Summary

  • Unbeaten Bayern and Köln meet.
  • Leverkusen v Dortmund could see a few goals.
  • Basement battle between Darmstadt and Bremen.

Another intriguing weekend of Bundesliga action is nearly upon us, and there's plenty to grab your attention before the international break on Matchday 6.

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Can Köln lay a glove on Bayern?

1. FC Köln's superb start to the season may have caught a few sides, fans and pundits off guard, but it faces the ultimate test on Matchday 6. FC Bayern München lie in wait to give coach Peter Stöger's troops their sternest examination yet, and the rest of the Bundesliga will be keen to find out whether the Billy Goats can be the first team to really land a punch on the defending champions this season. Both sides struggled on Matchday 5, and Bayern tasted defeat in the UEFA Champions League in midweek, so their respective approaches to this one will be fascinating.

Köln fought back from going behind early on to secure a point at home to RB Leipzig last Sunday.

Goals guaranteed?

On paper the meeting between Bayer 04 Leverkusen and Borussia Dortmund would seem to hold the promise of goals and drama galore. Both sides were held to draws in the Champions League this week, with Leverkusen conceding a 94th-minute equaliser to end 1-1 with Monaco while Dortmund held their own with Real Madrid in a 2-2 thriller. Die Schwarzgelben top the goals-for column in the Bundesliga with 16, and in Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez, Leverkusen have a striker hitting top form. Don't expect a 0-0.

Chicharito's hat-trick secured Leverlusen's win over Mainz - and probably helped him win your Player of the Month vote.

Hertha Berlin aiming for record start

The chasing bunch behind pacesetters Bayern and Dortmund contains a few surprises, with Hertha Berlin giving a good account of themselves and boasting ten points after five matches. A win over Hamburger SV, below par to date, would give Die Alte Dame their best start after six matches since 1970 and will increase hopes of a finish even higher than last season's seventh. Coach Pal Dardai seems comfortable with the expectations of his side, and has a clutch of players appearing off the bench to vie for a start – a nice problem to have.

Pal Dardai may have a few selection issues to ponder for Matchday 6.

Can Schalke break their duck?

It has been an early season to forget for FC Schalke 04, with five defeats out of five and just two goals scored in that time. But Europe has given hope to fans of the Royal Blues, most recently on Thursday when Salzburg were despatched 3-1 in the UEFA Europa League, and Sunday’s meeting with Borussia Mönchengladbach offers another olive branch. Gladbach started last term in a similarly below-par fashion, but they picked themselves up off the canvas to beat FC Augsburg on Matchday 6 to eventually finish the season fourth. Schalke, take note.

Can a win in the Europa League help inspire Schalke to a change in their domestic fortunes?

No time to look over the shoulder

It is surely too early to talk about relegation battles – or is it? Two sides who may be casting a nervous glance behind them even now are SV Darmstadt 98 and SV Werder Bremen, who meet at the Jonathan-Heimes-Stadion am Böllenfalltor on Saturday. Bremen got off the mark thanks to a late, late show against VfL Wolfsburg last week, when Theo Gebre Selassie struck in injury time to seal a 2-1 win. Darmstadt's sole win, a 1-0 triumph against Eintracht Frankfurt on Matchday 2, already feels like a long time ago.