Good evening fussball fans. The Bundesliga is back! To kick off the weekend we have Hoffenheim against Bayer Leverkusen
in just under half an hour.
Slightly surprisingly tonight's visitors are keeping pace with the leaders early in the season. They are playing very well and Sami Hyypia has won a lot of praise so far. At the moment it's not the usual two-horse - or even one-horse - race.
Hoffenheim, meanwhile, are sitting comfortably in 10th. They have played well so far and have scored a lot of goals, but worryingly for them exactly the same amount - 20 - have gone into their net. We're still waiting for a 0-0 this season and I'd be surprised if this was the one.
It will be another test entirely for Hoffenheim to score against Bayer tonight. They have only conceded eight with just three of those away from home. They have not won in three, so the international break came at a good time for them.
The teams are in, so I'll get them right over to you.
HOFFENHEIM XI: Casteels; Beck, Abraham, Sule, Toljan; Strobl, Polanski; Volland, Salihovic, Firmino; Modeste
BAYER XI: Leno; Hilbert, Wollscheid, Toprak, Boenisch; Reinartz, Rolfes, Castro; Hegeler, Sam; Kiessling
There is plenty of talent there on both teams. The key man for the hosts is, as usual, Kevin Volland. He loves to roam into space and how well he's picked up by Simon Rolfes and Stefan Reinartz could decide whether the visitors keep a clean sheet.
So we're five minutes away from kickoff - what do the odds say? Leverkusen are slight favourites at 6/5, with Hoffenheim at 13/5. The draw - which is fairly likely I'd say - is 14/5.
PREDICTION: Despite their goals, I don't think Hoffenheim will score tonight. I'm opting for a 2-0 win to Bayer.
KICKOFF: The visitors get us underway and Gonzalo Castro is immediately fouled.
It's a big night for the youngster Niklas Sule at centre-back for Hoffenheim. He's a very bright prospect indeed, but he will be up against Stefan Kiessling
. The visitors are looking to keep the ball early on but Hoffenheim are pressing well at the moment.
CHANCE! Volland is so nearly in there. It was a great touch to set him through from Firmino, but Toprak came out of nowhere to pinch it off his feet for a corner. The corner is played back to Beck, who slashes it into the stands from range.
BOOKING: It's Leverkusen with a lot of the ball but Hoffenheim are looking the most threatening. Firmino races through and is caught just outside the box by Toprak, who is booked. He was just too slow there.
Kiessling is almost played in by a lovely flick from Hegeler, but the ball is taken off his toes just as he turned to shoot. It's very even this, but still a real lack of chances.
CHANCE! A couple of chances there for the visitors and it should be 1-0! First a cross is blocked and then comes off Casteels. The ball falls to Kiessling, who unselfishly finds Castro but the ball is blocked in close by Sule.
CHANCE! Ambitious effort there for Sam, who juggles the ball in the box before rifling in a bicycle kick, but puts the effort wide. That would have been up for goal of the season had it gone in, but an incredibly hard technique to pull off.
SAVE! What a brilliant save from Leno! Modeste makes an absolutely superb run and is found by Volland, but Leno comes out quickly enough to close the angle on the first-time shot and put it wide. That really could have been the opener.
Another half-chance there for Modeste, but he would have done well to score from outside the box. It was another fine spin from Volland to find him, but the shot was right at Leno.
BOOKING: Wollscheid goes into the book for hauling down Modeste as the Frenchman glided past him. That wasn't even a slight pull, it took all his strength to bring him to the ground.
The referee has to be cautious there not to bring out his card again. Hegeler pulled Polanski over but he resisted the urge for a card there. Just as well otherwise he might have set a precedent.
GOAL! Hoffenheim 0-1 Leverkusen (Sidney Sam)
That's a goal really from nothing, but it's a super strike into the bottom corner. Castro is given space to run from his own half and he plays Sam in down the right. The winger cuts inside and puts it into the corner of the near post from outside the box. We're still waiting for a 0-0.
CLOSE! Almost an immediate equaliser. Beck's cross finds Firmino, whose effort is blocked just over. Then they come even close as a drive from range is flicked goalwards by Modeste but it comes off Leno and wide - the keeper knew nothing about that!
It has been a great response from Hoffenheim since they went a goal down. They are really good to watch and are sticking to their pass and move principles. They certainly have at least one goal in them tonight.
After all, Hoffenheim have scored in their last 12 Bundesliga games. This Leverkusen side do have the knack of winning lately, though, and now they're in front they will fight for it.
GOAL DISALLOWED: They won't get any closer without scoring! And in fact Modeste was not offside from the pass from the right. He turned it back inside and it was stuck away, but he was a good yard or more on. Poor call. The hosts now have a free kick about 25 yards from goal.
Firmino took it but straight into the wall. Hegeler avoid another booking for a foul on Polanski. It was quite a nasty foul reaching for the ball with his studs high.
Still Hoffenheim comes forward and there's no way through for Strobl down the left, who in the end gives away a goal kick. Back come Leverkusen and Hegeler held on just too long to allow Abraham back in to put it behind.
Leverkusen are finishing the half the stronger side and win another corner, which keeps the ball up the field for a while. It's a dreadful delivery form Sam, but they win it back through Reinartz.
There will be one minute of time added on. I think this one is staying like this for the break.
