It feels like a long time, doesn't it? After a week away, the Bundesliga is back, and with it my previews of all nine matches in Germany on this third week of the season. Can FC Bayern München continue to dominate? Will one of Wolfsburg or Hertha BSC maintain their perfect start?
Last time around, I did pretty well with my pre-match predictions. I am still not betting on anything though. While Bayern have been Bayern, there have been some real surprises already? Do we dare to back Bayer Leverkusen and Schalke 04 to finally get off the mark?
Borussia Dortmund v Eintracht Frankfurt (Fri.)
The schedule kicks off at the Signal Iduna Park, where pre-season title challengers Dortmund take on tottering Frankfurt.
The Ruhrpott powerhouse got off to a great start against RB Leipzig, but ground to a halt against an obdurate Hannover 96 side in their second match. Frankfurt meanwhile started out with a win in Freiburg, but were brought right back down to earth with a messy 1:2 home defeat against Werder Bremen.
I missed the mark in backing BVB last time out, but I am expecting this match to run to form. Barring disaster, Lucien Favre's side should take all three points fairly comfortably.
Prediction: Dortmund 2:0 Frankfurt
FC Bayern München v Bayer Leverkusen (Sat.)
We all know how this one should turn out. Unbeaten defending champions Bayern, against pointless Leverkusen. Three easy points for the Bavarians, right?
That is how I am seeing it, but over the years Die Werkself have occasionally pulled a rabbit out of the hat. They have been awful so far this season, but they will travel to the Allianz Arena with nothing to lose. Ordinary against Borussia Mönchengladbach and abject against Wolfsburg, on paper and form Heiko Herrlich's side should not have a hope in hell.
As a Bayern fan, I am expecting those easy three points. After all, the shocks have been nicely balanced out with some healthy thrashings in recent meetings between the two teams. I will be a little nervous, but Bayern to win at a canter.
Prediction: Bayern 3:0 Leverkusen
RB Leipzig v Hannover 96 (Sat.)
Leipzig are yet to win this season. Hannover, with two draws, are unbeaten. The Saxon outfit have home advantage. It all makes for a tough match to call.
On paper, the Red Bulls should have this one in the bag. But a poor opening show against Dortmund and a scratchy 1:1 draw at home to newly-promoted Fortuna Düsseldorf does not bode well for Ralf Rangnick's side. Hannover by contrast have been solid, and were unlucky not to beat Bremen before taken a deserved point against Dortmund.
If Leipzig can get a good early start, they could step up a gear and kick-start their season. But I fancy Hannover to do what they do best, and get another draw.
Prediction: Leipzig 1:1 Hannover
1.FSV Mainz 05 v FC Augsburg (Sat.)
Like the previous match, this is another fixture that should be well contested. Both teams are unbeaten on four points, and there really is little to choose between the two of them when studying the form book.
Both teams have started out with a win and a draw. While Mainz have beaten lowly VfB Stuttgart and were lucky to get a point against newly-promoted Nürnberg, FCA came from behind to beat the other new boys Düsseldorf before having the better of a 1:1 draw with unbeaten Mönchengladbach.
The form scales are tipping in favour of the Bavarians, but home advantage could prove to be the crucial counterbalance for Mainz. There may be no separating these two, but there could be more than a couple of goals.
Prediction: Mainz 2:2 Augsburg
VfL Wolfsburg v Hertha BSC (Sat.)
At the start of the season, this may not have been billed as a match to watch. In truth, it still probably isn't. But nobody would have expected both of these teams to have perfect records coming into week three.
The Wolves have played Schalke and Leverkusen, two teams that had been widely tipped to challenge Bayern for the title. Most pundits would have had them right at the foot of the table, but there they are on six points, and not through any fluke either. Hertha would have to work hard to beat Nürnberg in their opening match, but they too were more than good enough to dispatch Schalke at the Veltins-Arena.
Hertha have plenty of solidity, but Wolfsburg have shown both flair and invention so far. When home advantage is also added to the mix, I fancy Bruno Labbadia's side to edge this one.
Prediction: Wolfsburg 2:1 Hertha
Fortuna Düsseldorf v TSG 1899 Hoffenheim (Sat.)
At the start of the season, this would have been a no-brainer for most pundits. Newly-promoted Düsseldorf, up against Julian Nagelsmann's Champions League competitors Hoffenheim. Only one result to choose from there.
However, things may not be as they seem. After their opening defeat in Munich against Bayern, the Hoff would have to pull out all the stops to come from behind against lowly Freiburg. While Friedhelm Funkel's Fortuna were a little unlucky in their opener against Augsburg, they picked up a deserved point on the road in Leipzig.
Fortuna are at home, and still have the early season vigour of a new-promoted side. Hoffenheim have the class, but their injury list is starting to border on the horrific. If they hit the ground quickly, you have to fancy Hoffenheim. But there's something at the back of my mind telling me that Fortuna will pick up their first three-pointer of the season this week.
Prediction: Düsseldorf 2:1 Hoffenheim
Borussia Mönchengladbach v FC Schalke 04 (Sat.)
A good old-fashioned Rhine-Ruhr derby occupies the Saturday evening slot, but given contrasting fortunes so far this classic encounter at the Borussia-Park takes on a completely different complexion.
While Gladbach are unbeaten on four points, last year's runners-up are struggling at the wrong end of the table after two defeats. Königsblauen coach Domenico Tedesco was the toast of the Bundesliga last season, but so far this term he has been short of ideas. It is the battle of two contrasting coaches. The young and talented Tedesco, and Gladbach's old-school supremo Dieter Hecking.
This has all the makings of an old-school tussle, and it is just the sort of situation that could see Schalke flick the switch. But I fancy that it may not be quite enough. There will be goals, but Die Fohlen should have enough to keep Schalke firmly chained to the cellar wall.
Prediction: Gladbach 3:2 Schalke
Werder Bremen v 1. FC Nürnberg (Sun.)
Bremen were one of the form teams at the end of last season, and have been just as solid in picking up four points from their opening two games. The Sunday afternoon match sees then take on perennial Bundesliga returnees Nürnberg.
Part of what has made Florian Kohfeldt's Bremen competitive has been their never say die spirit, and this has been a key factor in their excellent start. Having rescued a point with an 85th-minute equaliser against Hannover, they then snatched a dramatic injury time winner in Frankfurt. Der Club by contrast have been a little unlucky. Having missed a late penalty that would have won them a point in Berlin, they then had the better of a 1:1 draw at home against Mainz.
Both teams have plenty of grit, but home advantage should be enough to see Bremen maintain their unbeaten start to the season - without needing any late goals.
Prediction: Bremen 2:0 Nürnberg
SC Freiburg v VfB Stuttgart (Sun.)
The Sunday evening match sees an intriguing battle. Freiburg's meeting with local rivals Stuttgart sees not just another instalment of the Südwest-Derby, but a game that will see at least one of the two teams get off the mark.
Freiburg can consider themselves unlucky on a number of fronts this season. Coach Christian Streich has been out with a back injury, and the Black Forest outfit probably deserved a better return from their two opening matches against Frankfurt and Hoffenheim. Stuttgart on the other hand have been absolutely woeful. After a scratchy defeat in Mainz, they were taken to the cleaners on their own home turf against Bayern.
This will be keenly contested, with local rivalry adding additional spice to the Spätzle. If both teams play to their early season form, Freiburg should be ending the weekend on three points.
Prediction: Freiburg 2:1 Stuttgart
For more Bundesliga fun stuff, check out my Little Bundesliga Book project. Copies of the 2016 pocket book are still available, with the aim of raising funds for a new edition at the end of this season.