Munich - GOAL! The Bundesliga Magazine is the DFL's weekly TV programme, offering a global audience a unique perspective on Germany's top flight throughout the season. We have in-depth previews of the upcoming league action, exclusive interviews, behind-the-scenes reports, the best goals from the weekend and much more besides.
Among the highlights in this week's edition of GOAL! The Bundesliga Magazine:
Fourth place in the table going into the upcoming round of action and level on points with champions and great local rivals Dortmund, Schalke 04 could, on the face of it, be reasonably satisfied with their start to the domestic campaign. The timid Matchday 4 surrender at home to FC Bayern put a dampener on proceedings however that was only partially lifted by a subsequent victory over Augsburg and hardly helped by a 2-2 draw at Düsseldorf last time out, where the Royal Blues let slip a two-goal advantage. Next up for Huub Stevens' troops is a home meeting with VfL Wolfsburg, whose pre-season European aspirations seem decidedly ambitious in the wake of a poor start that has left them third-bottom of the standings going into this one. Felix Magath takes the Wolves to the club he coached directly before them seeking to turn around a spiralling downward form curve, most recently manifested in a 2-0 home loss to Mainz.
Leading the line for Schalke in the above encounter, all things being equal, will be the Bundesliga's 2011/12 top scorer Klaas-Jan Huntelaar. The prolific Dutch frontman netted 29 goals last season and has chipped in with three so far this time around. In the post-Raul era, he is relying more on the likes of Jefferson Farfan, Lewis Holtby and Julian Draxler to provide the ammunition he puts to such regular and deadly effect. Having enjoyed limited success, and opportunities, in successive short spells with Real Madrid and AC Milan, Huntelaar has consistently delivered the goods since arriving in Gelsenkirchen in the summer of 2010, averaging around two goals in every three league games for the Royal Blues - as well as endearing himself to the home fans with his tremendous work ethic.
They have been at the top of the domestic tree for the past two years and as part of their bid to remain there for the longer term, Borussia Dortmund have turned to cutting-edge technology in the form of the footbonaut. A 14-metre square cage with eight machines firing balls from all directions at a player in the middle, the footbonaut is, in the words of head coach Jürgen Klopp, "the perfect training apparatus for receiving the ball and moving it on." And as GOAL! found out, it is also an enjoyable, if high-intensity, work-out for the players themselves.
3 Minutes with...
...Artur Sobiech. The Polish forward's Bundesliga career got off to a record-breaking start, albeit one he would rather forget, when he entered the annals as the player to receive the quickest straight red card on his top-flight debut (in added time, after coming on as an 83rd-minute sub against Dortmund). Since then however, Sobiech's fortunes with the Reds have been on the rise and his early-season scoring form, both in the Bundesliga and Europa League, suggests the 22-year-old seven-time Poland international is now truly finding his feet in the German game.