Cologne - While the league table cannot always be a reflection of who the real title candidates are after only two matches, a glimpse at the current standings shows the likes of TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, SC Paderborn and 1. FC Köln all enjoying the high life.
TSG 1899 Hoffenheim - VfL Wolfsburg
They will be keen to maintain their early-season form this Saturday as bundesliga.com takes a close look at the best of the afternoon's action...
High-flying Hoffenheim host Wolfsburg at the Rhein-Neckar-Arena looking to build on their excellent start to the season following the two-week international break.
Hoffenheim's win and draw against FC Augsburg and SV Werder Bremen respectively is only the beginning as far as their captain is concerned. "We know that we can play even better, and we will do," he said on his club's website. "We're going to need to play better too against the sides we've got to face in the weeks to come." The Sinsheim club can take heart from their 6-2 triumph over the Wolves last season, although Beck admits it's "going to be hard to repeat that kind of a result".
Hecking: 'I'm optimistic'
While the Wolves may not have been biting in the Bundesliga yet, they did at least notch their first point of the season against Eintracht Frankfurt last time out. However, coach Dieter Hecking expects more from his pack. "We lost possession too easily, both at the back and up the field, and we also need to be more clinical," he said. "If we do these three things better, then that will already mean we have improved a lot. I'm optimistic."
Hecking will be happy to have seen Ivica Olic return from duty with Croatia celebrating a 2-0 victory over Malta while racked up 74 minutes in Brazil's 1-0 win over Ecuador. Both are fit, but regular goalkeeper Diego Benaglio faces a late fitness test.
Hertha Berlin - 1. FSV Mainz 05All eyes will be on Tunisian forward when he returns to the Olympiastadion wearing the red and white of 1. FSV Mainz 05.
Allagui, 28, re-joined former club Mainz just prior to the transfer deadline on a season-long loan deal, and his debut for Kasper Hjulmand's 05ers could come back in the capital. "Two weeks ago, I went into the one dressing room prior to the Bremen match and on Saturday I will just have to go into the other one," said Allagui.
The striker admitted also that he did not need to think twice about joining Mainz – a club he scored 14 goals for in two seasons. "As soon as I heard of Mainz's offer, my heart started beating faster. I knew what I have here and how the club ticks. They play passionate football and that's just perfect."
Berlin coach Jos Luhukay has wished Allagui all the best at his new club, "although perhaps only after this weekend", singling out the Tunisian as the real dangerman. "Allagui's a threat for us," he said. "Many players often get an extra kick playing against their former clubs." Berlin's defence will also have to keep a very close eye on , though, as he could become the Bundesliga's all-time top Japanese scorer with another goal on Saturday.
SC Paderborn - 1. FC Köln
1. FC Köln coach Peter Stöger hopes to have Yuya Osako fit and available for the Billy Goats' trip to SC Paderborn 07.
Second division champions Köln head to the Benteler-Arena with the Japanese international only just off a plane following a 12-hour flight. "We're going to have to see how he feels and how well he has put the strains of travelling behind him," said Stöger.
Osako played 45 minutes for Japan against Venezuela this week, arriving back in Germany just 48 hours ahead of their trip to East Westphalia, where Stöger is expecting an encounter between two teams who have already proven their worth at the top table.
"A side that doesn't lose at home to Mainz and then wins in Hamburg are just as likely to win [this weekend] as a team that draws at home to Hamburg and then wins in Stuttgart," he said. "We have both demonstrated how competitive we are." Stöger's sentiments are shared by Paderborn captain Uwe Hünemeier. "We have both shown that we deserved to be promoted," he said. "There's such euphoria here in the city." Indeed, a capacity crowd of 15,000 is expected at the Benteler-Arena on Saturday afternoon.