Borussia Dortmund vs Bayer Leverkusen predictions: Goals guaranteed in action-packed opener
Borussia Dortmund's latest attempt to dethrone Bayern Munich, Bundesliga champions for the past 10 seasons, gets underway on Saturday when they entertain Bayer Leverkusen.
Die Schwarzgelben were runners-up, eight points behind Bayern, last term and have tried to build around their exciting young core in a bid to mount a stronger challenge under returning coach Edin Terzic.
The early signs were good in last Friday's 3-0 cup win over 1860 Munich but Dortmund can expect a much tougher time from Leverkusen, who finished five points further adrift in third place last term.
Die Werkself were caught cold in the cup by third-tier Elversberg last weekend and boss Gerardo Seoane will be looking for a reaction to that at Signal Iduna Park.
Dortmund are shorn of several starting options, including the striker signed to fill the large goalscoring void left by Erling Haaland's departure to Manchester City.
It was announced last week that Sebastien Haller will be unavailable while he undergoes chemotherapy treatment for a cancerous tumour.
Donyell Malen - who managed only five league goals in his first season at Dortmund - is Terzic's likely choice up front.
Skipper Marco Reus and exciting forward Karim Adeyemi, who will make his first Bundesliga start here, will supplement the attack with 17-year-old Youssoufa Moukoko in reserve.
Central defender Nico Schlotterbeck is all set for his league debut too, but fellow new signing Niklas Sule will have to wait for his chance after limping off with a muscle strain on Friday.
Manuel Akanji wants to leave Dortmund and has not played any part in Terzic's plans so far.
Felix Passlack and Salih Ozcan are doubtful, but the latter is pushing to feature after a foot issue.
Leverkusen starlet Florian Wirtz is out for some time as he recovers from the cruciate ligament rupture he sustained last season.
Czech youngster Adam Hlozek, the club's biggest signing of the summer, is in line for his Bundesliga bow among a frightening array of attacking options headlined by last season's 24-goal ace Patrik Schick.
Amine Adli has fully recovered from a serious thigh injury that had kept him out since March, but the 22-year-old may be too short on match fitness to be included.
Last season, Dortmund won 13 of their 17 matches at Signal Iduna Park - but one of the four home games that did not go their way ended in a 5-2 spanking by Leverkusen.
Die Schwarzgelben were thoroughly outplayed on a day that exposed many of the inconsistencies that marred their 2021-22 campaign.
BVB have won their opening league game for the last seven seasons, six of which came at home, but the last time they dropped points on such an occasion was a 2-0 loss to Leverkusen in 2014 when Karim Bellarabi pounced after nine seconds to score the fastest goal in Bundesliga history.
No club took more points from the final 17 games of 2021-22 than Die Werkself, who set a new club record with 80 goals last season, with 41 coming on the road.
Goals look guaranteed when two such attack-minded teams face off and both sides look destined to register at some stage on Saturday.
As many as seven goals have been scored in three of the past five head-to-head meetings and at least four in eight of the past nine, so it would be no surprise to see that lower mark breached.
Dortmund failed to score in only one Bundesliga game last term and can make home advantage pay if they cut out defensive errors and play to their strengths.