BERLIN (AFP) - Werder Bremen and Schalke both warmed-up in poor fashion for crunch Champions League clashes on Tuesday as they were both beaten at home in the Bundesliga on Saturday.
Werder Bremen are at home to Dutch side FC Twente in Group A, but they were beaten 3-2 at home by Nuremberg in the German league.
Likewise, Schalke are at Hapoel Tel Aviv in Group B, but they slumped to a 1-0 defeat at home to Leverkusen - the Royal Blues' sixth defeat in 10 games.
Bremen need to beat the Dutch titleholders at home on Tuesday at the Weserstadion to keep their dreams of the Round of 16 alive and close the gap behind Group A leaders and holders Inter Milan and second-placed Spurs.
But Bremen squandered a possible chance to go third in the German league and slumped to their fourth defeat of the season.
"After the early opening goal, we suddenly stopped being as threatening and dangerous," fumed Bremen coach Thomas Schaaf.
"In the second half, we just made it too easy for our opponents.
"We lost too much focus and we have to work much, much harder."
Bremen took an early lead when Hugo Almeida was left unmarked at the far post and Germany winger Marko Marin found him with an accurate cross and the Portugal striker headed home after just five minutes.
But Nuremberg fought back as midfielder Ilkay Guendogan scored just before the half-time break, then fellow-midfielder Mehmet Ekici put the guests ahead on 47 minutes.
Nuremberg had numerous chances to extend their lead and scored their third goal when Guendogan scored his third goal in two games when he drilled in his shot on 73 minutes to compound Bremen's misery.
Werder's Claudio Pizarro pulled back a consolation goal in the 92nd minute, but it failed to save Bremen's blushes.
Later on Saturday evening, Schalke also prepared for their trip to Israel by slumping to their sixth defeat as they lost 1-0 at home to Leverkusen.
The defeat keeps them second-from-bottem in the table while Leverkusen go third after midfielder Sidney Sam hit the winner in the 65th-minute.
"This has been a difficult start," said Schalke's Spanish striker Raul.
"We are lacking a good performance in the Bundesliga.
"We had our chances, but we are not shooting enough goals.
"That would have given us security and confidence, but instead, we are afraid.
"We must continue to fight and work. With passion, we will get out of this again."
The key clash of the weekend is on Sunday when leaders Mainz are at home to second-placed Dortmund, but Eintracht Frankfurt went fourth after their 3-1 win at St Pauli.
Veteran Greece striker Theofanis Gekas scored twice to take him onto nine goals and the league's top scorer after ten games.
Wolfsburg striker Edin Dzeko also netted twice in his side's 2-0 win over Stuttgart while Hamburg were upset 3-2 at Cologne as Slovenian striker Milivoje Novakovic scored a hat-trick.
Kasierslautern beat Moenchengladbach 3-0 while on Sunday Hoffenheim host Hanover.
Defending German champions Bayern Munich scored a morale-boosting 4-2 win over Freiburg on Friday night after a sizzling second half brought three goals to move the Bavarians up to seventh spot.
Though Bayern have three wins from three in the Champions League, this was only Bayern's fourth win in the Bundesliga this season and they were seventh in the league after Saturday's games.
Defender Martin Demichelis scored the only goal of the first half before Mario Gomez on the hour, Anatoliy Timoshchuk and then Toni Kroos completed the rout.
|Coach: T. Schaaf|
for P. Bargfrede 59'
for M. Silvestre 59'
for M. Arnautović 79'
|Southampton closing in on Pelle deal - Koeman|
|Suarez, Ronaldo, Bale and more: The Premier League talent drain|
|Augsburg capture Caiuby|
|Gerrard lauds departing Suarez|
|Andrade delighted at Benfica return|
|No Bony talks with Liverpool - Swansea|
|Lahm: Experience will be key|
|FIFA World Cup Preview: Brazil v Netherlands|
|Suarez departs Liverpool with ´heavy heart´|
|Liverpool did everything to keep Suarez - Rodgers|
|Suarez to sign for Barca|
|Boyce: Referees not told to be lenient|
|Sanchez reveals Wenger admiration|
|Flick staying secretive on Messi plans|
|Determined Dyche aims to complete more deals|
|Matri joins Genoa on loan|
|Valderrama talks up James potential|
|Aguero: Argentina are World Cup underdogs|
|Everton in talks over Traore return|
|Lambert tipped to prise open defences|
|Thauvin hails Bielsa impact at Marseille|
|Zico: Time for Scolari to go|
|Klopp eager for defensive improvement|
|Arsenal to run the rule over Fathi|
|Chamakh signs news Palace deal|
|Neville set to learn United fate|
|Fiorentina swoop for Brillante|
|Navas set to join Bayern|
|Neymar rejects agent´s anti-Scolari Twitter tirade|
|Allegri undecided on Italy job|
