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First competitive fixture for Ancelotti

FCB aim to start season with Supercup triumph

Champions against Bundesliga runners-up, cup winners against cup finalists, FC Bayern against Borussia Dortmund: the season could not start with a more mouth-watering clash. On Sunday at 20.30 CET the “two best teams of the last decade in Germany,” as Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said, fight for the first title in the first competitive fixture of the season two weeks before the Bundesliga restart: the German Supercup.

“All competitions are important to us,” head coach Carlo Ancelotti said before his first competitive fixture and first final on the Bayern bench. “It's going to be an important and difficult match. It won't be easy for us. But we want to play well, we want to display a good team spirit. We're very confident, and we'll try to win,” commented Ancelotti, who aims to expand his impressive trophy collection.

“It will surely be a good game, I'm convinced of that,” Rummenigge said, looking forward to a match full of “tension and emotion.” The FC Bayern chairman hopes that Ancelotti wins his first title in his first competitive fixture. “Since we haven't won the final in the last three years I hope we win the cup this time and start the season with the Supercup triumph. It would be nice!”

Major changes for Borussia

Ancelotti announced he would avoid experiments and field the best XI he has, including the EURO participants, who resumed training only one week ago. “They've worked well. I think my players are ready,” declared the Italian, who has to make do without Jérôme Boateng, Arjen Robben, Holger Badstuber, Douglas Costa and new signing Renato Sanches.

“It's nicer to start with a match like this than with an ordinary friendly. It's about a title,” commented world champion Thomas Müller, looking forward to the duel with Borussia, who faced major changes of personnel in the last few weeks. The Ruhr valley outfit signed eight players, including former Munich men Sebastian Rode and Mario Götze, whereas three key players left Dortmund, including Mats Hummels, who returned to Bayern.

The integration of the new players takes time, as the two 1-0 defeats against Sunderland and Bilbao have shown. “There have been better times to challenge FC Bayern. After the impressions of the last two friendlies we shouldn't have too great ambitions against Bayern,” warned coach Thomas Tuchel. But no matter for which formations the two coaches will opt, a duel between Bayern and Dortmund “is always special, for the fans too,” added Thomas Müller.