HALF-TIME: Hoffenheim 0-1 Leverkusen
So it's Leverkusen who lead at the break, but if you ask me Hoffenheim deserve to be at least level. The visitors' goal has led a charmed life at times but vitally it has not gone in. Well, once, but that was wrongly ruled out for offside.
The hosts at times have played some fantastic football, mostly through Volland and Modeste. The German has made himself nigh-on impossible to mark and in the space he has created Modeste has made intelligent runs. It will need a fine defensive effort in the second 45 from Leverkusen if they are to keep this sheet clean.
I think both coaches will have seen enough from their teams to see how things go in the half with the same players on the field. If anything, Hyypia will be less pleased with the performance - Hoffenheim simply need to keep it up and if there's justice they will score.
The players are coming back out to a warm applause. It's certainly been entertaining so far - will the excitement level remain?
LEVERKUSEN SUB: Emir Spahic is on for Wollscheid at the break.
KICKOFF: The hosts get us back underway.
Almost every player is currently in the Leverkusen half. It's a bright start from the hosts, but they have not created any chances as yet - Bayer are holding up firm.
CHANCE! Leverkusen get their first real spell of possession in the game, but it's quickly won back by the hosts. They drive down the right through Firmino and Modeste puts his header straight at Leno.
Leverkusen really cannot get their game into action so far. I've rarely seen so many long balls to no-one in recent games. Hoffenheim are still really up for it and most importantly are using the ball well.
CHANCE! It could be 2-0! Gastro fires in a ball to Kiessling on the break, but the striker's touch puts it wide as he beat Casteels to the ball.
Fortunate corner for Leverkusen, as Sam somehow hits the one-man wall from a free kick from some distance. Castro hits the inswinger but it's not good and is easily cleared, before Sule does well to win the free kick from Reinartz.
SAVE! What a stop that is from Casteels as Leverkusen smell blood. Castro cuts inside two defenders and rifles at goal, but it's too close to the keeper and he instinctively turns it over the bar.
HOFFENHEIM SUB: Tarik Elyounoussi is on for Salihovic for the hosts. Can he be the difference that sees Hoffenheim level?
Spahic comes across well to win the ball from Volland, who was looking to drive down the right. Suddenly it's Hoffenheim who can't find a blue shirt with their passing. Leverkusen could do with a goal here while they're back on top.
BOOKING: Castro picks up the next booking - his first of the season - for catching Volland late. No malice in that, he was just beaten to the ball by the Hoffenheim man.
GOAL! Hoffenheim 0-2 Leverkusen (Stefan Kiessling)
It didn't go in! But I think it's been given! Kiessling met a Castro corner and his header went just wide. But it came back through a hole in the net and I think it's been allowed to stand. Amazing - Kiessling had his hand on his head but then was celebrating.
They've sewn up the hole I think, but that's too late. I'm not convinced by Kiessling's reaction there - he knew it went wide but celebrated nonetheless. This is not Hoffenheim's day.
This incident happened in 1977 and in that case the game was replayed. I wonder if the same might happen here. Oddly Hoffenheim didn't seem to go crazy about it - but replays show that it was clearly wide, Kiessling simply couldn't have scored with the direction on his header.
Robbie Kruse is replacing Sidney Sam
for the visitors.
HOFFENHEIM SUB: Kai Herdling is on for Beck. They need a miracle really - perhaps of the sort that has seen the visitors allowed that second goal!
PENALTY TO HOFFENHEIM!
MISSED! Oh my word HOW has that stayed out! It wasn't a penalty, in fairness, but Leno kept out the spot kick and then the rebound was fired straight into the post when it was easier to score! Oh dear.
I tell a lie, it's hit the post twice. Firmino's penalty was poor, then he hit the post and it hit the post again off a defender! Ridiculous scenes.
LEVERKUSEN SUB: Donati comes on for Hilbert, who is taking a while to come off the field. Some sides don't have as much luck in a season as Leverkusen have had tonight.
GOAL! Hoffenheim 1-2 Leverkusen (Sven Schipplock)
Finally Hoffenheim score! It should be the leveller (it is) and it should really be 2-1 considering the wrongly disallowed goal. It's scrappy as Schipplock turns it in right at the far post, but there's a glimmer for Hoffenheim - even if this is called off.
Four minutes of added time now. Leno does really well to deal with a hideous back pass, but he controls and clears.
What a waste from Robbie Kruse. His first cross is blocked straight back to him, and all he has to do is find the waiting Kiessling, but misses him completely.
Leverkusen are looking to take it into the corner to see these final minutes out.
FULL-TIME: Hoffenheim 1-2 Leverkusen
Boos ring around the ground at full time and they are all directed at Felix Brych, the man in the middle. On the one hand, Hoffenheim should make sure there aren't any holes in their net, but on the other everyone could see that went wide!
The Hoffenheim coaching staff go up to Kiessling at the end, who they feel should have told the referee it went wide. He knew what happened if you ask me - he turned away after missing before celebrating with his teammates. Leverkusen take the points, but they could yet have to replay the match.
What an incredible start to the weekend's Bundesliga action. A game that will be talked about for some time yet thanks to Kiessling's phantom goal. Anyway, thanks for joining me for this one - we'll have plenty of results and reaction over the weekend, so stick with us.