Berlin (dpa) – Manuel Baum is waiting for a great challenge right at the start of his difficult mission at FC Schalke 04. The game of the Royal Blues in the Bundesliga at RB Leipzig should be a new beginning for Schalke.
A win against Dortmund is still missing from coaching colleague Christian Streich with his SC Freiburg. And otherwise on Saturday? In Frankfurt a courted striker from Hoffenheim wants to continue his streak, in Bremen there could be a farewell game for a Dutchman, and in the Rhenish duel a derby expert is hoping for Mönchengladbach’s first win on matchday three. There’s a reunion in Stuttgart.
Borussia Dortmund – SC Freiburg
Christian Streich: He has been the head coach of SC Freiburg for almost nine years. And there is only one current Bundesliga team that he has never won against during this time: Borussia Dortmund. In 15 duels with BVB, the 55-year-old has lost 12 times so far. The longest-serving coach in the league hardly believes that this will change on Saturday because he expects a defiant reaction from the runner-up after Dortmund’s surprising 0-2 in Augsburg.
Eintracht Frankfurt – TSG 1899 Hoffenheim
Andrej Kramaric: With five goals after the first two match days, the 29-year-old Croatian striker tops the list of goalscorers. The 2018 vice world champion is currently the outstanding man at Hoffenheim and also shone in the 4-1 win against FC Bayern. According to media reports, Munich is said to have thought about an obligation of the attacker, who is bound to TSG until 2022, but waved it off because of the high transfer fee (at least 40 million euros).
1. FC Cologne – Borussia Mönchengladbach
Patrick Herrmann: If anyone can derby, then Herrmann. The Gladbacher wing racer has been in the squad in 15 games against 1. FC Köln and has been used eleven times. “Since I’ve been in Gladbach, I’ve known how important this duel is for the fans and the entire club,” said the 29-year-old before the next match this Saturday – the second without spectators. The last derby so far in March in Mönchengladbach also took place without fans. For Herrmann, only the first win of the season counts anyway. “But it would also be nice to get the first three of the season in Cologne of all places,” said the striker.
Werder Bremen – Arminia Bielefeld
Davy Klaassen: Two years ago, Werder brought the Netherlands international for 13.5 million euros from Everton. To this day, Klaassen is the most expensive purchase in club history. His transfer fit into a time when Werder extended contracts or signed new players for a lot of money. The plan to develop these players and then sell them again for even more money never worked, and so the Bremen-based people now urgently need transfer income. Klaassen wants to return to his ex-club Ajax Amsterdam. The 27-year-old could play his last Bundesliga game against Bielefeld.
VfB Stuttgart – Bayer Leverkusen
Gonzalo Castro: For the 33-year-old, things come full circle on Saturday. In Leverkusen, today’s VfB captain once fought his way from youth to professionals – and even up to national team. He played 286 first division games and several more in the DFB or European Cup for the works club, then he moved to BVB. This is not the first time Castro has met his ex-club. But for the first time as a captain.
RB Leipzig – FC Schalke 04
Manuel Baum: It couldn’t be more demanding than the job that the 41-year-old Bavarian takes on: whipping up the worst Bundesliga team in 2020. The new coach of FC Schalke 04 approaches his task with a lot of humor and optimism. In Leipzig, he doesn’t just want to defend the bottom of the Bundesliga. Baum also wants to see a lot of potential in his team. To mobilize this, he announced something that sounded very strange from his Bavarian mouth: “Malochen”.