Coming up in this week's show...
Top Game I
Having come unstuck at FC Schalke 04 on Matchday 4, Bayer 04 Leverkusen bounced back in fine style last Saturday with a 3-1 home victory over Wolfsburg. Once again, the forward department delivered the goods as a goal from Sidney Sam and two from Stefan Kießling secured Sami Hyypiä's men their fourth win in five league outings this season. Next up for Bayer as they attempt to consolidate their top-three status is a tricky trip to one of a trio of clubs just three points behind them, 1. FSV Mainz 05.
The hosts are on the rebound themselves, having gone down 1-0 to Schalke at the weekend. In fact, after starting the campaign with three straight victories, Thomas Tuchel's side are now facing the same number of defeats unless they can turn their form around in this one. Historically, at any rate, Mainz have reasonable grounds for optimism, edging the sides' historic Bundesliga balance courtesy of six wins and three draws in their 14 meetings to date.
Top Game II
What a difference a signing, or two, can make. Schalke may not be setting the heather on fire quite yet, but six points and two clean sheets since the arrival of Dennis Aogo on loan from Hamburg and Kevin-Prince Boateng, a permanent new arrival from AC Milan, speak for themselves when set against the single point and nine conceded goals that the Royal Blues accumulated before the experienced duo were brought on board, shortly before the transfer window closed.
Now, though, it's the acid test for the "new-look" Schalke as FC Bayern München come calling. Adding a further twist to an already spicy encounter is the prospect of a potential head-to-head between the hosts' Boateng and the visitors', should brothers Kevin-Prince and Bayern's Jerome both get the nod to start. The Berlin-raised siblings make for quite a contrasting pair, even down to the country they play for, with the former opting to represent Ghana and the latter fast becoming a back-row stalwart for Joachim Löw's Germany. What they unquestionably have in common, though, is an indomitable will to win, and blood ties will count for nothing in this one.
Born in Ghana and brought up in Cologne, Hans Sarpei went on to enjoy a distinguished top-flight career above all with VfL Wolfsburg and Leverkusen, before joining Schalke in 2010 after a successful FIFA World Cup finals showing with Ghana in South Africa. Since calling time on his playing career in 2012, Sarpei has been busy carving out a new media career and is currently working towards a coaching qualification as well.
The popular former defender has also found the time to meet up with a few Bundesliga familiars for GOAL! The Bundesliga Magazine, and first up this week is Leverkusen frontman Sidney Sam, one of the absolute form players of the season's opening weeks with four goals and three assists to his name already.