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'
|Lampard wants new Terry deal|
|Le Fondre: Reading have improved under Adkins|
|Yanga-Mbiwa focused on improvement|
|Zidane: Bale is in world´s top three players|
|Championship Preview: Crystal Palace v Watford|
|Aguero plans to honour City contract|
|Mourinho return excites Ba|
|Polish Ekstraklasa: Widzew Lodz 1 Legia Warsaw 1|
|Oezil keen to stay at Real|
|De Rossi pleads for peaceful final|
|Chelsea, Galatasaray vie for Turan|
|Ballack predicts a Bayern victory|
|Santos accept Neymar bids|
|Atletico plot Negredo swoop|
|La Liga Preview: Espanyol v Barcelona|
|Valbuena: My best season so far|
|Blackburn give Bowyer permanent role|
|Dortmund can get better, insists Klopp|
|Fernandes: No Caterham exit plans|
|Inter appoint Mazzarri, sack Stramaccioni|
|Benitez in Napoli link|
|Adams signs new Ross County deal|
|Heynckes: Bayern are extraordinary|
|Platini: European sports police needed|
|Taylor calls on Coloccini to stay|
|Verratti is going nowhere, says agent|
|Neymar set to leave Santos ´within 10 days´|
|Gill expects Rooney stay|
|Departing Cole thanks West Ham fans|
|Shechter grateful for Swansea support|
|Townsend charged over betting rules|
|Reading release six players|
|Monaco splash out for Moutinho, Rodriguez|
|Rummenigge: Bayern not complacent|
|Giroud seeks improvement|
|Palermo chief welcomes bids for Ilicic|
|AZ bolster defensive stocks|
|Lambert: Benteke needs to stay at Villa|
|Andreolli poised for Inter return|
|Bianchi: Boca players tired|
|Cech: Mourinho a great manager|
|Blatter outlines racism resolution aim|
|Manchester City players coy on Pellegrini|
|Marseille priced out of Damiao move|
|McAuley: West Brom could have done more|
|Osman extends Everton stay|
|Stoke reject N´Zonzi transfer request|
|Carragher retirement ´sad´, says Mourinho|
|Manolev happy to help|
|Europa league winners to get Champions League spot|
|First goal bittersweet for Azpilicueta|
|La Liga Preview: Real Sociedad v Real Madrid|
|La Liga Preview: Pressure on for Euro spots|
|Ligue 1 Preview: Victory only hope for Troyes|
|MLS preview: Second place up for grabs|
|Coentrao heading for Real exit|
|Coppa Italia Preview: Roma v Lazio|
|Ligue 1 Preview: Lorient v PSG|
|Malaga win was catalyst, says Klopp|
|Milan finalise Zapata switch|
|Montella braced for Jovetic departure|
|Simeone will not block Falcao exit|
|Van Gaal talks down Netherlands´ chances|
|Coupet doubts Monaco´s potential|
|Man City edge Chelsea in thrilling friendly|
|Torres wants Mourinho at Chelsea|
|Copa Libertadores Wrap: Atletico Mineiro snatch late draw|
|Galliani dismisses Berlusconi row reports|
|San Lorenzo renew Coloccini pursuit|
|Benteke sparks fears of Villa exit|
|Weidenfeller: We can be heroes|
|Injured Messi called up by Argentina|
|Cleverley taking inspiration from Spain|
|Kellermann proud of resilient Wolfsburg|
|Robben hails dominant Germany|
|Europe the benchmark for Zaccheroni´s Japan|
|Osieck backs Schwarzer to shine|
|Van der Gun shoots Utrecht to away win|
|Firmino double fires Hoffenheim to win|
|Davies hails ´great´ debut season|
|Foster happy with eighth-placed finish|
|Wickham eyeing first team|
|UEFA to announce Europa League incentive|
|Fonte looking to hit the ground running|
|Hodgson keen to hand Jones defensive role|
|Onuoha: Keep the faith with QPR owners|
|Karagounis praises Fulham fans|
|McDermott: Byram keen on Leeds stay|
|Martinez´s Wigan future to be decided next week|
|Rodriguez: I think I will leave Porto|
|Erbes ´relaxed´ ahead of Newell´s clash|
|CSL Preview: Shandong Luneng eye top spot|
|Kwakman to leave Groningen|
|Werder Bremen complete Petersen signing|
|Mancini Inter return is possible, says Moratti|
|Baines: Everton must progress without Moyes|
|Nicollin: Cabella worth 100 million euros|
|Demel proud of West Ham´s home record|
|Debuchy: Premier League is difficult|
|Pazzini to miss start of next season|
|Ferdinand extends Manchester United deal|
|Pulis thanks fans after Stoke departure|
|Berlin to host 2015 UEFA Champions League final|
|Werder face Dutt wait|
|Finke appointed Cameroon boss|
|Wilshere keen to improve after comeback season|
|Vieira excited by MLS franchise|
|Rodgers wants quick decision on Carroll future|
|Kagawa wants European success|
|Mata hopes for Mourinho arrival|
|Welbeck disappointed with goals tally|
|UEFA Champions League Preview: Borussia Dortmund v Bayern Munich|
|Zabaleta excited by Pellegrini|
|Ramos: Bale is ´Real Madrid-quality´|
|Hart urges City to go forward|
|Copa Libertadores Wrap: Santa Fe earn away win|
|Fiorentina reject Jovetic rumours|
|Piszczek set for post-season surgery|
|Adriano signs Barca extension|
|International Friendly: Venezuela 2 El Salvador 1|
|Bundesliga chief slams Qatar World Cup scheduling|
|Gignac wants Barton to stay|
|Ramsey, Walcott hail Wenger´s achievements|
|Loew regrets timing of German finale|