Bayern Munich striker Mario Gomez hopes to open his German league goal account against Hamburg on Saturday, but insists his lack of finishing this season will not drive him crazy.
The 26-year-old, who netted 28 goals in 32 games last season as the league's top scorer, has misfired so far in both Bayern's opening league games against Borussia Moenchengladbach and Wolfsburg. He also missed two clear chances in Bayern's 2-0 win over FC Zurich in a UEFA Champions League qualifier on Wednesday.
But the Germany star says he is not too concerned about his lack of finishing so far this term. "I know that the goals need to come in the league and they will," said the Bayern star who did convert a penalty in the German Cup at the start of August.
"I'm not driving myself crazy about it. It might take me three or four games to score. When I score for the first time is not a problem for me."
Gomez has struggled for confidence in the past, but having scored three goals in two games for Germany during UEFA EURO 2012 qualifiers in June, it seems only a matter of time before he finds the target again. But Bayern's stars are demanding an improved performance at home to Hamburg after wasting chances against Zurich and struggling so far in the league.
"We are still not playing well enough and must improve," said Dutch winger Arjen Robben, who scored and created a goal against Zurich. "When we attack, we need to go forward faster and be more aggressive."
And goalkeeper Manuel Neuer says Munich must raise their game with tougher tests ahead this season. "We know that we have to improve and convert more of our chances," said the Germany star. "We can't afford to relax or we will be punished against better teams."
Champs seek old form
Borussia Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp has no injury worries as the defending champions look to bounce back from last week's defeat when they play Nuremberg at home on Saturday. While both winger Kevin Grosskreutz (back) and defender Felipe Santana (ankle) are carrying minor knocks, both are expected to be fit to play as Dortmund look to recover from last Saturday's shock 1-0 defeat at Hoffenheim.
Defenders Marcel Schmelzer and Neven Subotic are fit to play after coming back from injuries. Midfielder Ilkay Gundogan is expected to play against his former club and Klopp says the 20-year-old has trained well this week despite a below-par performance in the defeat at Hoffenheim.
Last season's runners-up Leverkusen are at VfB Stuttgart and it remains to be seen whether ex-Germany captain Michael Ballack or Leverkusen captain Simon Rolfes will start as coach Robin Dutt has said he will not play the pair together.
Ballack led the team at Bremen last weekend, but Rolfes came off the bench to replace him and set up the winning goal.
Schalke 04 are at Mainz on Sunday with the Royal Blues unsure about the future of Spain striker Raul. Raul was left out of Thursday's trip to face Helsinki in the UEFA Europa League and the 34-year-old is reported to not be seeing eye-to-eye with new Schalke coach Ralf Rangnick. Director of sport Horst Heldt has said he wants a discussion with the Spaniard to work out what the ex-Real Madrid's future plans are.