After a week break from the Bundesliga due to international fixtures the league was back in action this weekend with some stellar games. Bayern Munich and Leipzig faced off in a match for the top spot in the league with the game ending in a 1-1 draw while Borussia Dortmund really capitalized on their chances in a 4-0 victory over Leverkusen. I will be continuing my ranking from week 3 with some major movements as expected in the early part of the season.
1. Red Bull Leipzig (Last week: 1)
This week was the true test for Leipzig as they faced off against Bayern Munich in a match that would really determine if they belonged in the number one spot. The first half was fairly one sided as Bayern dominated position and scored the opening goal three minutes into the match. A late first half foul in the box by Munich defender Lucas Hernandez lead to a golden opportunity for Leipzig and they capitalized with a penalty kick goal from Emil Forsberg. That goal really woke up Leipzig in the second half as the game was much closer with Leipzig having the better scoring opportunities. Leipzig remain in first place in the Bundesliga and the team won their opening Champions League game against Benfica 2-1 with Timo Werner scoring two second half goals. They travel this Saturday for a game against Werder Bremen for the late game at 12:30 EST.
2. Borussia Dortmund (Last week: 4)
The loss against Union Berlin in week 3 was proven to be a small stumble as Dortmund won in convincing fashion 4-0 against a very difficult Bayer Leverkusen team. I really felt that Dortmund played to their strengths in this match-up with creating high scoring chances through their speed and talent up-front. Paco Alcacer has been sensational for Dortmund so far this season and he added another goal for them on Saturday. Their next game is on Sunday against a very tough Eintracht Frankfurt team.
3. Bayern Munich (Last week: 2)
The expectations of Bayern Munich every season are incredible and a 1-1 draw against Leipzig was a disappointing result for a team that is expected to finish first every season. Much like Germany was in the 2018 World Cup; Munich did a great job holding possession in the game against Leipzig but they never really threatened with high quality chances. Bayern play in a Champions League match againt Crvena zvezda on Wednesday before a game on Saturday against FC Koln.
4. SC Freiburg (Last week: 8)
The big surprise to start the season has been Freiburg as the German club are third in the standings with three victories including an impressive 3-0 victory over Hoffenheim this past weekend. Besides a close 2-1 loss against Koln they have been great with stellar offence scoring ten goals in four games and solid work by the team collectively on defence. The team returns home for a game on Saturday against FC Augsburg.
5. Borussia Monchengladbach (Last week: 7)
A close by well earned victory for Monchengladbach as they held on for a 1-0 victory over FC Koln despite a strong late push by their opponents. Alassane Plea scored the lone goal early in the match and the team played conservatively in the second half. This team has good pieces all around but their style has been more defence with players like Matthias Ginter, Nico Elvedi, Stefan Lainer and Christoph Kramer. They play on Sunday against Fortuna Dusseldorf following a Thursday match-up in the Europa League against Wolfsberger AC.
6. Wolfsburg VfL (Last week: 5)
A 1-1 draw against Fortuna Dusseldorf wasn't the result Wolfsburg were hoping for but they definitely controlled the majority of the match and they remain one of only three teams that have yet to lose a game. After a strong start with two victories they have now tied in back-to-back matches against teams they should have beaten. The team needs more from their offence lead by Wout Weghorst, Josip Brekalo and Admir Mehmedi and I think that front three will develop better chemistry moving forward. Wolfsburg plays in Europa League Group play on Thursday before a Monday match-up against Hoffenheim.
7. Bayer Leverkusen (Last week: 3)
I was really expecting a back and forth contest between Dortmund and Leverkusen but the match turned out to be one-sided in a 4-0 victory for Dortmund. The game was a disaster for Leverkusen as the team held the majority of possession but they couldn't seem to generate any offence or high quality scoring chances. Kevin Volland was virtually non-existent at striker while Kai Havertz and Karim Bellarabi couldn't seem to generate anything. The defence for Leverkusen was bad and it reminded me of their week one match against Paderborn where they conceded two goals and a couple other high quality scoring chances. Leverkusen has a Champions League match against Moscow on Wednesday before playing Union Berlin on Saturday.
8. Schalke 04 (Last week: 9)
Easy work for Schalke as they dismantled Paderborn 5-1 during the last game on Sunday with 22 year old Moroccan midfielder Amine Harit scoring two goals. Schalke have now won two in a row in convincing fashion with a 3-0 victory over Hertha Berlin in week three before this win against Paderborn. I'm expecting a strong performance for Schalke this week as they play home against Mainz.
