Defending Bundesliga champions, Borussia Dortmund, return to league action full of confidence on Saturday.

Dortmund are currently second in the Bundesliga, three points adrift of league leaders Bayern Munich. However, Mattias Sammer’s side are unbeaten inthe present campaign, and have won their last three league games in the league.

They will be hoping to increase the pressure on their Bavarian rivals by disposing of Arminia Bielfield at home.

Bayern Munich will be looking to build their confidence ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League fixture with Milan, by defeating fifth placed Hansa Rostock. Bayern returned to winning ways in their last Bundesliga fixture following their 2-1 defeat in Leverkeusen.

Michael Ballack, fully recovered from a bout of flu, is in the squad to face this season’s surprise package, Rostock. Rostock started this campaign solidly, taking 12 points from their first five games, however, they have taken only only one point from a possible nine recently. Their coach has recently stated that his aim is survival rather than UEFA Cup qualification.

Schalke 04 are aiming for one of those UEFA Cup spots. Coach Frank Neubarth is, however, playing down talk of a championship challenge. The Dortmund-based side have made a very positive start to the season.

The squad was strengthened in the summer by the summer purchases of Uruguayan duo, Dario Rodriguez and Gustavo Varla, both of whom have been performing exceptionally. Neubarth will be hoping for another good performance as they travel to Bavaria to meet 1860 Munich.

Cash strapped Kaiserlautern will be hoping that mis-firing striker Miroslav Klose, can find the net against Bayer Leverkeusen. The 1998 champions are currently second bottom of the league, having parted company with coach Andre Brehme earlier in the season. New coach, Reinhard Stumpf, has yet to find the catalyst that can get them out of their predicament.

Their opponents Bayer Leverkeusen, Champions League finalists last season are struggling to come to terms with the loss of key players from last season’s squad.

Both teams are in need of a victory in what has become a very important fixture.

Elsewhere in the Bundesliga, third placed Werder Bremen travel to struggling Hanover 96, aiming to stay in the leading pack.
By Gareth Sibbald

Weekend fixtures

Bayer Leverkusen v Kaiserslautern
Energie Cottbus v Hertha BSC
Hannover 96 v Werder Bremen
Bochum v Wolfsburg

Sunday, October 20