Coming up in this week's edition of GOAL! The Bundesliga Magazine...
Having got off to a blistering start, Bayern Munich will be looking to consolidate their league position at home to VfL Wolfsburg on Matchday 5. Consistency has not exactly been the Wolves' strong suit so far this season and current form aside, history would certainly seem to heavily favour the hosts in this one. Bayern have won 14 of the 15 top-flight encounters between the sides in Munich down the years - drawing the other one - and come out on top in five of their six most recent head-to-heads home and away, with number six again ending all-square. Indeed, VfL's last win against the men from the Bavarian capital was one of only three in the Bundesliga, and undoubtedly their most memorable - a 5-1 pummelling in April 2009, when Wolfsburg were in the process of storming to an unexpected title success. Felix Magath, their coach then and now, would doubtless accept victory by a much lesser margin this time around.
3 Minutes with...
...Bas Dost. The new VfL Wolfsburg frontman started life in the Bundesliga with a bang, bagging his side's last-minute winner at Stuttgart on Matchday 1. It was a typical piece of opportunism from a prolific striker, who finished top of the shots in the Dutch Eredivisie last season with 32 goals in 34 games for SC Heerenveen. At 23, Dost already has several top-flight campaigns in the Netherlands under his belt, and a form trajectory that suggests the Wolves could well have signed a player coming into his scoring prime. With Mario Mandzukic now at FC Bayern and Patrick Helmes again sidelined with a cruciate ligament tear, Wolfsburg could certainly be doing with another reliable goalgetter.
He's back: Rafael van der Vaart, one of Hamburg's favourites sons of recent years, if you happen to be a HSV supporter at any rate. During his first stint with the club, between 2005 and 2008, they were for the most part in the running for, if not actually playing in European competition, the Champions League included. Now, the Red Shorts have prised the gifted playmaker away from Tottenham Hotspur first and foremost to help them escape the lower regions of the table after their misfiring start to the season. The 100-time Dutch international admitted after his first game at Eintracht Frankfurt - a 3-2 defeat - that there is "A lot of work to be done" to turn things around at HSV. That notwithstanding though, he is "happy to be back" at the club, and in the Bundesliga.
When Andreas Lambertz signed his first professional contract with Fortuna Düsseldorf in 2003, the team were playing in the Oberliga Nordrhein, part of the fourth tier of the German game at the time. The tireless midfielder soon carved out a regular starting slot for himself and the upward trajectory of his own career ran in tandem to that of the club. A place in the newly-formed national Third Division in 2007/08 was followed by instant promotion to Bundesliga 2. Last season's dramatic play-off victory over Hertha BSC Berlin completed Fortuna's remarkable resurgence, earning them a return to the Bundesliga for the first time in 15 years. And when "Lumpi" Lambertz, now the team skipper, stepped onto the pitch at VfB Stuttgart on Matchday 3, he established an even more notable milestone - becoming the first player ever to turn out for a single club in every flight from the fourth to the first, in ascending order.