9. Eintracht Frankfurt (Last week: 6)
A big surprise for a lot of Bundesliga fans as Frankfurt lost 2-1 against FC Augsburg this past weekend and despite a strong push in the second half; they couldn't break through for the equalizer. All four games this season have been close for Frankfurt as they now have two wins and two losses with their next game coming up against Borussia Dortmund on Sunday following a Europa League match against Arsenal.
10. Werder Bremen (Last week: 13)
I've been a fan of the way Werder Bremen has been playing to start the season as they seem to take a lot of chances and play wide open football. This past week was a 2-1 victory over Union Berlin thanks to a second half goal by striker Niclas Fullkrug and the one-two punch of Fullkrug and Yuya Osako have now scored five goals in the early part of the season. The defence for Bremen has to be better but they do a good job controlling possession in the game while attacking with accuracy. This week will be their biggest test of the season as the face off against Leipzig.
11. Hoffenheim (Last week: 10)
A lot of people have been disappointed in Hoffenheim as the team lost 3-0 against Freiburg this past week despite holding possession advantage but Freiburg were clearly the more active team. They held Leverkusen to a 0-0 draw in week 3 and they won a wild game against Werder Bremen 3-2 while also losing a 1-0 game against Frankfurt. The Frankfurt and Freiburg game are the same story as Hoffenheim hold a high possession advantage but they don't seem to do anything with that possession. This week should be an interesting game as they take on Wolfsburg.
12. Fortuna Dusseldorf (Last week: 14)
I don't think Fortuna are a particularly strong team in the Bundesliga but the team held a strong Wolfsburg team to a 1-1 draw this week and they never seem to be out of the games. A good counter-attacking team with Rouwen Hennings up-front and I love how their manager has been adjusting their formation and line-ups every game to match up with their opponents. They play another tough team this week with a Sunday game against Monchengladbach.
13. Union Berlin (Last week: 11)
The 3-1 victory over Borussia Dortmund seems like a while ago now as they struggled this past week with a 2-1 loss against Werder Bremen. Sebastian Andersson scored on a penalty early in the first half but the team was just a step behind during the game and late in the second half Neven Subotic was hit with a red card as he will miss their upcoming game. I still think Union Berlin are a good enough team to remain in the Bundesliga but placing top 10 should be a real challenge. This week will be difficult as they play against a very strong Bayer Leverkusen team.
14. FC Augsburg (Last week: 17)
They are finally on the board as FC Augsburg got their first win of the season with a 2-1 victory over Frankfurt and the team has seemed to settle down after a horrific week one where they lost 5-1 against Dortmund. Augsburg plays against the red hot team in Freiburg this week.
15. FC Koln (Last week: 12)
This team shouldn't remain in the bottom for the season but their schedule has really killed them with losses against Wolfsburg, Dortmund and Monchengladbach. They looked strong this past week against Monchengladbach during a 1-0 loss but they couldn't buy a goal. Anthony Modeste, Simon Terrode or Jhon Cordoba need to step up offensively at striker to give Koln some offensive firepower. The road for this team doesn't get any easier this week as they play against Bayern Munich on Saturday.
16. Mainz 05 (Last week: 18)
In a game against another low ranked team, Mainz came out on top with a 2-1 victory over Hertha Berlin for their first win of the season. Mainz have had trouble in the opening few games on the season on defence but they held up just enough with five guys back during their victory against Hertha. Adam Szalai and Robin Quaison give Mainz a strong attack upfront but their defence needs to continue to improve for them to have a chance moving forward.
17. Paderborn (Last week: 15)
They were awful this week during a 5-1 loss against Schalke and Paderborn are still looking for their first victory entering week five of the season. Midfielder Cauley Souza has scored in consecutive games for the team and Streli Mamba and Sven Michel continue to give the team a scoring threat but they need to sharpen up their backend. This week is a great opportunity for Paderborn to get back on track as they face Hertha Berlin.
18. Hertha Berlin (Last week: 16)
An opening game draw against Bayern Munich gave fans of Hertha a lot of hope but since that game they have lost three in a row against Wolfsburg, Schalke and Mainz. The team has been outscored 8-1 in their last three games and I'm in shock watching this unfold as I think Hertha aren't a bottom of the league type team but they need to get some results. This week is a big game as they play Paderborn in a battle of the bottom teams.