|Fernando idolises City team-mate Toure|
|Arteta: FA Cup will inspire Arsenal´s Premier League tilt|
|Evergrande confirm Gilardino signing|
|Howedes calls for team effort to stop Messi|
|Kuyt: Van Gaal can succeed at United|
|Argentina fined for player no-show|
|Mascherano: I tackled doubts to block Robben|
|Neymar: ´I could be in a wheelchair´|
|Zaccheroni: I leave Japan in a good spot|
|Aguero: Argentina ready to give everything|
|UEFA Europa League Review: Gothenburg leave it late, Sillamae stun Honka|
|Klose lauds Ronaldo after scooping record|
|Iran refute Susic claims|
|Fernandez named Deportivo boss|
|Argentina have no chance, says Robben|
|Hierro to replace Zidane as Real first-team coach|
|Rhodes signs new Rovers deal|
|Arsenal complete Sanchez swoop|
|Inzaghi backs under-fire Balotelli|
|Defeat has overshadowed display - Vlaar|
|Maradona: Germany full of themselves|
|Barry hoping for England recall|
|Green extends QPR stay|
|Shanghai Shenhua 1 Guangzhou Evergrande 2: Rong leaves it late in dramatic win|
|Germany hope for Brazilian support|
|Torino striker Cerci in demand|
|FIFA critcised following Mascherano incident|
|Bernat happy at Bayern despite bad memories|
|Giggs backs Van Gaal to thrive at Old Trafford|
|Tadic can fill Lallana void - Koeman|
|New five-year deal for Nasri|
|Barcelona release injury-hit Cuenca|
|Suarez appeal rejected|
|La Decima a reflection of Di Stefano - Perez|
|Buoyant Mazzarri eager for Inter success|
|Mandzukic joins Atletico|
|Van Gaal criticises third-place play-off|
|Halilhodzic yet to decide future|
|Mandzukic eager for Simeone link-up|
|Davies hoping for Hull deal|
|Poyet hopeful over Altidore fitness|
|Diego close to ´dream´ Fenerbahce move|
|Inter loan out youngsters|
|Fired-up Cole can inspire Villa, claims Lambert|
|Hughes hailed for winning over Brit doubters|
|Hajrovic signs for Bremen|
|Hull can buck Europa League trend, says Meyler|
|Mertesacker talks up German chances|
|Swansea reveal Tottenham contact over Davies, Sigurdsson|
|Lloris pens five-year deal at Tottenham|
|Fernandinho: ´The pain is big´|
|MLS Preview: Portland aim for swift revenge against Seattle|
|Sabella: Germany have an advantage|
|Second Argentine journalist dies in Brazil|
|Aguero: Argentina defied critics|
|Impressive Mascherano thrilled with final´s berth|
|Zuniga offered protection by Colombia|
|Germany vowed not to ´humiliate´ Brazil|
|Hong resigns from South Korea post|
|Third-choice Vlaar ´wasn´t nervous´|
|Van Gaal: I wanted Krul in the shootout|
|Argentina: Key factors in reaching the final|
|Sabella revels in semi-final win|
|Proud Robben feels pain of World Cup exit|
|FIFA World Cup: Netherlands 0 Argentina 0 (after extra time, 2-4 on penalties)|
|Susic signs two-year extension with Bosnia-Herzegovina|
|Hummels in race to make World Cup final|
|Scolari still baffled by Brazil collapse|
|Spendlhofer and Benedetti leave Inter|
|Neymar ´recovering well´ from injury|
|Villarreal sign Jonathan dos Santos|
|Arteta happy at Arsenal, insists agent|
|Birsa makes Chievo loan switch|
|FIFA suspends Nigeria over political interference|
|Di Stefano funeral held in Madrid|
|Hangeland scathing of ´difficult´ Magath|
|Thiago Silva in fan plea|
|Isgrove earns fresh one-year deal at Southampton|
|Morata edges closer to Juve switch|
|Nugent pens two-year extension at Leicester|
|Gomez delight with ´perfect´ Germany|
|Costa Rica to discuss Pinto future|
|Arfield agrees Burnley extension|
|Allardyce targets four more signings|
|K.League Review: Jeonnam close gap on Pohang, Jeonbuk|
|Maradona: Thrashing damages Brazil´s image|
|Kasami makes Olympiacos move|
|Chelsea complete Pasalic signing|
|Helenius makes temporary Aalborg return|
|Higuain set for Napoli stay|
|Basta targets return to Europe with Lazio|
|Lewandowski willing to adapt for Bayern|
|New Hull deal for Jakupovic|
|Atletico agree Mandzukic deal, claims Sammer|
|Fulham seal Stafylidis loan|
|Alves pens new Valencia deal|
|Ochoa to take time over future|
|Brown could miss three months|
|Adams: Norwich will not overspend|
|Gundogan unsure when rehab can step up|
|Stoke chairman wants long Begovic stay|
|Brazilian media reacts to semi-final exit|
|Icardi vows to remain at Inter|
|Robben is player of the World Cup, says Kluivert|
|Klose focused on final after breaking record|
|Prandelli takes aim at Balotelli, Rossi|
|Schweinsteiger sorry for Brazil battering|
|Brazil scarred for life, says Fred|
|Sabella: Argentina ´have already won´|
|Muller stunned by rout|
|Low lauds ice-cool Germany|
|Tearful Luiz apologizes for semi-final loss|
|Scolari sorry for ´catastrophic´ Brazil hammering|
|Brazil join sport´s biggest chokers|
|Reality kills Brazilian dream on a surreal night|
|FIFA World Cup: Brazil 1 Germany 7|