Bundesliga: Bayern Munich trying to pull away from Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen

If the first few weeks of the new Bundesliga campaign are anything to go by, we are poised for a frantic title race. Bayern Munich are setting the pace at the top, while Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen are both in hot pursuit. In this preview, we will give the lowdown on two games — Bayern Munich v Hoffenheim, and Arminia Bielefeld v Borussia Dortmund.

Bayern Munich brushes aside Bayer Leverkusen with consummate ease

Bayern prepared for a big week ahead by sweeping aside Bayer Leverkusen 5-1 on their travels last weekend. Robert Lewandowski scored twice, and he opened the scoring with a sumptuous back flick to provide the platform for victory. Serge Gnabry also grabbed a double, and Bayern were slick in every department. Every time they surged forward, they looked like they would score.

With a midweek trip to Benfica in the Champions League before facing Hoffenheim on Saturday, Bayern intends to stamp their authority at the top of the table. Bayern have netted 29 goals after eight matchdays, equalling the tally posted at the same stage of the 1976/77 campaign. Lewandowski has been frightening, and he has hit two or more goals in 73 different Bundesliga games.

Julian Nagelsmann is eager to make statements of intent

To be 5-0 up at half-time against Bayer Leverkusen underlined Bayern’s superiority, and at the moment, they are too much to handle. Julian Nagelsmann was happy his side was able to make a statement of intent against their title rivals and having conceded just eight times this season, they are near watertight at the back.

Hoffenheim shrug off Stuttgart defeat with five-star display against Cologne

While Bayern will naturally grab most of the headlines, Hoffenheim were excellent against Cologne in their last Bundesliga outings. They cruised to a 5-0 victory, and aside from Bayern, they have a good run of fixtures to tuck into over the coming weeks, which will help them climb up the table. Hoffenheim are currently ninth in the Bundesliga, five points adrift of the top four.

Ihlas Bebou ends goalscoring drought for Hoffenheim

There were many impressive aspects of Hoffenheim’s victory over Cologne. But it was Ihlas Bebou who caught the eye, as he popped up with two goals — his first goals in Germany’s top flight since May. It also meant Hoffenheim are undefeated in their last 11 meetings with Cologne, although Bayern Munich will be a different test altogether.

Erling Haaland returns with a bang for Borussia Dortmund

After sitting out three games with an injury, Erling Haaland did what he does best for Borussia Dortmund, and that’s scoring goals! The Norwegian’s first goal arrived from the penalty spot 10 minutes after the restart, and he made sure of the three points as he tucked home Jude Bellingham’s pass with aplomb.

Haaland now averages a goal every 61 minutes, and in 49 Bundesliga appearances for Dortmund, he has scored 49 times. It’s setting up to be a fascinating foot race between him and Lewandowski for the Golden Boot award, but what is clear is that Haaland is simply indispensable to Dortmund. And Haaland will be keen to add to his tally against Arminia Bielefeld on Saturday.

Although Dortmund has conceded at least once in their last 11 matches, they have yet to taste defeat at home since April — a run of nine games. Although they haven’t fared as well on their travels, Dortmund are just a point behind Bayern in the second spot, and they will push them even harder this season.

Arminia Bielefeld need to pick themselves up after a miserable season

As far as Arminia Bielefeld are concerned, things haven’t gone according to plan so far this season. The 1-1 draw away to fellow Bundesliga strugglers Augsburg was a proof point, and they had to rely on a superb Jacob Laursen volley to earn a point. Against Dortmund, they will be facing a side that is relentless and robust from back to front.

Dortmund will be relishing a trip to face Arminia. On their previous visit last season, Dortmund cruised to a 3-0 victory with Mahmoud Dahoud, Jadon Sancho and Reinier Jesus grabbing the goals. Arminia will be considered as easy fodder by Dortmund, and it seems that only complacency could prevent the visitors from taking all three points.

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