Hertha Berlin v Bayern Munich Friday 28 September, 19:30 Live on BT Sport 2
These are intriguing times in the German capital. In Bundesliga 2, Union Berlin are in second place, three points behind the leaders Koln. In the top tier, Hertha Berlin have lost just one of their first five games, and they are playing their most attractive football for years.
Hertha's unbeaten run came to an end on Tuesday in Bremen, as they made clumsy defensive errors in a 3-1 defeat at Werder. That said, they still scored a fine goal and pushed hard at 2-1 down, only to stymie themselves by giving away a penalty for the fifth league game running. That run of spot-kick concessions is now a Bundesliga record.
Hertha have played safety-first football in recent seasons, and it has been highly effective for them, but now they have a clutch of youngsters who are facilitating a more expansive approach. Twenty-year-old Dutch winger Javairo Dilrosun arrived from Manchester City, has scored twice and set up three more goals. Ondrej Duda is finally showing what he's capable of as an attacking midfielder, and has scored four league goals. In attack, Vedad Ibisevic and Salamon Kalou provide the knowhow and experience, while Davie Selke has the bullish intensity and the power.
The ultimate test of the new Hertha's efficacy arrives on Friday night, as Bayern Munich come to the Olympiastadion. Bayern are licking their scratches (they're not wounds yet) after dropping points for the first time this season. They should have been well clear of Bavarian neighbours Augsburg before their former defender Felix Gotze scrambled home a late equaliser in a 1-1 draw.
I know Bayern have swept all before them so far (except Augsburg), but I feel they are priced too short for the win at 1.30. The last three league games between the sides have been draws, including the last two at the Olympiastadion.
I'll back Hertha to cause an upset by laying the visitors, and make the title race a little more interesting, at least for now.
Korkut to sink further into the mire
Stuttgart v Werder Bremen Saturday 29 September, 14:30 Live on Betfair Live Video
Perhaps we were right about Stuttgart coach Tayfun Korkut after all. Bundesliga journalists far and wide reacted with bemusement when Korkut replaced the bright Hannes Wolf as VfB boss in Feburary, and although the former Real Sociedad midfielder sparked an extraordinary surge up to seventh last season, this campaign has hitherto been a disaster.
A limp DFB Cup exit at 3.Liga club Hansa Rostock set the tone, and since then Stuttgart have failed to score in four of their five league games, and they haven't picked up a single victory. Star striker Mario Gomez has been starved of service, a previously reliable defence is springing leaks all over the place, and a clutch of new signings have been slow to settle.
While Stuttgart have plodded painfully, Werder have been briskly racking up points in an unbeaten start to the campaign. Tuesday's win over Hertha was their most complete display of the season so far, as they defended diligently and attacked with pace and precision. Former BVB midfielder Nuri Sahin made the first two goals on his full debut for Bremen, while skipper Max Kruse scored for the second match running.
Bremen are in far better shape than their opponents here, so I'll back them with a bit of insurance by using the Draw No Bet market.
Fortuna won't lose battle of the newbies
Nurnberg v Fortuna Dusseldorf Saturday 29 September, 14:30 Live on Betfair Live Video
The two promoted sides are locked together on five points, but it is Fortuna who have looked like the more accomplished outfit. They have only lost two of their five league matches since returning to the big time, and on Wednesday they only lost 2-1 to Rhineland rivals Bayer Leverkusen because they failed to convert three presentable first-half chances.
While Fortuna pushed Bayer Leverkusen hard on Wednesday, Nurnberg did anything but later that night in Dortmund. Borussia stormed to a 7-0 victory, and while some of the goals were down to razor-sharp attacking play, some of them were gifts. At no stage did Der Club think to pull up the drawbridge, and now coach Michael Kollner has to sift through the wreckage.
On the final day of the Bundesliga 2 season, Fortuna came back from 2-0 down to win 3-2 at Nurnberg, with Kaan Ayhan's last-gasp header making sure that Fortuna were champions and Nurnberg finished second. I've seen nothing since then to suggest that the Bavarians should be firm favourites against Fortuna here, but that's what they are, so let's take advantage by using the Double Chance market.
Lay Bayern Munich v Hertha Berlin at 1.30
Back Werder Bremen Draw No Bet v Stuttgart at 1.90
Back Draw and Away in the Double Chance market in Nurnberg v Fortuna Dusseldorf at 1.80