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'
|MLS Review: Sounders go top in West, Timbers and Galaxy win|
|AFC stands by Blatter|
|Matheus ´alright´ after collapse - Markevych|
|Copa Libertadores Review: River, Inter through to semis|
|Signing Toni a ´long shot´ for Adelaide|
|Ramsey good enough for Barca - Coleman|
|Bacuna pushing for Benteke stay|
|Evans stunner settles City friendly in Toronto|
|Banega: Emery a great coach|
|Emery tight-lipped on Sevilla future|
|Argentina finalise Copa America squad|
|Nike issues statement following arrest of FIFA officials|
|Hero Bacca grateful for Europa League triumph|
|Markevych rues defensive errors in Dnipro defeat|
|AFC Champions League Review: Naft Tehran fairytale continues|
|Emery: We deserved Europa League success|
|Dnipro 2 Sevilla 3: Bacca brace sees holders make history|
|South Africa 0 Malawi 0 (4-5 on penalties): Harawa heroics send Bafana Bafana out|
|CONCACAF and CONMEBOL respond to arrests in FIFA scandal|
|FIFA president Blatter welcomes investigations as corruption probe rocks world football|
|UEFA calls for FIFA elections to be postponed|
|BREAKING NEWS: Advocaat exits Sunderland and retires from club management|
|La Liga: Real Madrid season review - Ancelotti pays the price for disappointing season|
|Zambia 3 Ghana 0: First-half spree does the damage|
|Barnes suffers double knee ligament injury|
|Balotelli to stay at Liverpool - agent|
|Kane at the double in friendly win|
|Norwich make Dorrans switch permanent|
|Ings unsure of next move|
|Bournemouth snap up Federici|
|FIFA ´crisis´ cannot continue - Prince Ali|
|Barton headlines QPR exits|
|Juan demands more from Inter|
|Stoke snap up Haugaard|
|Subotic commits to Dortmund|
|Warner pleads innocence after US indictment|
|Napoli to refuse questions on Benitez´s future|
|USDoJ names indicted FIFA officials|
|Wenger coy over Vidal and Benzema moves|
|Suarez back in training ahead of Copa final|
|Pique: I´ll retire at Barca|
|Gerrard ´blown away´ by Liverpool send-off|
|FIFA ´very happy´ with Zurich arrests|
|Liverpool defender Toure targeting trophies|
|Ramsey eyeing title assault|
|Welbeck out of FA Cup final and England matches|
|FIFA the ´injured party´ as Swiss prosecutors open criminal proceedings|
|Prince Ali saddened by FIFA arrests|
|Pellegrini to make City defence a priority|
|Labbadia giving Lasogga, Olic, Jiracek time|
|Ramsey confident on Wembley chances|
|Swiss authorities confirm FIFA arrests|
|El Shaarawy open to Premier League move - agent|
|Reports: FIFA officials set to be arrested|
|Tigres UANL 2 Emelec 0 (2-1 agg): Mexicans through to Libertadores semis|
|Valencia ruled out of Copa America|
|Coleman: Bale being ignored by Real team-mates|
|Ruddy eyes England recall|
|Benteke will strike fear into Arsenal - Westwood|
|Howe named LMA Manager of the Year|
|Casillas reiterates desire to stay in Madrid|
|Dnipro players pay for fans´ tickets, transport|
|Galliani: I want Ancelotti back at Milan|
|Premier League: Manchester City season review - Frustrations as latest title defence falters|
|Injured Benfica star Salvio not for sale|
|AFC Champions League Review: Al Sadd suffer last-16 exit|
|Emery targeting historic victory|
|Toure and Wisdom pen new Liverpool deals|
|Stadium facilities drive Van Gaal potty|
|Blatter brushes off Figo´s ´dictatorship´ claims|
|Mavuba to end career at Lille after extending contract|
|Ipswich´s Bishop charged over betting breaches|
|Markevych admits to Dnipro nerves|
|Relegated Almeria to be deducted three points|
|Reims retain Guegan on one-year deal|
|Di Matteo departure could hinder Schalke swoop for Khedira|
|Bale planning Real Madrid stay|
|Del Bosque not prepared to risk Costa|
|West Ham earn Europa League berth|
|Pellegrini sure City will win title back|
|Low calls Herrmann into Germany squad|
|Gerrard will win trophies with Galaxy - Carragher|
|Frankfurt agree to let Schaaf leave|
|Hernandez hit with violent conduct charge|
|Bale set for 50th Wales cap against Belgium|
|Baines hoping for pre-season return|
|Bournemouth sign Boruc|
|Sevilla duo Rico and Vidal handed Spain calls|
|Premier League: Chelsea season review - Mourinho´s men canter to title|
|Speroni hints at possible Palace exit|
|Kane states Tottenham commitment|
|Boruc, Hooiveld leave Southampton|
|Oxlade-Chamberlain desperate to make FA Cup final|
|Roar turn to Aloisi|
|Di Matteo resigns as Schalke coach|
|Hughes hints at Moses return|
|Wenger hits out at scheduling|
|Terry backs Chelsea to dominate|
|Jets part ways with coach Stubbins|
|Kewell would love to manage Liverpool|
|Janmaat: Newcastle players failed Carver|
|Adelaide step up interest in Toni|
|Chelsea´s Drogba interested in MLS move|
|Otamendi wants to leave Valencia - agent|
|Benitez almost certain for Real job|
|Schneiderlin will leave for Champions League club|
|Kane planning to come back bigger and better|
|Moyes staying at Sociedad|
|Neil revels in Norwich promotion|
|Drogba interested in MLS move|