Coming up on this week's Bundesliga Preview Show...
It may not have been flagged up as the match of the day, but VfB Stuttgart's road trip to Eintracht Frankfurt turned out to be one to remember, not least for visiting coach Armin Veh against his former charges. The Preview Show kicks off with its pithy overview of some of the top Matchday 9 stories.
His exemplary leadership of the Borussia Dortmund line over the past few seasons made Robert Lewandowski one of world football's most coveted strikers. FC Bayern München won the race for his services and, having departed Borussia on a personal high with his first Bundesliga top scorer's cannon in the bag, the Poland international is now duty-bound to put one over on his old teammates for his new employers when the domestic arch-rivals go head-to-head at the Allianz Arena on Saturday evening. With four goals and two assists to his name already in the current campaign, Lewandowski has clearly wasted little time settling in to his new environs with the record champions in the Bavarian capital.
Mario Götze and Marco Reus are also gearing up for a potential starring role, at opposite ends of the pitch, in Saturday evening's big game in Munich. In his second season at Bayern, Götze, Germany's World Cup final match-winner in Brazil, is unequivocally delivering on the promise that made him one of the game's absolute standout talents, and has long since graduated from the 'emerging player' category. Currently sitting joint top of the scoring chart on six goals, the 22-year-old all-round attacker will be putting his close friendship with former colleague Marco Reus on hold as the latter, every bit as versatile in the forward department, attempts to help Dortmund turn around a worrying domestic form slump that has left them winless in six games, five defeats included.
Another three points, another clean sheet: 1899 Hoffenheim's single-goal success at home to top-flight newbies SC Paderborn, besides providing further evidence of their new-found defensive solidity, extended an unbeaten season start which leaves Markus Gisdol's troops fourth in the table, one of a trio of clubs four points behind pace-setters FC Bayern. Mönchengladbach, as mentioned, are another of those, and when the two sides go head-to-head this weekend, Tarik Elyounoussi is odds-on to be occupying a key role from the off for the visitors. In his second Bundesliga season, the 26-year-old Morocco-born Norway international is coming into his own as a further creative linchpin alongside Roberto Firmino and has already chipped in with four goals as well for good measure.
Hakan Calhanoglu demonstrated once again at the weekend just what it was that convinced Bayer 04 Leverkusen to dig deep into the coffers to prise him away from Hamburger SV over the close season. A trademark free-kick from the 20-year-old Mannheim-born Turkey international got Leverkusen back to winning ways on Matchday 9, inflicting a first taste of defeat on FC Schalke 04 under new coach Roberto Di Matteo. Next up for the Bayer playmaker is a trip to the familiar surroundings of the Imtech Arena for a meeting with his former side, themselves still struggling near the bottom of the standings after their promising recovery under Joseph Zinnbauer was at least temporarily spoked by a 3-0 defeat at Hertha Berlin. Sympathetic as he is to the plight of the club where he rose so spectacularly to Bundesliga prominence last season, Calhanoglu will be doing everything in his power to add to his own tally of two goals and two assists this season for the Bayer cause.