SC Freiburg vs Mainz 15:30 SpVgg Fürth vs Bayern
FC Augsburg vs F Düsseldorf
Hamburg SV vs Nurnberg
M’gladbach vs Hoffenheim
Frankfurt vs Leverkusen 18:30 Stuttgart vs Wolfsburg 20:45
Hannover 96 vs Schalke 04 17:30
BERLIN - The Bundesliga is arguably the most open of Europe’s big five leagues, yet when it comes to the crunch this season looks likely to become another battle between Borussia Dortmund and an increasingly frustrated Bayern Munich.
Bayern, Germany’s biggest and brashest club, are still smarting after finishing second to Dortmund in the Bundesliga for the last two seasons, plus the German Cup last term.
Their frustration boiled over when club president Uli Hoeness made an outspoken attack on their rivals from the industrial Ruhr region in a television interview shortly after Dortmund won last year’s title.
“At the moment, what Dortmund have are players who are somewhat hungrier, but they have no world class players,” he said, adding they would have to do well at international level as well to earn his admiration.
For the second season in a row, Dortmund, who kicked off the championship at home to Werder Bremen on Friday, have sold a key member of their title-winning team.
Last time around, it was Nuri Sahin, who departed for Real Madrid and was shunted into the reserves, and now Japanese midfielder Shinji Kagawa has departed hoping his move to Manchester United turns out to be more fruitful.
Dortmund have, however, replaced Kagawa with Marco Reus - one of the Bundesliga’s hottest properties - from Borussia Moenchengladbach, indicating that they are once again up for the battle.
They also have playmaker Mario Goetze raring to go after an injury-plagued time last season.