European champions Bayern Munich begin their Bundesliga campaign at home to Schalke as they look to clinch a ninth successive title.
Hansi Flick’s side ended the previous campaign on a 30-game unbeaten streak in all competitions, and will be looking to start the new season in the same form that saw lift the Champions League in Lisbon.
As for Schalke, David Wagner saw his side finish 12th in the Bundesliga, just eight points ahead of the relegation zone.
The pair will go head-to-head on Friday in the Bundesliga’s opening fixture, here’s 90min’s preview of the game.
When is Kick Off?: Friday 18 September
What Time is Kick Off?: 19:30 (BST)
Where is it Played?: Allianz Arena
TV Channel/Live Stream: BT Sport (UK)
Bayern youngster Tanguy Nianzou is ruled out for the season opener with a thigh injury.
The 18-year-old wouldn’t be expected to feature in Bayern’s star-studded line-up after only joining in the summer, and is the only player for Bayern to be ruled out of the fixture. Jerome Boateng remains a doubt, but Leroy Sane, the club’s main summer signing, is likely to slot straight in to make his debut.
For Schalke, centre-back Salif Sane will miss the game against Bayern with a knee injury, but head coach Wagner otherwise has a fully fit squad to pick from.
Bayern Munich: Neuer, Pavard, Süle, Alaba, Davies, Kimmich, Goretzka, Gnabry, Müller, Sane, Lewandowski
Schalke: Fährmann, Rudy, Kabak, Nastasic, Oczipka, Serdar, Stambouli, Bentaleb, Harit, Uth, Ibisevic
Four of Bayern’s last five competitive outings took place in Lisbon for the latter stages of the UEFA Champions League, a competition Flick’s side went on to win.
The other fixture was the DFB Pokal final, which saw Bayern lift another piece of silverware with a 4-2 win over Bayer Leverkusen.
Schalke rounded off last season with a 4-0 defeat to SC Freiburg, following on from more losses against Wolfsburg and Eintracht Frankfurt.
Wagner’s side are without a win in the Bundesliga since its resumption in May.
Paris Saint-Germain 0-1 Bayern Munich (23/08) [UCL]
Lyon 0-3 Bayern Munich (19/08) [UCL]
FC Barcelona 2-8 Bayern Munich (14/08) [UCL]
Bayern Munich 4-1 Chelsea (08/08) [UCL]
Bayer Leverkusen 2-4 Bayern Munich (04/07)
SC Freiburg 4-0 Schalke (27/06)
Schalke 1-4 Wolfsburg (20/06)
Eintracht Frankfurt 2-1 Schalke (17/06)
Schalke 1-1 Bayer Leverkusen (14/06)
Union Berlin 1-1 Schalke (07/06)
With Bayern putting their freely-scoring attack on display for the world to see in the UEFA Champions League, adding Leroy Sane into the mix will only add to Schalke’s problems.
Hansi Flick’s Bayern side ended last season in incredible form and will look to start the new campaign in the same devastating manner as they face a Schalke side low in confidence. This could be an opening day mauling.
Prediction: Bayern Munich 4-0 Schalke