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Bayern travels to Dortmund, Werder hosts Schalke

Bayern travels to Dortmund, Werder hosts Schalke

With defending champion Bayern Munich visiting traditional rival Borussia Dortmund and last season's runner-up Werder Bremen hosting No. 3 Schalke, the second round of the Bundesliga presents some high-profile games.
When the round is completed though, all the big clubs could be staring at the back of newcomer Hoffenheim.
Hoffenheim completed the rise from the third to first division in two seasons and got off to a perfect start in elite company, winning 3-0 at Energie Cottbus last weekend.
In its first home game at in the first division, Hoffenheim plays another promoted team, Borussia Moenchengladbach. The difference between the two could not be more glaring.
Moenchengladbach was a German powerhouse three decades ago, winning five Bundesliga titles between 1970 and 1977, before it fell on hard times in the last decade.
During that same time, Hoffenheim was beginning its advance from the Sunday leagues to professional ranks, plotted and paid for by the club's backer Dietmar Hopp, a software billionaire and one of Germany's wealthiest man.
To add some luster and history to a club whose home population is fewer than 3,300, Hoffenheim's marketing strategists added 1899 to its official name, the year of its founding. It may have a long history, but Hoffenheim has had little to show for it until this season.
Moenchengladbach dropped its opener 3-1 to Stuttgart and if Hoffenheim wins again, it might just end the weekend in sole possession of first place.
Since Hoffenheim doesn't have a suitable stadium until its own arena is finished in January, it plays its home games in Mannheim, about 50 kilometers (30 miles) away.
Meanwhile, the league's biggest arena in Dortmund will be full, with more than 80,000 coming to see Bayern Munich and its new coach Juergen Klinsmann.
Bayern had to settle for a 2-2 draw at home against Hamburger SV after leading 2-0, while Dortmund won 3-2 at Bayer Leverkusen.
Dortmund also has a new coach, the charismatic Juergen Klopp, and he and Klinsmann were arguably the biggest stars of the transfer period, although Klinsmann's appointment was known beforehand.
Klinsmann could be feeling the heat already if Bayern stumbles again in Dortmund, where it has won only one of the last six games.
Striker Luca Toni is expected to be back after a calf injury, but Franck Ribery, Willy Sagnol and Martin Demichelis are still out. Lukas Podolski was hit in the ribs in Germany's 2-0 win over Belgium in Wednesday's friendly and could be out.
Dortmund will be without Dede, who is out for months with a knee injury, and Klopp could be fielding a back four whose average age is 21.
There was some grumbling in Bayern's ranks after the draw against Hamburg. Toni and Ribery have publicly suggested the club should bring in at least one more established player, while defender Lucio would like to see the team play more defensively. Klinsmann likes offense and Bayern has shown defensive weaknesses in early games.
"We defenders have to play a little more forward and that brings the whole team a little bit closer together, the distance to the midfield is not so great," Lucio said.
Klopp appears to have rejuvenated Dortmund but Dede's injury leaves out one of his most experienced players. Striker Mohamed Zidan, who had two good season under Klopp in Mainz, could get his debut after arriving from Hamburg.
Werder, coming off a 2-2 draw at Arminia Bielefeld, is likely to have Claudio Pizarro lead its attack after he returned to his old club from Chelsea. But the home side will be missing Diego (Olympics), Aaron Hunt (calf) and Per Mertesacker (knee).
Schalke also will be missing several players, including newcomers Jefferson Farfan and Orlando Angelaar, plus Jermaine Jones and goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, all injured. Rafinha is at the Olympics, with Diego and Brazil.
"They have a strong team and they have shown that they compensate for the absentees," Werder's coach Thomas Schaaf said of Schalke, which beat Hannover 3-0 in its opener and shares the lead with Hoffenheim on goal difference.
Hannover kicks off the round Friday against Cottbus. Also Saturday, it's Hamburger SV vs. Karlsruhe, Stuttgart vs. Leverkusen and Hertha Berlin vs. Arminia Bielefeld. On Sunday, Bochum hosts Wolfsburg and Cologne plays Eintracht Frankfurt.


Updated : 2021-09-17 10:12 GMT+08:00