Berlin (AFP) – A sixth straight Bundesliga win for Bayern Munich, at home to Cologne on Saturday, will see coach Carlo Ancelotti equal the record for the best start in Germany’s top flight.
Borussia Moenchengladbach’s Andre Schubert, who managed the feat last year, and Willi Entenmann, with Stuttgart in 1986, are the only two Bundesliga coaches to have won their first six league games.
Ancelotti had already steered Bayern to the best start to the season in the club’s history with eight straight victories before Wednesday’s 1-0 defeat at Atletico Madrid in the Champions League.
But Cologne will provide a decent test of Bayern’s staying power: Peter Stoeger’s side, along with Bayern, newly promoted RB Leipzig — who host Augsburg on Friday — and Hoffenheim, are one of the four unbeaten teams after five rounds of Bundesliga matches.
Andre Schuerrle, whose goal three minutes from time gave Borussia Dortmund a 2-2 draw at home to Real Madrid on Tuesday in the Champions League, hopes to be fit for their away match at Bayer Leverkusen.
The Germany winger finished the Real draw with a heavily strapped right knee.
Mid-table Leverkusen are still licking their wounds after Javier Hernandez’s 73rd-minute header was cancelled out by a 94th-minute equaliser at Monaco in their 1-1 Champions League draw.
“We are not in a state of shock, we’re in good shape and we can take a lot of confidence,” said Leverkusen coach Roger Schmidt.
“We will now regenerate and get ready to attack Dortmund again.”
Fresh from their 2-1 home defeat to Barcelona in the Champions League, fourth-placed Borussia Moenchengladbach head to Gelsenkirchen to face bottom side Schalke.
Five straight league defeats means Schalke’s new coach Markus Weinzierl is enduring the worst start to a season in the club’s history.
“I think the worst thing we can do now is to drown in self-pity,” Schalke’s captain and Germany international Benedikt Hoewedes told Sport1.
“Now the situation demands that we grow as a team. The present situation is a question of mentality.”
Markus Gisdol has a hard test for his first match as Hamburg’s new coach when he takes his team to sixth-placed Hertha Berlin.
Hamburg are third from bottom, having lost all of their last four games, which saw Bruno Labbadia sacked after 18 months in charge.
Ex-Hoffenheim coach Gisdol has said his first task is to “free the players’ minds”, but Hamburg’s Germany goalkeeper Rene Adler says the team must take responsibility for Labbadia’s sacking.
“He prepared us throughly for every game,” Adler wrote on his Facebook page.
“We as a team were the ones who did not implement his plan and I include myself in those needing to take responsibility.”
Fixtures (all times 1330 GMT unless stated)
Leipzig v Augsburg (1830)
Bayern Munich v Cologne, Hertha Berlin v Hamburg, Ingolstadt v Hoffenheim, Darmstadt v Werder Bremen, Freiburg v Eintracht Frankfurt, Bayer Leverkusen v Borussia Dortmund (1630)
VfL Wolfsburg v Mainz, Schalke v Borussia Moenchengladbach (1530)
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