine with four goals and two assists on the month as Weston McKennie continues to be the midfield enforcer while Welsh international Rabbi Matondo opened his account last week. 

FC Köln have lost their last two matched by 4-0 counts and have the third-worst defence in the league and the joint-worst attack with just four goals. However, it may be a blessing for the Billy Goats to come to the Veltins as they are unbeaten in their last four visits to Gelsenkirchen. 


The good news for the Foals is they have won four of their first six games this season and came away with a point on Thursday in their Europa League tilt with Istanbul Basaksehir. The bad news for Gladbach is that they have won just once in their last 11 at Borussia Park. Squad rotation could be in Marco Rose’s future after Thursday’s match, though Lars Stindl could be ready to go again. 

FCA suffered a home defeat last week to Leverkusen and are winless in their last five away from home. Augsburg received a potential boost with Jeffery Gouweeleuw full fit again and ready for a recall. However, Marco Richter is a doubt with a thigh problem. 

WOLFSBURG vs. UNION BERLIN (Sunday at 8:30am, FS1)

Wolfsburg are the other unbeaten in the league remaining along with Bayern. It is the first time that the Wolves have opened unbeaten in their first six in the Bundesliga. Their 1-0 win over Mainz last week ended a run of four successive draws in all competitions. 

After four points from their first three games, Union have lost their last three and sit in 15th place at the moment. Akako Gogia is lost for the season with an ACL injury. The Iron Men will hope Sebastian Andersson can find the net again after scoring in matchdays two, three, and four.  


The Eagles got a 2-1 away win at Union Berlin and they got an away win in the Europa League against Portuguese side Vitoria. However, Frankfurt did suffer a loss as goalkeeper Kevin Trapp is out for the rest of the Hinrunde after shoulder surgery. 

The Green-Whites were the only away team to not win on matchday six, but it was still a 2-2 draw against Dortmund. It was a massive result considering the rash of injuries this season. Milot Rashica was one of the players coming back from injury and scored at the Signal Iduna. He is expected to retain his place behind Josh Sargent. 


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