7 facts on the Bundesliga opener against Schalke
FC Bayern kick off the 58th season of the Bundesliga on Friday night when they host Schalke at the Allianz Arena. It's a special campaign for the Munich club, and we've picked out some of the most interesting facts and figures ahead of the clash with the Royal Blues.
1. New season, new Bundesliga record
Since promotion in 1965, Bayern have played continuously in the Bundesliga for 56 straight years, which is longer than any other club. Next in the standings is Hamburg with 55 years. Opponents Schalke are going into their 30th straight top-flight campaign, having enjoyed a total of 53 seasons.
2. First-time opener
Despite their long history together, Bayern and Schalke have never before met in the opening game of a Bundesliga season. Last season, though, the first encounter came on Matchday 2 in Gelsenkirchen, with FCB prevailing 3-0.
Robert Lewandowski scored all three goals against Schalke in the early meeting in 2019/20. A taste of what was to come...
3. Strong starters
Bayern have won eight of their last 10 opening games of the Bundesliga season. The last time they lost on Matchday 1 was in 2011 at home to Borussia Mönchengladbach (1-0). Last year there was a 2-2 draw with Hertha Berlin at the Allianz Arena. On the other hand, Schalke have won just two of their last 10 to kick off the campaign (D3, L5). Last time out they managed a goalless draw at Gladbach.
4. Familiar faces
A number of Bayern players will be familiar to opposing fans, having once worn the Royal Blue of Schalke. Manuel Neuer (1991-2011) is an S04 youth product and is in line to make his 250th Bundesliga appearance for Bayern on Friday. It'll be an equally special encounter for Leroy Sané(2005-08 and 2011-16), who also came through the club's Knappenschmiede and is now set to make his Bayern debut. Two other Reds have Royal Blue pasts, in Leon Goretzka (2013-18) and Alexander Nübel (2015-20). There is also an old friend in the visiting camp with Sebastian Rudy, who won the Bundesliga in Munich in 2017/18.
There are many players who have represented Bayern and Schalke down the years. Take a look at all those who made at least one appearance for both in the Bundesliga:
5. Welcome guests
Bayern are unbeaten in 21 competitive encounters against Schalke (19x Bundesliga, 2x DFB Cup), winning 18 and drawing three. Among current top-flight clubs, the Reds are only on a longer such run against Werder Bremen (27 games).
6. Fortress Allianz Arena
Bayern haven't lost any of their last 11 competitive matches at home to Schalke (W9, D2), scoring a net-busting 33 times in those games, while conceding just six.
7. Confidence for the new campaign
Bayern's aim is to take their momentum from the treble into the new season. They ended the last campaign with 13 straight victories, which is a run they last managed in 2013/14 under Pep Guardiola (19 games). In stark contrast, Schalke are without a win in 16 Bundesliga matches (D6, L10), which is a club record.
Flick and Nübel discussed the opening game against Schalke in the pre-match press conference: