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Sports

Can anyone catch up with Bayern Munich?

Will Bayern continue their winning streak? Did Schalke and Dortmund get a boost from their triumphs in the Champions League? Will Wolfsburg manage to turn things around now that unpopular coach Felix Magath is gone?

The Bayern players head into matchday nine with an impressive eight wins under their belt - that's a record. They are 12 points ahead of defending champions Borussia Dortmund and now they are set to widen the gap even more: They will face Bayer Leverkusen, who are in fifth place in the table, but have managed to earn only two points in their last 18 encounters with with Bayern in Munich's Allianz Arena.

Also on Sunday, Eintracht Frankfurt, who are in a surpising second place in the standings, will play away against a reinvigorated Stuttgart, where stiker Vedad Ibisevic has returned to form, scoring four of his team's last five goals.

Schalke and Dortmund buoyed by success

Things are looking good for Schalke 04 too. After beating archrivals Borussia Dortmund in their derby last weekend, they managed to win 2-0 against Arsenal midweek. This match day has an easy task in store for them, it seems: Nuremberg, who have never managed a win in Gelsenkirchen, are coming to town. Schalke coach Huub Stevens has every reason to be pleased with his team, which has managed to bag 10 points in its last four Bundesliga encounters.

Borussia Dortmund's coach Juergen Klopp laughs with Schalke 04's coach Huub Stevens REUTERS/Ina Fassbender (GERMANY - Tags: SPORT SOCCER) DFL RULES TO LIMIT THE ONLINE USAGE DURING MATCH TIME TO 15 PICTURES PER GAME. IMAGE SEQUENCES TO SIMULATE VIDEO IS NOT ALLOWED AT ANY TIME. FOR FURTHER QUERIES PLEASE CONTACT DFL DIRECTLY AT + 49 69 650050

Huub Stevens und Jürgen Klopp have every reason to be jolly after their Champions League performances

Borussia Dortmund got a huge confidence boost from triumphing over Spain's Real Madrid on Wednesday night. When they play SC Freiburg on Saturday they're hoping to turn over a new leaf following a bad start to the Bundesliga season: Only fourth in the table, a meagre 12 points and only one win in their last five games, winless on the road. All that has been a great disappoinment to Dortmund coach Jürgen Klopp..

Day one after Magath

02.09.2012 Felix Magath Foto: Revierfoto

The much-traveled Magath had to pack his bags again this week

Wolfburg's interim coach Lorenz-Günther Köstner has had but two training sessions to try and get his team back on track. He succeeds Felix Magath, who was held responsible for the team's free-fall to last place in the Bundesliga. Last week Wolfsburg had to digest a 5-0 humiliation at the hands of Bayern Munich and now football pundits are skeptical whether they will finally manage a win against newly promoted Fortuna Düsseldorf, who are a respectable ninth place in the table.

Out of the doldrums - that's where Borussia Mönchengladbach want to get to. Coach Lucien Favre's men suffered their third defeat of the season last week in Bremen and are in a disappointing 13th place. Gladbach have found it hard to come to terms with the loss of their three best players (Marco Reus to Dortmund, Dante to Bayern Munich and Roman Neustädter to Schalke) but Thursday's win against Marseille in the Europa League may have been a turning point with young striker Peniel Mlapa scoring his first goal for the club. Gladbach will travel to Hannover 96, which is playing a strong season. Coach Mirko Slomka's team has been unbeaten at home for an impressive 22 matches.

Mainz 05 will play 1899 Hoffenheim and Greuther Fürth play host to Werder Bremen. Bundesliga action kicked off Friday evening with FC Augsburg, which sits in relegation spot 16 in the table, losing 2-0 to Hamburg.

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