Bundesliga weekend preview
A new era begins for Wolfsburg this weekend after coach Felix Magath on Thursday left the club for the second time in his managerial career.
Magath tendered his resignation after a poor run of form, including four defeats in a row, and his request was accepted by a club who find themselves in an all too familiar situation of being in danger of losing their Bundesliga status.
Since Magath left the club after guiding them to the Bundesliga title in 2009, it has never been plain sailing in the Lower Saxony city.
Not even Magath's return after both Armin Veh and Steve McClaren failed to latch on to his previous successes was able to inspire them back into Europe, and with that goal in jeopardy again this term a change was deemed necessary.
"The focus now lies on our coming games in which we need to get back in touch with mid-table in the Bundesliga," said the club's chairman Francisco Garcia-Sanz.
"We would like to express our gratitude to Felix Magath. During his two terms at Wolfsburg, he has shown enormous engagement and achieved great things for our club, the city of Wolfsburg and sport in the whole region."
However, the Wolves must now move on with their search for a successor while Lorenz-Gunther Kostner has taken temporary charge and will lead the club against Fortuna Dusseldorf only 48 hours after being appointed.
Magath is the first managerial casualty of the 2012/13 season and is not likely to be followed by anybody else in the short term, with no other club currently lagging too far behind their expectations.
Nurnberg managed to stop the rot with a draw against Augsburg last weekend and both of their coaches Dieter Hecking and Markus Weinzierl should still be in a job after their games against Schalke and Hamburg respectively.
Greuther Furth never expected it to be an easy season, which is why there is still no doubting their coach Mike Buskens, who hopes the Bavarians will be able to celebrate their first home win of the season against Werder Bremen this weekend.
Elsewhere, Stuttgart coach Bruno Labbadia dispelled the black clouds with a 1-0 success at Hamburg last weekend and he now looks to win over his side's fans at home to Eintracht Frankfurt on Sunday.
Victory for the Swabians could take them into the top six, such is the situation in the Bundesliga with 11 clubs all separated by just three points.
The main exception to that are league leaders Bayern Munich who, after breaking their own record for consecutive wins from the start of the season last weekend, can make it nine wins on the trot against Bayer Leverkusen on Sunday.
Defending champions Borussia Dortmund are just one club hoping that perfect record comes to an end soon as they aim to chisel away at a 12-point deficit on the Bavarians by winning in Freiburg on Saturday.
Elsewhere, Mainz host Hoffenheim and Hannover face Borussia Monchengladbach.