The Bundesliga enters Week Two and many of the clubs now know what they have to do to make a serious challenge for the title. Others will be hoping to nip ominous slides in the bud before it gets too late.
The Bundesliga continues as the competition begins to heat up
The season is just one week old so it would be a little premature to get too excited about the clash between the top two teams at this stage. However, supporters of Nürnberg will be delighted that their team is in the position to challenge for the top spot in the Bundesliga in second game of their promotion season.
Despite the embryonic state of this year's campaign, Nürnberg are in second place on merit after a solid 1-3 away win against Kaiserslautern on Saturday. However, they face a stern test against the team in top slot this weekend. Stuttgart ran riot over lowly Mainz despite being hit twice by the Bundesliga virgins in their 4-2 home victory. Such a good start may prove ominous to their opponents for the title should Stuttgart steer clear of the season burn-out which cost them a higher position last term.
Hamburg props up the table after Bayern defeat
Munich's midfielder Michael Ballack opened the scoring against Hamburg.
Mainz will hope that Hamburg's first match nerves continue as they play host to the team brushed aside by Bayern Munich last weekend. Hamburg's 0-2 defeat may now not look as comprehensive as it was on the day as Ballack and Deisler showed the class that could turn around Bayern's fortunes this year. Hamburg will hope to get off the foot of the table with a win over Mainz on Saturday.
Bayern Munich takes the confidence garnered from the cavalier performance in Hamburg last week back on to home soil for the visit of Hertha Berlin. Felix Magath will be looking for more of the attacking flair and invention that saw off Hamburg as the Berliners come to the Olympic Stadium in search of their first win after a 2-2 draw with Bochum. Bayern will have to watch the Brazilian strike force of Marcelinho and Gilberto who bagged the goals on Saturday to cancel out Bochum's brace.
Leverkusen hit rich seam of goals
Bochum takes on Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga's first high profile regional derby on Sunday. Fresh from slotting five goals past Banek Ostrava in the Champions League qualifying round, the Bayer players take the trip up the autobahn to their not-so-near neighbors wanting to carry their potent form into the Bundesliga. Saturday's narrow 2-1 win over Hannover after being a goal behind would have rattled the team ahead of the Bochum clash had it not been for the stunning 5-0 victory over the Czechs in mid-week.
Unlucky to taste bitter defeat in Leverkusen at the weekend, Hannover have to wait until Wednesday for their next chance to get a first win under their belts when they entertain Arminia Bielefeld. The recently promoted Bielefeld will also be looking for a victory after a 0-0 draw with Borussia Mönchengladbach last Saturday.
Dortmund suffered a home defeat in their first game of the season.
Mönchengladbach will be hoping that the clouds of doom continue to hover over their next opposition at the weekend. Dortmund arrive at the Borussia Park with an air of a team already condemned to under-achievement following an embarrassing exit from the Inter Toto Cup in pre-season and a first league defeat at home last week, courtesy of a Thomas Brdaric brace for Wolfsburg in the Westfalen Stadium. Dortmund will be ruing their missed chance after going ahead through Ewerthon on 30 minutes, only to collapse in the final half hour of the game.
Away win for Wolfsburg raises confidence
Wolfsburg will take great heart from coming back in the cauldron atmosphere of Dortmund's back yard to snatch a victory. The momentum could be maintained with another win this week over Freiburg who struggled to make any in-roads against Hansa Rostock in the first game.
Bremen's Johan Micoud is tackeld by former team mate Mladen Krstajic, now of Schalke.
Rostock face a tough test at home to the reigning champions with Werder Bremen off the mark, although not so convincingly, against Schalke 04 on the opening day of the season. Bremen got one over their departed hero Ailton on the day with a single Valdez goal enough to beat the Brazilian's new side but will have to step up the pace to make an impact in the way that their main title challengers have in their first games.
Champions look for extra gear
Schalke will want to see some of the Brazilian's talent that brought the title to Werder Bremen as the Royal Blues take on Kaiserslautern this weekend. Lying in lowly 15 place after the first game may not be reason to panic just yet but with Kaiserslautern just two places below them, this is a relegation zone match in much the same way the top-two clash is a fight for the championship. Schalke will want to be well out of this area as soon as possible if a serious challenge is to be mounted this year.