NEW YORK – Bundesliga leader Borussia Monchengladbach is confident of extending its unbeaten start to the season when it tackles regional rival Schalke this weekend.
'Die Fohlen' (The Foals) was written off by many midway through last season when it appeared likely to drop out of the top flight.
But the arrival of Lucien Favre as coach and a phenomenal rise to safety, culminating in victory in the relegation play-off against Bochum, has continued this season.
Having beaten Bayern Munich 1-0 on the opening day of the season and director of sport Max Eberl says there is no reason to believe they cannot repeat that feat in the Arena AufSchalke on Sunday.
"We have shown that we are capable of winning every game we play in," Eberl told the Rheinische Post newspaper.
"It has proven to be a good idea to think from game to game.
"Our advantage is that we have a team which has gelled and which has fully understood what Lucien Favre is looking for.
"There is a lot of self-confidence in our team."
Bayern is also buoyant after four straight victories which have lifted them up to third in the table and seen them reach the group stage of the Champions League.
The Bavarian could move back to the top of the table for the first time in over 15 months if it wins in Kaiserslautern on Saturday.
However, six other clubs share that same ambition as the league remains tight after just three matches.
Defending champion Borussia Dortmund travel to Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday evening while Hoffenheim and Werder Bremen know the winner of their clash at the Rhein-Neckar Arena could also top the table.
On Sunday, Hannover, who stands alongside Monchengladbach in a share of top spot, can move to 10 points if it gets the better of Mainz.
Mainz's perfect start to the season was ended by Schalke last weekend and Stuttgart could rise to the top on Friday night with an away victory in Berlin.
At the foot of the table, the bottom two Hamburg and Cologne meet in an important game for both clubs while Freiburg seek their first win of the season against Wolfsburg.
Finally, Nurnberg and Augsburg meet in the first of six Bavarian derby matches this season.