With five matches starting at the same time, there’s sure to be plenty of action (and goals!) in the main Bundesliga timeslot. Jack Grimse provides everything you need to know before Konferenz kicks off at 15:30 CET on Saturday afternoon.
Remember, viewers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland can watch a multimatch stream (Die Samstags-Konferenz, 2) on Sky Bundesliga 1/HD.
SC Freiburg vs. Borussia Mönchengladbach
It was heartbreak on opening day for SC Freiburg in their Bundesliga return when Hertha Berlin found a 90th minute winner to send Die Breisgauer home empty handed. Manager Christian Streich will once again be without one of his best defenders, Marc-Oliver Kempf, but will probably still stick with the system that uses three central defenders and wingbacks. Striker Nils Petersen was only available from the bench following the Olympics, but figures to start against Gladbach.
Borussia Mönchengladbach boss André Schubert also favours a similar system, so we could see a mirror-match of 3-5-2 formations at the Dreisamstadion. Contrary to their Matchday 2 opponents, the Foals won their first match and will be looking to build on that momentum. They’ll have more of the ball on Saturday than they did last time out against Bayer Leverkusen, but expect them to be just as clinical on the break, even if their counterattacks don’t start from as deep within their own territory. Thorgan Hazard could come back into the side, though it is hard to justify dropping either Raffael or André Hahn to make room for the young Belgian.
How to watch: Sky Bundesliga 4/HD (Germany/Austria/Switzerland), Fox Sports 2/Go (USA), beIN Sports Connect (Australia).
FC Ingolstadt vs. Hertha Berlin
Just four teams walked away from Matchday 1 with a draw, and Ingolstadt were one of them. Super-sub striker Lukas Hinterseer netted in the 79th minute against Hamburg to earn a point. Hosting Hertha Berlin (another side that overachieved last season) provides an opportunity for a much-needed win early in the campaign.
Will there be more late drama that involves the Berliners this time around? Julian Schieber struck in stoppage time to cancel out a 90th minute Freiburg equaliser and send the Olympiastadion crowd home happy. Pál Dárdai has a deeper squad than he did a year ago, and didn’t even use Salomon Kalou against Freiburg. One of last season’s stars, Kalou still has a role to play with Hertha and should start on Saturday.
How to watch: Sky Bundesliga 6/HD (Germany/Austria/Switzerland), Fox Soccer Plus/2 Go (USA).
VfL Wolfsburg vs. 1. FC Köln
The only matchup in this timeslot featuring two day-one winners, VfL Wolfsburg and FC Köln both were victorious by the same scoreline last time out, 2-0. Daniel Didavi netted on his debut for Die Wölfe, as did prolific left back Ricardo Rodríguez. Julian Draxler will play again, but after a summer move fell through, he clearly isn’t happy and it could start to show.
Cologne and boss Peter Stöger might be more reliant than usual on goalkeeper Timo Horn, who really is developing into one of the best stoppers in the Bundesliga. Anthony Modeste is still the main man up top for Effzeh, and will be looking to add to the goal he scored against Darmstadt last week.
How to watch: Sky Bundesliga 5/HD (Germany/Austria/Switzerland), GolTV, Fubo.TV, Fox Soccer 2 Go (USA), beIN Sports Connect (Australia).
Bayer Leverkusen vs. Hamburger SV
Options are thin at striker for Roger Schmidt at Bayer Leverkusen as injuries are piling up early in the season. Stefan Kießling was hurt during preseason training, but recently both Javier Hernandez and Kevin Volland have been sidelined with fractured hands. This leaves only Joel Pohjanpalo as the only out-and-out striker available, but Julian Brandt could play up top.
Hamburg were reluctantly saddled with a draw on Matchday 1 after American striker Bobby Wood’s first half goal was cancelled out by a goal 11 minutes from time at the Volksparkstadion. Former Barcelona wunderkind Alen Halilović came on as a sub, but could make his full debut against Bayer.
How to watch: Sky Bundesliga 3/HD (Germany/Austria/Switzerland), Fox Sports 1/Go (USA), beIN Sports 1 Australia (Australia).
SV Darmstadt vs. Eintracht Frankfurt
It could be a long season for Darmstadt. Norbert Meier’s team had just 42 percent of the ball against Köln –a team not exactly know for possession that play 4-4-2– but is it a sign of things to come? Last year’s top scorer Sandro Wagner went to Hoffenheim for a pauper’s fee and as of yet it’s unknown if anyone on the roster can pick up the slack.
Having survived the relegation playoff by the skin of their teeth, Eintracht Frankfurt are enjoying a new lease on life in the top tier. A 1-0 opening day win thanks to a goal from Fußballgott Alex Meier got the Eagles started in the right direction, but there is still obviously a long way to go towards survival this season. It may be away from home (Eintracht took just 12 road points last year, compared to the 24 they collected at the Commerzbank-Arena), but facing Darmstadt means there’s a chance for Niko Kovač’s side to have six points from a possible six come Sunday.
How to watch: Sky Bundesliga 2/HD (Germany/Austria/Switzerland), Fox Sports Go (USA), beIN Sports Connect (Australia).
UK Viewers please note BT Sport 2 will be showing the late Saturday match (5:30 CET) and both Sunday matches, but not any of these five. Unfortunately you don’t have any (legal) options.