Bundesliga fixtures to be announced Thursday

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Hannover 96 are the first Bundesliga team to work up a sweat in preparation for the 2017/18 campaign: the promoted side took up pre-season training on Monday. The next club to start preparing are FC Bayern on Saturday. All the Bundesliga clubs will have returned to the training ground by the end of next week. The new season is coming ever closer, and the German Football League (DFL) will announce the fixtures for the 55th Bundesliga season on Thursday at 11.45 CET.

Reigning champions FC Bayern will open the campaign on 18 August. The officials in charge of the match schedule face a challenging task as they have to take a number of factors into account: Champions League and Europa League appointments, internationals, regional and nationwide holidays, major events, statutory provisions and clubs' preferences.

Short winter break

The winter break will be short due to the 2018 World Cup. The Bundesliga restart is on 12 January 2018 after a four-week break (about three weeks for DFB Cup last sixteen hopefuls). There will be only two weeks with midweek matches, in September and December, as opposed to four in the 2016/17 season. The last matchday will be on 12 May.

With regard to kick-off times, a total of five matches will be staged on Sundays at 13.30 CET and another five on Mondays at 20.30. The Sunday evening matches will kick off at 18.00 instead of 17.30.

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