Bundesliga Matchday 1: Dortmund kick off with tough Leverkusen clash
The Bundesliga is back — and a baptism of fire awaits new Borussia Dortmund boss Edin Terzic.
BVB host fellow titlechallengers Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday, as they bid to finally end Bayern Munich's dominance at German football's summit.
The champions start their season with a Friday night trip to Eintracht Frankfurt, while Berlin sides Union and Hertha go head-to-head in the capital.
Elsewhere, 2. Bundesliga champions Schalke visit FC Cologne, with fellow new boys Werder Bremen taking on Wolfsburg.
Game of the week: Borussia Dortmund vs Bayer Leverkusen (Saturday, 5.30pm)
Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen face off at Signal Iduna Park — and goals are sure to be on the menu.
The teams netted 14 times between them in their clashes last season, with BVB (4-3) and Die Werkself (5-2) both winning away from home.
In fact, no fixture in all of Europe's top five leagues saw more goals scored than the match-ups between these sides last term.
Dortmund will fancy their chances this weekend, after winning their last seven opening day fixtures and racking up the joint-most home wins (13) in the Bundesliga during 2021-22 — though no team lost fewer away fixtures than Leverkusen (three).
Eintracht Frankfurt vs Bayern Munich (Friday, 7.30pm)
Bayern Munich launch their title defence against Eintracht Frankfurt, who have been something of a bogey team for the Bavarians over the years.
The reigning champions have lost 23 times when facing Die Adler on the road, which is their joint-worst record against any Bundesliga team.
However, Bayern have not lost their opening match in 20 years and look to have a good omen in new signing Sadio Mane.
He scored in the first away game of the season in five of his six campaigns with Liverpool, including on his debut in a 4-3 win over Arsenal.
Union Berlin vs Hertha Berlin (Saturday, 2.30pm)
Hertha will be desperate to regain their status as Berlin's top dogs — but Union have had the advantage in recent encounters.
Die Eisernen won all three matches against their city rivals last season — including a 3-2 DFB-Pokal triumph —scoring nine times in the process.
Goals could be in short supply for Urs Fischer's team this term though.
Union have lost their two top scorers from 2021-22, with Taiwo Awoniyi (15) leaving for Nottingham Forest and Grischa Promel (eight) moving to Hoffenheim.
Wolfsburg vs Werder Bremen (Saturday, 2.30pm)
Werder Bremen are back in the Bundesliga — but a tough test awaits at the Volkswagen Arena.
Wolfsburg have an impressive Bundesliga record against Die Werderaner, having beaten them 20 times and put more goals past them (86) than against any other team.
They have also won seven of their last eight league matches against promoted sides while remaining unbeaten in their previous four season openers (three wins, one draw).
Though Bremen have scored plenty of goals against Wolfsburg — netting 85 times since Die Wolfe's first top-flight promotion in 1997 — they will have a tough time breaking down a defence that kept a joint-best 11 clean sheets last season.
FC Cologne vs Schalke (Sunday, 4.30pm)
Schalke boss Frank Kramer will be hoping to get off to a winning start in Cologne, though the omens may be against him on Sunday.
It will be the 50-year-old's first game in the S04 hot seat — and none of his five predecessors won their opening Bundesliga match.
An aerial bombardment could be the route to success in this encounter, after Cologne (15) and Schalke (17) both ranked in their respective division's top two teams for headed goals last term.
These sides have a penchant for leaving things late, with the hosts (63%) and Die Knappen (65%) both netting a remarkably high percentage of their goals in the second half during 2021-22.
The weekend’s other games
Borussia Monchengladbach vs Hoffenheim (Saturday, 2.30pm)
Augsburg vs Freiburg (Saturday, 2.30pm)
Bochum vs Mainz (Saturday, 2.30pm)
Stuttgart vs RB Leipzig (Sunday, 2.30pm)
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