After a goal that really wasn't helped Bayer Leverkusen jump into the top spot in the Bundesliga table, defending champion Bayern Munich took that spot right back with a 4-1 win over Mainz on Saturday.
Bayern Munich sits atop the table with 23 points. They have yet to lose a match this season, but that is only good enough to give them a one-point advantage over not just Bayer Leverkusen but also Borussia Dortmund.
This is setting up to be a fun season in the Bundesliga. Check out the table, and then I'll offer up predictions for our three top front-runners, who will all be in action next Saturday.
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Bayer Leverkusen vs. FC Augsburg
Leverkusen emerged with a 2-1 win over TSG Hoffenheim this past week that was aided by striker Stefan Kiessling's goalscoring effort in the 70th minute. The problem was, the ball slipped in through the side of goal. It was shocking to see this missed call, but Leverkusen will take that bit of fortune and move on as they try to defend their home pitch against FC Augsburg.
FC Augsburg is scuffling. They sit with 10 points in the table and things are headed in the wrong direction. Augsburg hasn't picked up a win in their last four Bundesliga contests.
They aren't likely to reverse that trend in this match.
Augsburg has scored just three goals in their away matches this year. Leverkusen has allowed just five goals in their five home matches. That includes a nice defensive performance at home against Bayern Munich on Oct. 5 in a 1-1 draw.
Leverkusen also has ample firepower on the attack to make this a lopsided match.
Prediction: Bayer Leverkusen 3, FC Augsburg 1
Bayern Munich vs. Hertha Berlin
Hertha Berlin is enjoying a solid start to their season. With 15 points, there is some distance between them and the top three teams, but they are in fourth.
They will come into this match off a 1-0 win over Borussia Monchengladbach. While it was a quality win, that also displayed some of their weaknesses.
Monchengladbach dominated possession in that match. They also had more looks on goal. An amazing effort by Hertha keeper Thomas Kraft kept those looks from going in.
Hertha has a decent 15 goals on the season, but has only scored four in their four away matches.
Meanwhile, with the talented midfield of Munich, Berlin is going to have a hard time not getting dominated in possession again.
I look for Berlin to keep this match tight in the first half, but get worn down in the second.
Prediction: Bayern Munich 2, Hertha Berlin 0
Schalke 04 vs. Borussia Dortmund
Of the three matches involving our top teams, this one should be the most entertaining.
Borussia Dortmund is tied with Munich atop the Bundesliga with a goal differential of plus-15 and has spent stretches this season looking unbeatable. However, when they have looked vulnerable, it has come on the road. It was just on Oct. 5 when Dortmund laid a 2-0 clunker playing at Monchengladbach.
Meanwhile, Schalke is playing solid soccer and are sitting fifth in the table. They are coming off of two straight Bundesliga wins.
Still, while Schalke enjoys home-pitch advantage, they have been far from unbeatable at home. On Sept. 24, they were dominated 4-0 by Bayern Munich while enjoying the home pitch.
I expect this match to be much closer, but I don't see Schalke with enough firepower to pull out the win.
Prediction: Borussia Dortmund 2, Schalke 1
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