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LIGA total! Cup offers early progress check

Three weeks prior to the 50th Bundesliga season, four of the traditional front-runners go to the mat in Hamburg this weekend in the LIGA total! Cup. Bayern, champions Dortmund, Werder Bremen and hosts HSV are all looking to check on their progress as the pre-season period approaches a climax. “We can pick up important insights as to where we still need some fine-tuning," Jupp Heynckes said on Friday.

“We've been working very hard, and we've tried to use our matches to make progress in our preparations," continued the 67-year-old, “up to now, we're on track." However, before the restart fixture away to promoted Greuther Fürth on 26 August, the coach believes he and his men “still have plenty to work on."

Scores are secondary

The semi-final action starts with the meeting between Hamburg and Dortmund, before Heynckes’ men enter the fray at 6:35 PM on Saturday against Bremen. On Sunday, the losing teams contest the third-place play-off and the winners do battle in the final. “I'm looking forward to a serious and intense contest," commented Heynckes, although the significance of the inter-Bundesliga clashes is naturally reduced by the pre-season nature of the tournament.