Munich - With resurgent VfB Stuttgart hosting Werder Bremen, goal-hungry 1899 Hoffenheim travelling to 1. FSV Mainz 05 and bottom club Eintracht Braunschweig in derby action against VfL Wolfsburg, another goal-filled chapter of Bundesliga goodness is all but guaranteed on Saturday afternoon (kick-offs 15:30 CET).
VfB Stuttgart - Werder Bremen
bundesliga.com looks at what you can expect from Matchday 8...
Unbeaten since head coach Thomas Schneider seized the Swabian starboard, sixth-place Stuttgart's prospects are suddenly looking very bright indeed. Only two points separate the Baden club and the holy grail that is the top four in the Bundesliga, following a mood-changing run of three wins and a draw.
"For us it's important to win the game, so we can cement our place in the top half of the table," said Schneider. "It's going to be an interesting game for the fans. You can see the strides Bremen have made. They've proved they can play."
'Work cut out'
Hot on Stuttgart's heels, tenth-place Werder Bremen head to the Mercedes-Benz Arena chasing only their third win of the campaign. The Green-Whites might already have had a hat-trick of victories under their belts were it not for last weekend's collapse at home to 1. FC Nürnberg - a game which inexplicably ended three apiece.
"When we slowed things down, we let Nürnberg back into the match," explained Werder head coach Robin Dutt. "Games like this are part of the learning curve for us. It was pretty clear today what direction things are going in. When the team play like that, it makes a lot of people happy [...] Stuttgart will have their work cut out."
1. FSV Mainz 05 - 1899 Hoffenheim
Mainz 05's blistering start to the campaign must feel like light years away for head coach Thomas Tuchel. A quartet of back-to-back defeats have since sent the 05ers sliding down the league ladder, with a at the hands of 1. FC Köln punctuating an alarming dip in form.
"We have to play with 100 per cent effort regardless of how the match unfolds," affirmed Tuchel. "We have to get right on it from the start. The most important thing is to stay focused. We need to be switched on mentally. That'll give us the self belief."
'It will fall into place'
Hoffenheim, meanwhile, also find themselves locked on nine points, albeit with a far superior number of goals scored (18). Indeed, only league leaders Borussia Dortmund have found the net more often this term (21), with last season's play-off survivors fast earning a reputation as one of the most entertaining and best value outfits in Germany's top flight.
"We’re very good at turning defence into attack," explained Hoffenheim head coach Markus Gisdol. "We’re creating lots of chances and scoring plenty of goals. A goal difference of 70:70 at the end of the campaign would be something else, but it will fall into place for us over the course of the season. If we had a goal ratio of 18:5, then we would be in a position in the table where we don't really belong."
VfL Wolfsburg - Eintracht Braunschweig
Anticipation is building ahead of Braunschweig's trip to fellow Lower Saxony dwellers Wolfsburg. Derbies are always unique affairs in the Bundesliga and with so much on the line for the and Torsten Lieberknecht's wounded Lions, this one promises to be no different.
"It's a easy game for them [Braunschweig]," said Wolfsburg head coach Dieter Hecking. "There is no need for extra motivation. They can use this game as a chance to make a fresh start, but it’s up to us to prevent that from happening. I strongly believe that we are the better team. We just have to let our football do the talking on the pitch."
After six defeats and one draw from their opening seven Bundesliga assignments, you're unlikely to catch anyone in the Eintracht camp agreeing with the near managerial neighbour. There is, however, hope that they can claw their way up from the Bundesliga basement before it is too late.
"Of course we'd much rather have a win or more points in the bag," explained Braunschweig forward Simeon Jackson. "We have to take the positives out of the last games. Even thought it didn't go well last Sunday, we have to keep fighting and then we'll be able to taste success."
Last weekend boasted an average of four goals a game. Witness all 36 goals 60 seconds on the Bundesliga's official YouTube channel: