Bayern Munich will be eyeing all three points when the Germany Bundesliga returns this weekend.
The Bavarians drew 2-2 at home to Hertha Berlin on opening day and will view their trip away to Schalke 04 on Saturday evening as a must-win.
Last season, Bayern started slowly but somehow managed to catch up with early pace-setters Dortmund to retain the league title for a 7th consecutive season.
However, it is a scenario that they will be looking to avoid as they do not know how it may turn out in the end, this time around.
In the days leading up to Saturday’s game, Bayern have secured the signing of Brazilian playmaker Philipe Coutinho from FC Barcelona and he is expected to make his debut at the VELTINS Arena.
Coutinho’s addition adds more to Bayern’s creating department and with Robert Lewandowski already looking sharp in attack; the Bavarians must be looking at Saturday’s game with optimism.
Niko Kovac’s side will still be without the services of midfielders Leon Goretzka and Javi Martinez who are still injured. Aside from the two, the rest of the team is fully fit.
For Schalke, they also got their campaign off to a draw, sharing spoils with Monchengladbach in a 0-0 affair at Borussia Park.
New head coach David Wagner will go into the game knowing how difficult it will be for his side to take anything from it.
Schalke has not defeated Bayern since a 1-0 win back in March 2011 and have gone on to lose 16 of their previous 19 meetings whilst drawing only three.
Such a record against the Bavarians must be worrying but looking at how Hertha got a point last week, Wagner will at least be inspired.
The Loyal Blues have several injury concerns going into the game. Rabbi Matondo, Jonas Carls, Ozan Kabak, Alessandro Schopf, Mark Uth and Pablo Insua are all unavailable due to respective injuries.
The Bundesliga Match-Day 2 kicks off on Friday evening with Borussia Dortmund away to newly-promoted Koln.
Dortmund were the biggest winners on opening weekend, putting five goals past Augsburg whilst conceding just one.
The hammering means that Lucien Favre’s side are top of the standings at the moment and Koln need to be worried as the front three of Marco Reus, Paco Alcacer and Jordan Sancho are all already off the mark.
Alcacer scored a brace last Saturday while Rues and Sancho each struck once.
It should be a winnable game for Dortmund but without injured first-choice goalkeeper Roman Burki and Portuguese left-back Raphael Guerreiro, they need to be cautious.
For Koln who only made their return to the top tier this season, lost 1-2 to Wolfsburg last Saturday.
Simon Terodde’s last-minute goal was the only positive for Koln in the game as they were dominated throughout.
The last time the two faced off in a Bundesliga season, Koln lost both matches to Dortmund, conceding 8 goals in the process.
The other high-profile fixture in the Bundesliga this weekend will be RB Leipzig hosting Frankfurt at the Red Bull Arena.
Leipzig beat Union Berlin 4-0 last weekend while Frankfurt were 1-0 winners at home to Hoffenheim.
The duo is viewed as two of the sides that will compete for the final two Champions League spots in the league and their fixture on Sunday will have a host of followers throughout the country.
The Bundesliga Match-Day 2 fixtures
-Koln vs Dortmund @9:30pm
-Hoffenheim vs Werder Bremen 4:30pm
-Dusseldorf vs Leverkusen 4:30pm
-Mainz vs Monchengladbach 4:30pm
-Augsburg vs Union Berlin 4:30pm
-Paderborn vs Freiburg 4:30pm
-Schalke 04 vs Bayern Munich @7:30pm
-RB Leipzig @4:30pm
-Hertha Berlin vs Wolfsburg @7pm