22 September 2014 12:21
Shock Bundesliga leaders Paderborn will face the toughest examination of their top-flight credentials when they visit Bayern Munich.
Paderborn have defied all expectations so far in their maiden Bundesliga season, claiming two wins and two draws from their four fixtures to top the early standings on goal difference.
However, they face the most daunting task in German football on Tuesday – a trip to the Allianz Arena to face champions Bayern.
Pep Guardiola’s side also have eight points from their first four games, but have not yet clicked into top gear and failed to score for the first time in 75 Bundesliga outings in a 0-0 stalemate at Hamburg on Saturday.
Paderborn coach Andre Breitenreiter is eager for his side to test themselves against the best, but suggested Bayern’s below-par start to the campaign makes them no less dangerous.
“We want to give the best account of ourselves possible in Munich,” he said.
“We have a tactical plan against Bayern, but Bayern Munich are Bayern Munich – they’re in a class of their own.”
Also on eight points after an unbeaten start to the season are Mainz, who defeated an inconsistent Borussia Dortmund 2-0 on Saturday, and Hoffenheim, who won by the same scoreline at struggling Eintracht Frankfurt.
Mainz will aim to repeat Hoffenheim’s result at the Commerzbank-Arena on Tuesday, while Markus Gisdol’s Hoffenheim host winless Freiburg.
Stuttgart have taken just one point from their four matches this term and travel to Dortmund – who will be without Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who suffered a foot injury at the Coface Arena – on Wednesday, with coach Armin Veh hoping for more ruthlessness from his side.
“We’re doing a lot of things right in games, but we’re not putting our chances away,” he lamented. “We’re working hard on it and hopefully we’ll get it right [against Dortmund].”
Bayer Leverkusen and Hannover, both one point off the pace after weekend defeats, are at home to Augsburg and Cologne respectively.
Josef Zinnbauer’s first game in charge of Hamburg ended positively with a point, and he will look to build on that draw with the champions at Borussia Monchengladbach on Wednesday.
Elsewhere, Schalke visit Werder Bremen with both sides searching for a first win of the campaign, and Hertha Berlin host Wolfsburg.