Landmark For Lewandowski As Dortmund Put Faith In Alcacer
Robert Lewandowski will celebrate his 200th appearance for Bayern Munich this weekend, as the Polish superstar looks to continue his explosive early-season form when Bayern host Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday.
Lewandowski, who has 157 goals in 199 appearances in his Bayern career so far, has found the net six times in competitive games this term, and is already a firm favourite to become Bundesliga top scorer this season.
Along with Schalke and RB Leipzig, Leverkusen are one of several big teams who are hoping to bounce back from a disastrous start to the campaign.
Elsewhere, Barcelona loanee Paco Alcacer is set to make his Borussia Dortmund debut against Eintracht Frankfurt on Friday, while Saturday will see the Bundesliga’s oldest and youngest coaches go head to head in Duesseldorf.
Here are five things to look out for in this weekend’s Bundesliga action:
Lewandowski reaches milestone
Amid rumours of a move away from Munich and an early World Cup exit with Poland, it had been a turbulent summer for Robert Lewandowski.
Yet Bayern’s star striker is now back to his best, having scored in both Bundesliga games so far this season.
He will be looking to continue that run when his side host Bayer Leverkusen, in what will be his 200th appearance for the Bavarian giants.
Leverkusen, meanwhile, are hoping to avoid their worst ever start to a Bundesliga season after they lost their opening two games.
“Bayern are the best in the business but we have to go there and seek out chances,” under pressure Leverkusen coach Heiko Herrlich told SID, an AFP subsidiary.
Alcacer arrives in Dortmund
Paco Alcacer is hoping to make his first appearance for Borussia Dortmund this weekend after arriving on loan from Barcelona.
Dortmund hope that the former Valencia hitman can be the solution to their problems in the centre-forward position, and fans may see him in action for the first time in Friday’s clash with Eintracht Frankfurt.
“Paco links up with team-mates well and is very skillful in front of goal,” said Dortmund coach Lucien Favre.
Dortmund will be without USA international Christian Pulisic, who is still struggling with a muscular issue.
Tedesco under pressure
Schalke kick off their Champions League campaign next week, having finished second under precocious young coach Domenico Tedesco last season.
Yet after two defeats from two this term, Tedesco is now under huge pressure ahead of Saturday’s headline clash with Borussia Moenchengladbach.
“I’m not naive, and I’m not going to rest on my laurels and expect only to be given credit for last season,” the Schalke coach told SportBild this week.
Leipzig’s wheel of misfortune
RB Leipzig have also made a wobbly start to their Bundesliga campaign, and coach Ralf Rangnick will be hoping that his “wheel of misfortune” can turn his team’s luck around.
Leipzig have picked up just one point from their opening two games, and host a well-disciplined Hanover side on Saturday.
As Bild revealed this week, Leipzig players no longer receive fines for indiscretions but instead have to spin the wheel of misfortune.
The wheel can land on any of 12 different punishments, ranging from groundskeeping duties and shifts in the club fan shop to being forced to wear a ballerina’s tutu in training.
Old meets young in Duesseldorf
The Bundesliga’s oldest coach will meet its youngest when Fortuna Duesseldorf host Hoffenheim on Saturday.
Friedhelm Funkel, 64, is hoping to avoid relegation with Duesseldorf this year, while 31-year-old Julian Nagelsmann will lead Hoffenheim into the Champions League next week.
“Thankfully, it’s going to be eleven players against eleven players on Saturday,” Funkel joked. “If I had to play one-on-one against Julian, I wouldn’t stand a chance!”
Fixtures (all times GMT)
Borussia Dortmund v Eintracht Frankfurt (1830)
Bayern Munich v Bayer Leverkusen, RB Leipzig v Hanover 96, Mainz 05 v Augsburg, Wolfsburg v Hertha Berlin, Fortuna Duesseldorf v TSG Hoffenheim (all 1330), Borussia Moenchengladbach v Schalke 04 (1630)
Werder Bremen v Nuremberg (1330), Freiburg v Stuttgart (1600)