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Title defence starts here

Wolfsburg in Munich for Bundesliga opener

Franck Ribéry feels it. Miroslav Klose feels it. Louis van Gaal does too. “That tingling feeling,” explained Jörg Butt, “it’s started.” On Friday evening (Live in English from 8.30 pm CET on Web Radio), champions Bayern meet 2009 title winners VfL Wolfsburg in the official kick-off fixture for the 48th Bundesliga season. “It's starting again and it’s wonderful,” declared Van Gaal.

Just over three months after Bayern reclaimed the shield taken by the Wolves the previous season, the nation’s most successful club set out on the road to retaining the crown. After winning the double and reaching the Champions League final last season, the bar has been set high. “It won’t be easy to repeat, but we’re working on it,” insisted Van Gaal.

As always, the priority is the domestic league title. “I’m not arrogant enough to say we’ll definitely win the league,” the coach observed, “but we’ll battle towards that goal and I believe we have a decent chance.” Thomas Müller feels it is a question of form: “If we play to our potential, we’ll be hard to stop.”