Cologne - With five players currently leading the way at the top of the Bundesliga scoring chart - and several other stars hot on their heels - the race for the 2014/15 Torjägerkanone could be the most hotly contested in years.
bundesliga.com runs the rule over the top flight's in-form goal poachers...
Despite playing on the right of the FC Bayern München midfield, Thomas Müller is much like his namesake, the legendary Bomber der NationGerd in that the ball seems to gravitate towards him in the box. On Matchday 11, Thomas put the Eintracht Frankfurt defence to the sword with three predatory finishes in a 4-0 rout. The result maintained Bayern's four-point lead at the top of the league and was Müller's first hat-trick since a treble against VfL Bochum in 2010.
Fans of Werder have had precious little to smile about so far this season, but in Di Santo, the Grün-Weißen arguably boast the league’s most in-form striker. After scoring in Viktor Skripnik's first game in charge of the club - a 2-0 win over third-tier outfit Chemnitzer FC in the DFB Cup - the Argentine star then scored twice to help his side register their first league win of the campaign at 1. FSV Mainz 05. If Di Santo can continue his purple patch, Werder won't be near the foot of the table for much longer.
Having endured a mixed first season at the German record champions following his move from fierce rivals Borussia Dortmund, Götze has flown out of the traps in 2014/15, bagging braces against SC Paderborn 07 and SV Werder Bremen. Germany's World Cup final hero is just four shy of his personal tally from last season and is also going strong in the cup competitions, with one goal in the DFB Cup and two more in the UEFA Champions League.
Before Matchday 6's draw with TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, which he missed with a calf injury, Okazaki was averaging a goal a game for Mainz 05. However, the 28-year-old has only scored once since then - in the 2-1 defeat to Bremen - and as his goals have dried up, Mainz seem to have lost some of their edge. Okazaki hasn't become the highest-scoring Japanese player in Bundesliga history through chance, though, and it's surely only a matter of time until he rediscovers his shooting boots.
There was speculation at the beginning of the campaign that Eintracht Frankfurt's Alexander Meier might not suit new head coach Thomas Schaaf’s playing style, but after playing just 56 minutes prior to Matchday 4, the 31-year-old has been banging in the goals and has struck up a fruitful partnership with Swiss striker Haris Seferovic in the Eagles' attack. "Every new coach has difficulty finding a suitably position for Alex, but now I think it’s been found," noted chairman Heribert Bruchhagen recently.
Hot on their heels...
As was the case at the beginning of last term, Kruse’s scintillating early-season form earned the Borussia Mönchengladbach striker a call-up to Joachim Löw's squad for Germany's two UEFA EURO 2016 qualifiers in October. His selection offered further evidence that Löw rates the former SC Freiburg man almost as highly as his club coach, Lucien Favre, and he can expect further playing time for the national team in the upcoming games against .
Unsurprisingly, last season's Torjägerkanone winner Lewandowski is hot on the heels of the league’s leading marksmen. The Poland international came back to haunt his old Dortmund colleagues in FC Bayerns' most recent home league encounter - a 2-1 win over BVB at the Allianz Arena - and with Pep Guardiola’s charges scoring goals for fun at present, Lewandowski will fancy his chances of becoming the first player since Ulf Kirsten in 1998 to retain the Kanone at the end of the season.