Borussia Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp has admitted he is wary of today’s opponents Werder Bremen as Dortmund aim to maintain their 100 percent record to stay top of the Bundesliga.
Bremen and Dortmund are two of the five German league teams to have won both of their opening games, leaving Borussia top of the table on goal-difference.
Defending champions Bayern Munich, Champions League side Bayer 04 Leverkusen, who host Borussia Moenchengladbach tomorrow, and FSV Mainz 05, who are home to VfL Wolfsburg the same day, are the other three teams with 100 percent records.
Bremen have won both their matches under new coach Robin Dutt by with 1-0 victories away against promoted Eintracht Braunschweig and home to Augbsurg respectively, after having flirted with relegation last season.
Bremen last lifted some silverware when they won the German Cup in 2009, but Klopp said their is too much talent in the Bremen team to take them lightly at Dortmund’s Westfalenstadion.
Bremen are expected to debut Argentinian striker Franco di Santo after signing him from Wigan Athletic a week ago.
Champions League finalists Dortmund have had just four days to prepare for Bremen’s visit since their 2-1 home win over Braunschweig on Sunday.
Borussia needed 75 minutes before rising star Jonas Hofmann broke the deadlock with a super strike before Germany’s Marco Reus netted a penalty.
Klopp expects Bremen to have a similar game plan to Braunchweig, to defend hard and hit Dortmund on the break whenever possible.
Dortmund’s Australian reserve goalkeeper Mitchell Langerak could be set to play as Roman Weidenfeller is suffering from gastroenteritis, while Germany midfielder Ilkay Gundogan sits out again with a back injury he aggravated while on international duty last week.
Bayern host Nuremberg tomorrow, with Germany midfield star Mario Goetze set to make his debut since joining from Dortmund for 37 million euros (US$49.5 million).
“Obviously it’s going to take a little longer before I recover my rhythm and really get back to 100 percent,” said the 21-year-old Goetze, who has not played since tearing his hamstring in April’s Champions League semi-final at Real Madrid.
France winger Franck Ribery is out with an ankle injury he suffered in a 1-0 win at Eintracht Frankfurt last Saturday.
Javi Martinez, who has yet to lose a league game for Bayern, is in contention for selection again after he was left out of the match-day squad at Frankfurt to rest after playing for Spain in Ecuador.
Hamburg SV go to Hertha BSC tomorrow looking for an improved performance after they were hammered 5-1 at home by TSG 1899 Hoffenheim last Saturday.
Hamburg coach Thorsten Fink was so furious with his team that he gave them two days off, but midfielder Tomas Rincon and defender Dennis Aogo have been thrown out of the squad for using the time to fly to Mallorca.
“The two days off had been meant to think about what they could do better in future, not to go partying. They couldn’t have made a worse decision,” Hamburg CEO Carl Jarchow said.