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Fixture list released

FCB open with trip to Hoffenheim

Last season’s runners-up Bayern start the new Bundesliga campaign with a crunch showdown away to TSG Hoffenheim, the promoted club who electrified the league by going top at Christmas before fading in the new year. In the 2009-10 fixtures, published by the German Football League (DFL) in Frankfurt on Thursday, champions VfL Wolfsburg kick off the new season on Friday 7 August at home to VfB Stuttgart.

The first home game featuring Louis van Gaal and his team is another almighty clash, with Cup winners Werder Bremen due at the Allianz Arena on matchday 2. Bayern then travel to promoted FSV Mainz 05, before matchday 4 brings the first chance of revenge against champions Wolfsburg. Munich travel to old foes Borussia Dortmund the following week, rounding off a testing first few weeks of term for Germany’s most successful club.

Saturday evening fixture introduced

The all-Bavaria derby against promoted FC Nürnberg falls on the first weekend of the Oktoberfest (18 to 20 September). Bayern’s opponents in the last match before the winter break are Hertha BSC Berlin, with the return on the final day of the season. The Bavarians finish their league campaign at the Olympic stadium in the capital on 8 May 2010.

Although the heart of each Bundesliga matchday remains Saturday at 3.30 pm, with five games kicking off simultaneously, the schedule shows a couple of significant changes this season. The first game of the weekend takes place on Friday at 8.30 pm, with two matches on Sunday, when the kick-offs will be staggered (3.30 pm and 5.30 pm). As of this season, one game will be played at 6.30 pm on Saturday.