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Bundesliga opening game

Bayern start mission for 10th straight title at Gladbach

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The wait is almost over as the 59th Bundesliga season begins on Friday, with Bayern having the honor of opening the campaign as defending champions away at Borussia Mönchengladbach (kick-off 2:30 pm ET) coverage on with our live text commentary and free web radio). Here’s everything you need to know about the Matchday 1 encounter.

Check out the best photos from Bayern’s final training session before heading to Mönchengladbach:


Situation for Bayern

Bayern go into the new season with one major goal. “We want the 10th title in a row, that’s a great challenge,” head coach Julian Nagelsmann laid out at his press conference on Thursday. The 34-year-old will take charge of his first competitive game as FCB boss against Gladbach. Although pre-season wasn’t easy due to the late return of several international players, Nagelsmann didn’t seem unhappy. “Pre-season was under somewhat different auspices. In terms of the results, the games didn’t go as we’d have liked, but we had very ambitious opponents. Pre-season itself was good and demanding. Now it’s a mix of excitement and eagerness,” the new coach added.

We took a look back at five special Bundesliga opening games involving Bayern:

Opponents Borussia Mönchengladbach

“Gladbach have a very good and ambitious team. They’re a demanding opening opponent,” Nagelsmann stressed. Borussia perhaps struggled more than expected in their first competitive match of the season as they won 1-0 at Kaiserslautern in the first round of the DFB Cup – but progression is all that matters. “It was a good start. We did our job in the cup, but now it’s about full concentration on the Bundesliga,” declared new head coach Adi Hütter, who’s taken over for this season after leaving Eintracht Frankfurt. After a disappointing end to 2020/21, where Gladbach missed out on European qualification, they are now looking to climb the table again under the 51-year-old Austrian. Incidentally, Hütter’s first home game in charge of Frankfurt was also against Bayern, losing 5-0 in the Supercup in 2018.

Nagelsmann held his press conference ahead of the league's opening game on Thursday:

Player update

Kingsley Coman, Corentin Tolisso and Alphonso Davies all returned to team training at the start of the week. Nagelsmann refused to confirm whether the two Frenchmen would make the trip to Gladbach, but did state that the Canadian “is a candidate to start”. Unfortunately. Benjamin Pavard suffered an ankle injury in training during week and will miss out. Lucas Hernandez is also still sidelined after a knee operation at the start of July, as is Marc Roca with ankle injury.

Gladbach are without Manu Kone (knee), Breel Embolo (thigh), Ramy Bensebaini (thigh) and Mamadou Doucoure (rehab after Achilles tendon injury) for the opening league game. However, Hütter has said that Denis Zakaria is back in training after having COVID-19, as are Marcus Thuram and Jonas Hofmann, with the latter pair “also options for the Bayern game”, according to the Austrian coach.

What the coaches say

Julian Nagelsmann: “When you look back at recent years, we should be beaming with confidence. It was a bit of a rugged pre-season, but that wasn’t just the case for us, but also other clubs. It’d be good if everything clicked into gear at 20:30 tomorrow. It won’t be possible for both teams to deliver fireworks for 90 minutes on Friday.”

Adi Hütter (Borussia Mönchengladbach head coach): “Starting against this opponent makes the job special. And the fact half the stadium will be filled and we’ll once again have support from our fans makes the excitement even greater.”

5 facts and figures on this traditional fixture against Mönchengladbach: