Coming up in this week's show...
Top Game I
Mönchengladbach is the venue for the campaign's first battle of the Borussias, with the sixth-placed hosts hoping to make inroads into their nine-point deficit on league leaders Dortmund. To do so, they will have to take their own game up a level from the 2-2 draw at Augsburg last time out - although that performance was at any rate good enough to earn the Foals their first point on the road this season. On home turf, however, the contrast could hardly be greater with Lucien Favre's men winning three out of three and racking up an 11-2 aggregate goal difference in the process. But in Dortmund they are meeting a side who have done very little wrong in the Bundesliga thus far, and whose ominous response to dropping their first points at Nürnberg was to bounce back with a five-goal thumping of Freiburg.
Top Game II
The late Saturday game is a real mouthwatering affair, with Bayer 04 Leverkusen stepping up to the plate against FC Bayern München. The hosts have won six of their seven league games so far and are a single point behind the defending champions in third - as well as six clear now of their closest pursuers Hannover, after beating them 2-0 at the weekend. Bayern, who edged past a resilient Wolfsburg side to stay level on points with Dortmund at the top, will be particularly wary of the only side who managed to beat them in the league last season - although that success actually came in Munich, with the quadruple-winners-in-waiting taking the honours in the return meeting at the BayArena. Both teams go into the game on the back of tough Champions League encounters against Real Sociedad (Bayer) and at Manchester City (Bayern), and how they recover from their respective midweek endeavours could be a key factor in this one.
His arrival at 1899 Hoffenheim may not have been among the most eyecatching transfers of the summer, but Anthony Modeste has wasted little time making up for any initial headline deficit since. The 25-year-old French forward has bagged six of the 18 goals tallied by his free-scoring new employers already this season, which leaves him among a quartet of players sharing top spot on the individual scorers chart going into Matchday 8. Signed from Bordeaux, but having spent the previous 18 months on loan first at Blackburn Rovers then SC Bastia, Modeste has truly hit the ground running in the Bundesliga, fully justifying his own early prognosis that the German league would "suit my game."
3 Minutes with...
...Alexander Meier. Maturing with age like a good wine, Meier was one of the standout performers in Eintracht Frankfurt's improbable march through to the UEFA Europa League last season. The 30-year-old attacking midfielder chipped in with 16 goals in the Eagles' post-promotion season, having helped them back into the Bundesliga the year before with a further 17. Now nine years on the books in Frankfurt, Meier has shared in the club's quite literal ups and downs over the past decade, accumulating almost 250 appearances in both top divisions in the process. Of late, it's the ups that have most certainly had the upper hand.