Cologne - The Bundesliga Preview Show is the DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga's weekly TV programme, offering a global audience a unique perspective on Germany's top flight throughout the season. We have in-depth previews of the upcoming league action, exclusive interviews, behind-the-scenes reports, the best goals from the latest league encounters and much more besides.
Coming up on this week's show...
Last season, it was Mario Götze who paved the way to victory for FC Bayern München on his first trip back to Borussia Dortmund. This time around another BVB old boy, Robert Lewandowski, marked his Bundesliga debut at the Signal Iduna Park in Bayern colours with the only goal of an intense tactical contest between these two German heavyweights.
The result moved the record champions another step closer to the successful defence of their title and left the hosts slightly further off the pace in the race for a UEFA Europa League berth. Victory was made all the sweeter for the men from Munich by the 69th-minute introduction of Thiago Alcantara, signalling the Spain international midfielder's return to competitive action after over a year on the sidelines.
There's no respite for Dortmund this weekend as they travel to Mönchengladbach for a battle of the Borussias with a twist. While BVB have become UEFA Champions League perennials of late, they now have only the faintest mathematical hope of making Europe's top club tournament next season. Their namesakes and hosts on Saturday, by contrast, currently occupy one of the three automatic berths up for grabs and, barring a form collapse, look certain to finish fourth at worst.
The irony will not be lost on BVB frontline star Marco Reus, who returned to his hometown club from Gladbach in 2011, lured among other things by the promise of regular Champions League football. At any rate, it's high odds against the game being decided by a goal anything like Christoph Kramer's extraordinary long-range effort into his own net to hand Dortmund the points last November.
Ibrahima Traore will be hoping for an opportunity to make life awkward for the Dortmund defence this weekend and there is a fair chance that Foals coach Lucien Favre will give him it.
The fleet-footed wide midfielder has featured in 19 games already in this, his first season at Gladbach following his summer move from VfB Stuttgart - often deployed off the bench to keep Favre's counter-attacking specialists ticking over in top gear. Ahead of the big game, French-born Guinea international Traore treated us to an alternate tour of his place of work, the Borussia Park.
His first assist took all of three minutes, but Andre Schürrle's debut Bundesliga goal for VfL Wolfsburg was somewhat longer in arriving. 76 minutes into the Wolves' Matchday 27 meeting with VfB Stuttgart he finally got it, sealing a 3-1 win.
The 24-year-old World Cup winner, who joined the second-place Lower Saxon outfit from Chhelsea FC just before the close of the winter transfer window, acknowledged it was “about time” he got off the scoring mark - and now he's looking forward to taking his own game up another level, in sync with his colleagues in the number one form team of 2015.