Huntelaar sets sights on Bayern
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar hopes Schalke can put down a marker for the season against fellow Bundesliga big guns Bayern Munich this weekend.
After both starting their UEFA Champions League campaigns with wins, the pair meet in one of the first big matches of the domestic season. Schalke triumphed at Olympiacos on Tuesday while Bayern beat Valencia by the same 2-1 scoreline yesterday, but it is back to league action on Saturday with Huntelaar and Co keen to show that they can compete for silverware.
They trail Bayern by two points after both clubs made unbeaten starts to the season - a record which could fall for one side at the Arena AufSchalke. "We have only played three games, but this is still an incredibly important game for us," said Holland forward Huntelaar on his club's website.
"On Saturday, we have the chance to show our fans what we can do. Compared to last season, you could say we are more serene and can control games better. To beat Bayern at home would be great for everybody and we will give it our best shot."
Bayern have won all five competitive games they have played this season, ominously scoring 12 goals in three Bundesliga games. Yet they may not be top of the table come Saturday since there is another top-of-the-table clash scheduled for tomorrow night.
Few would have thought that the league's newcomers Eintracht Frankfurt would be Bayern's biggest challenger after three games of the season, but Armin Veh's men have won their first three games back in the top flight and travel to unbeaten Nurnberg in confident mood. "We are going to carry on playing so attack-minded - maybe even more so," said Veh.
Defending champions Borussia Dortmund are also unbeaten this season, and without a defeat in 31 Bundesliga games. They also tasted success in the Champions League in midweek with a 1-0 victory over Ajax. They travel to struggling Hamburg on Saturday with Rafael van der Vaart making his home debut for the northern Germany club.
Hannover, who are in UEFA Europa League action tonight, will look to extend their unbeaten form which also stretches to all competitions when they head to Hoffenheim on Sunday while Stuttgart, who are also in Europe tonight, travel to Werder Bremen on Sunday.
Unusually, there are three Sunday games this weekend with two other Europa League participants, Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Monchengladbach, meeting at the BayArena. Elsewhere, Greuther Furth will be looking for a second win on the road in Wolfsburg, Mainz and Augsburg meet in a battle of two sides struggling at the wrong end of the table and Fortuna Dusseldorf welcome Freiburg to the Westphalian capital.