19:30 KO (CEST), Saturday 5th August, Signal Iduna Park (Dortmund, Germany)
With pre-season wrapped up it’s fair to say that the sides are raring to go to get the campaign underway. Saturday night gives Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich their first real chance to see where they are at, as they face-off for the DFL Supercup.
Borussia Dortmund have undergone some change with the well publicised sacking of Thomas Tuchel, Peter Bosz of Ajax taking his place. Meanwhile, Bayern have added plenty of depth as they look to dominate the Bundesliga whilst posing as a massive threat in the Champions League.
Borussia Dortmund have made some interesting moves throughout the transfer window bringing in Mahmoud Dahoud (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Ömer Toprak (Bayer Leverkusen) and Maximilian Philipp (Freiburg) to help challenge Bayern for the Bundesliga.
The biggest non-transfer was being able to keep goal scoring machine Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Their pre-season has been a mixed bag as they have had to learn the new system brought by Peter Bosz and the side’s weaknesses have well and truly been on display.
Defeats to fourth tier side Rot-Weiss Essen as well Espanyol and Atalanta have certainly caused plenty of frustration for Dortmund. However, they can take some positives from a successful tour of Asia as they won both games against J-League side Urawa Red Diamonds and AC Milan, as the club’s brand continues its strong growth.
Bayern Munich have been extremely active during the off-season as they look to strengthen their squad for European competition. The likes of James Rodriguez and Corentin Tolisso were the big signings of the summer and look to find a spot as regulars in the first team.
Their pre-season results have been less than impressive. After winning the Telekom Cup in Mönchengladbach, Bayern have been completely torn open at the defensive end.
In their last five pre-season outings, Bayern have only scored three times, which was in a 3-2 win over Chelsea. Against the two Milan sides, AC Milan put four past Bayern whilst Inter chimed in with two. In the Audi Cup, which Bayern hosted, Liverpool put them to the sword, winning a comfortable 3-0 and in the third placed play-off it was Napoli who looked continue their own goal scoring form with a 2-0 victory.
It might be pre-season, but are there some early worries for Carlo Ancelotti and Bayern Munich for the up-coming season.
Borussia Dortmund Lineup
Key figures are set to miss the Supercup meeting with Bayern Munich due to injury. The likes of Julian Weigl and Raphaël Guerreiro are out which will see certain players having the chance to impress Bosz as well as the Dortmund fans.
We expect Mahmoud Dahoud to make his first competitive start as a Dortmund player whilst with the injures at left back, 19-year old Felix Passlack is most likely to be drafted in.
Bayern Munich Lineup
The likes of Thiago Alcantara, James Rodriguez and David Alaba will miss the Supercup clash, with James out for four to six weeks with a hamstring injury. Like Dortmund, Bayern are lean at the left back position and there is a good chance we will see Bayern academy player Marco Friedl receive the chance to start in Munich’s back four.
Sven Ulreich is set to start between the sticks with first choice keeper Manuel Neuer on the recovery trail after a foot injury. Neuer has returned to training and is at least a couple of weeks away from a return to full fitness.
With Thiago out, record signing Corentin Tolisso will be placed in the starting XI alongside Arturo Vidal. Thomas Müller will play behind Robert Lewandowski with Franck Ribéry and Arjen Robben providing the width.
Key Battle: Aubameyang vs Lewandowski
The best two strikers in the Bundesliga are set to face-off at the Signal Iduna Park. For Robert Lewandowski, it provides an interesting challenge to try and help Bayern win at his old stomping ground.
However, all the attention has been on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: Is he staying or is he going? Last season it was Aubameyang getting the upper hand on Lewandowski, scoring 31 goals to Lewandowski’s 30, which saw Aubameyang secure his first Torjägerkanone thanks to a brace on the final day of the season against Bremen.
With the two strikers set to face-off, it will be interesting to see who can get the upper hand in the Supercup.
Impact from new signings
Both sides have invested in improving their outfits as they prepare for the up-coming campaign and it will be interesting to see which newcomer can make the most of their opportunity.
We have Dahoud of Dortmund and Tolisso of Bayern, both getting the opportunity to start in the Supercup whilst other new signings will have a place on the bench.
There’s plenty of pressure on Tolisso to perform for Bayern from the outset. At a club record fee of €41.5 million, the Frenchman will need to make an impression on manager Ancelotti to justify the fee.
Dahoud is one of the up and coming stars of German football. For what is a cheap €12 million, Dahoud will be thrown in as a replacement for Julian Weigl until he recovers from injury. It will be interesting to see how Dahoud adapts to Bosz’s system after playing under the likes of André Schubert and current Gladbach manager Dieter Hecking.
Bad omen for the winner
The Supercup provides an interesting beginning to the season quite like the Community Shield in England. However, unlike in England where the game is played at Wembley, the DFL Supercup is played at the winner of the DFB Pokal or the runners-up of the Bundesliga.
The game is seen as the first real test for the two sides before their DFB Pokal match-up the following week, but the winners of the Supercup haven’t fared too well in the league.
Since the Supercup’s inception, only three times in history have the winners of the competition gone on to win the Bundesliga. Borussia Dortmund in 1996 and Bayern twice in 2012 and last season. Potentially a good omen for the league if a certain team wins on Saturday.
PREDICTION: Borussia Dortmund 2-1 Bayern Munich
Its very difficult to rely on what has happened in pre-season, but what we can count on is an extremely competitive match in front 81,000 plus at the Signal Iduna Park.
Under new manager Peter Bosz, Dortmund will be hoping to give him and their fans an early present prior to the commencement of the season.
Bayern will look to keep the status quo as the club continues to collect silverware like it’s going out of fashion. In a tight one, Dortmund will just do enough to win in front of their home fans.
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