Hertha Berlin travel to VfL Wolfsburg on Saturday keen to preserve their unbeaten start to the Bundesliga season
Hertha Berlin travel to VfL Wolfsburg on Saturday keen to preserve their unbeaten start to the Bundesliga season

Intriguing encounters among Saturday kick-offs

Munich - Matchday 4 of the Bundesliga contains several intriguing fixtures, including a very special match for one of the Bundesliga's most traditional clubs.

VfL Wolfsburg v Hertha Berlin

Hertha Berlin will be looking to continue their unbeaten start to the season at VfL Wolfsburg. FC Augsburg travel to 1. FC Nürnberg, who are yet to win this season, while early strugglers Hamburger SV and Eintracht Braunschweig meet at the Imtech Arena.

bundesliga.com rounds up Saturday's 15.30 CEST kick-offs...

Fans of VfL Wolfsburg could have been forgiven for dreaming of European football next season following their demolition of FC Schalke 04 on Matchday 2. The Wolves were brought back down to earth with a bump at 1. FSV Mainz last weekend, however, succumbing to a 2-0 defeat which saw Luiz Gustavo given his marching orders for two bookable offences.

Coach Dieter Hecking is confident of overcoming an in-form Hertha Berlin at the Volkswagen Arena, however. "We have enough in our locker to win our second home match of the season," he said. Gustavo is suspended for die Wölfe and Bas Dost remains sidelined through injury, but Daniel Caligiuri and Maximilian Arnold are both available.

Hertha on fire

Hertha Berlin have made a blistering start to their first season back in the top flight and currently find themselves in fifth place with seven points from a possible nine - a new club record in the Bundesliga. Jos Luhukay is expecting a tough test against Wolfsburg, however. "It won't be an easy game," he said. "Wolfsburg have quality throughout the side and a good mix of youth and experience. They will finish near the top of the league this year."

Apart from quartet Johannes van den Bergh, Marcel Ndjeng, Pierre-Michel Lasogga and Hany Mukhtar, who will all miss the match through injury, Jos Luhukay has a full squad to choose from. Despite being underdogs, the 50-year-old promised to try and attack Wolfsburg. "In Nürnberg, we tried to go forward as often as possible. We want to put them under pressure and create plenty of chances."

1. FC Nürnberg v FC Augsburg

Having drawn their opening two encounters, 1. FC Nürnberg suffered their first defeat of the season at FC Bayern Munich last weekend. Der Club will be determined to register their first three points against an Augsburg side who themselves recorded their first win of the campaingn against VfB Stuttgart on Sunday.

"We're playing at home and want to get the three points," said Nürnberg coach Michael Wiesinger. "We will do everything in our power to win the game." Berkay Dabanli and Per Nilsson, who both picked up knocks against Bayern, should be available for the game, but Timo Gebhart is yet to return to fitness.

Augsburg confident

Die Fuggerstädter don't have the best of records against Nürnberg. They have not beaten them in four attempts and slumped to a 2-1 home defeat to last season - a victory which helped Nürnberg seal Bundesliga survival. But their 2-1 victory against Stuttgart last weekend means they travel to the Grundig Stadion brimming with confidence.

"The victory has given us self-belief," said Augsburg coach Markus Weinzierl. "We're travelling to Nürnberg to get something from the match, but they are tricky opposition." Goalkeeper Alex Manninger could make his first appearance of the season for Augsburg after a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

Hamburger SV v Eintracht Braunschweig

Hamburger SV play their 1700th Bundesliga match on Saturday when they face promoted Eintracht Braunschweig. Thorsten Fink's side have had a miserable start to their season, picking up just one point from three matches and conceding nine goals in the process.

Although his team are desperate for their first win of the season, Fink wants his team to keep their cool against bottom-of-the-table Braunschweig. "We want to do everything we can to get the three points, but Braunschweig are strong defensively. If we don't score an early goal, we have to remain patient and force them to make mistakes." Fink hinted on Thursday that Petr Jiracek could take the place of Artjoms Rudnevs on Saturday, with Jaques Zoua moving to the left.

Lieberknecht anniversary

Coach Torsten Lieberknecht, who celebrates ten years in charge of Braunschweig on Saturday, is refusing to push the panic button after three straight Bundesliga defeats. "Everyone is saying we haven't got any points on the board yet," he said. "But it remains important to remember where we've come from. Our fans will stick by us after defeats and are fully aware of the challenge we face this season."

Marcel Correira will miss out for Die Löwen with a muscle injury. Timo Perthel returned to light training on Thursday after suffering from a cold, but Gianluca Korte and Matthias Henn remain sidelined.