This season, Deutsche Welle's sports team are laying it on the line and predicting the results of all the Bundesliga matches. So get up to date about who's hot and who's not and match wits with the experts.
DW Sport looks into its Bundesliga crystal ball each week
Friday, August 20
Bayern Munich - Wolfsburg
The past two champions square off on the first night of the season - could there be a better start? The Wolves have been one of the few teams to give Bayern headaches in recent years, and Bayern are missing winger Arjen Robben. But the Bavarians are playing at home and will be looking make a statement, while Wolfsburg are still adjusting to new coach Steve McClaren, and the rumors surrounding playmaker and human typo Zvjezdan Misimovic going to Schalke, should Diego arrive from Juventus, are likely to prove a major distraction.
Prediction: Bayern 3-1.
Saturday, August 21
Thrills and spills could await as Bremen take on Hoffenheim
Hoffenheim - Bremen
Expect lots of goals here, as these are two of the Bundesliga’s most attack-minded teams. Bremen would normally be the favorites here, but they’re coming off a Champions League qualifier. Hoffenheim also have home advantage and looked good in the German Cup earlier in the week.
Prediction: Hoffenheim 3-2.
Moenchengladbach - Nuremberg
Fans are expecting an improvement in from Gladbach this season, and this match could be an early indicator of whether such expectations are justified or not. Nuremberg were decent defensively last year, but toothless up front, and until I’m proven wrong, I don’t think they’ve become much better.
Prediction: Gladbach 2-1
Cologne - Kaiserslautern
This is Kaiserslautern’s debut first-division run-out since getting promoted, and they couldn’t have gotten a much better opponent than Cologne. The Billy Goats were weak at home last season, and Lukas Podolski was arguably the league’s biggest flop. I can see Lautern pulling out a draw.
Freiburg - St. Pauli
Freiburg narrowly avoided the drop last season and don’t look to have improved very much. St. Pauli seem out of their depth and have already crashed out of the German Cup to an amateur side. Could it be that there’s no winner here?
Maik Franz and Eintracht hope to brush Hanover aside
Hanover - Frankfurt
Hanover have a few injuries, while Frankfurt can draw from a full squad. It will be interesting to see whether Hanover’s new striker Mohammed Abdellaoue will make a difference. I don’t think he will - at least not yet. Meanwhile, Frankfurt have a history of starting strong.
Prediction: Frankfurt 2-1
Hamburg - Schalke
This a very interesting match, as both teams have had major personnel changes over the summer. It's being billed as a contest between Raul and van Nistelrooy, but I expect the game to be decided elsewhere on the pitch. And there I think Hamburg have the advantage, because Schalke have lost quality and will need more time to gel.
Prediction: Hamburg 2-1
Sunday, August 22
Mainz - Stuttgart
Tough one to call. Mainz punched well above their weight last season and could be in for a rude awakening. But Stuttgart have bled quality over the summer and are not among my top five in the Bundesliga. But I think they’ll be just good enough to handle Mainz, who just lost their top scorer from last season (Aristide Bance) to a transfer.
Prediction: Stuttgart 2-1
Dortmund - Leverkusen
Another really difficult one to predict, since I think both of these teams will be better than last season. I fancy Leverkusen’s Patrick Helmes to return from injury with a major splash, and my fondness for Dortmund striker Lukas Barrios is borderline unhealthy. So I’ll hedge my bets and go with an entertaining draw.
Author: Jefferson Chase
Editor: Matt Hermann