Bayern Munich defend their Bundesliga lead at home against Mainz with coach Jupp Heynckes having a luxury problem.
Heynckes needs to decide whether to give record signing Javi Martinez a starting place on Saturday against a team that is struggling on one point.
The coach said that his first impression of the Spanish international had been confirmed. “He’ll be a huge bonus for us in footballing terms. He gives us even more quality in midfield, which is a motivating factor for everyone.
“But even Javi will have to play and fight his way into the team based on his performance. Obviously he has my full support, just like all the other players.” The only other team in the league with a maximum six points, Eintracht Frankfurt, are also at home as they face SV Hamburg in one of two matches on Sunday.
Hamburg lost their two opening matches and are under tremendous pressure.
Dutch international Rafael van der Vaart, who joined the club from northern Germany on the last day of the transfer window, is expected to start as coach Thorsten Fink tries to turn things around.
Defending champions Borussia Dortmund, who are chasing a hat-trick of titles, take on Bayer Leverkusen.
There was good news for Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp as the injury that forced Footballer of the Year Marco Reus off the field at half-time in Germany’s midweek 2-1 victory in Austria is not so serious as to put his playing against Leverkusen in jeopardy.
Bundesliga rookies Greuther Fuerth, who lost their opening game at home to Bayern Munich, but then bounced back to win in Mainz, face Champions League participants Schalke 04.
Dutch international Ibrahim Afellay who signed for Schalke from Barcelona scored three goals in a friendly and is expected to play his first league match on Saturday, said the friendly gave him confidence for the tasks ahead.
“The match was great fun. And to get on the scoresheet straightaway was brilliant, of course,” the midfielder said.
Fans of VfB Stuttgart, who are sitting bottom of the table, are hoping that the team will pick up their first points at home against newly promoted Fortuna Dusseldorf.
Last season’s surprise team Borussia Moenchengladbach, are home to Nuremberg, while Augsburg face Wolfsburg at home on Friday in a match that pits two teams disappointed with their start of the season.
Augsburg, who last season surprisingly avoided relegation, have lost both opening matches, while Wolfsburg managed to win in Stuttgart, but were thrashed 4-0 at home by Hanover in their next match.
Wolfsburg coach Felix Magath said that he expected his players to bounce back. “I can’t imagine that the team will not show a reaction on Friday.” The other games are Hanover v Werder Bremen and SC Freiburg v Hoffenheim, who feature in Sunday’s first match.