With a compacted schedule and the tight turnaround between seasons, even the biggest clubs and squads are being tested in terms of their physical and mental condition. Bayern were pushed hard by Lokomotiv Moscow in midweek, but they dug deep and maintained their 100% record in the Champions League with a 2-1 win. The exceptional Joshua Kimmich rifled home a superb winner, and he is becoming the poster boy for the team's quality, intensity and sheer will to win.
While Bayern are picking up wins, Köln are still looking for their first league victory of the campaign. In fact, Markus Gisdol's side haven't won in the Bundesliga since the first week of March, a run of 15 matches. Although sporting director Horst Heldt has been publicly supportive of his coach, the pressure is doubtless building.
Things are unlikely to improve this weekend. Opta tell us the champions Bayern haven't lost to Köln since 2011, and they have won 11 of the clubs' last 12 meetings. Bayern are chasing a fourth straight away win in all competitions, and I think they'll get it.
However, my bet comes from the To Score market. Summer signing Leroy Sane has already scored against Schalke and Eintracht Frankfurt, and after he was rested in midweek, he is likely to start here. The former Manchester City star is priced at 6/5 to score at any time. If he doesn't start, go for Serge Gnabry instead at 4/5 - he scored twice in a 4-1 win at Köln back in February.
Borussia Dortmund haven't enjoyed their visits to Arminia Bielefeld in recent decades. They haven't won on any of their last six visits to Bielefeld, and you have to go back into the 20th century for their last victory. However, although a fair bit has been made of this hoodoo in the German press, it's frankly irrelevant. This is the first time Arminia have even been in the Bundesliga since 2009, and the gulf between the clubs is enormous.
Bielefeld made a good start to the season, but they have lost their last three Bundesliga matches, and they were hammered 4-1 at home by Bayern recently. I think a lack of attacking punch is going to be a real problem for Uwe Neuhaus's side - they haven't scored more than once in any of their games yet, and last season's chief goal-getter (21 goals in Bundesliga 2.) and captain Fabian Klos hasn't scored yet.
Dortmund have played promoted sides three times in the Bundesliga in 2020, and Opta tell us they have won 5-1, 5-0 and 6-1. They have won seven of their last eight away games in the German top flight, and they ground out a decent 2-0 midweek victory against Zenit in the Champions League. Star striker Erling Haaland has now scored 14 goals in 14 games for club and country this season.
I'll back Dortmund to win by two goals or more here by using the Asian Handicap market.
It's fair to say this has not been the start that big-spending Hertha Berlin wanted or anticipated. They went out of the DFB Cup 5-4 at lower-league Eintracht Braunschweig, and they have lost four of their first five league matches. However, there are mitigating circumstances. They have already had to go to Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig, and although they lost both games, 4-3 and 2-1 defeats were no disgrace. There have been other factors too - captain and key defender Dedryck Boyata's form has taken an unexpected but surely temporary tumble, and South American stars like Matheus Cunha and Jhon Cordoba flew thousands of miles during the recent international break.
Wolfsburg finally secured their first league win of the season last weekend as they scraped a win against Arminia Bielefeld, and although they are yet to lose in the Bundesliga this term, there is little to get excited about so far. They have lost the Expected Goals battle in both of their away games in the league so far, and they crashed out of the Europa League qualifiers at AEK Athens.
Hertha are slight outsiders here, and we can take advantage of that by backing them +0 on the Asian Handicap at just above evens. If the game ends level, our stake will be returned. With the kind of firepower on offer from the likes of Cunha, Cordoba and Dodi Lukebakio, I think Hertha can reproduce the kind of display that saw them win 4-1 at Werder Bremen on Matchday One.