The Bundesliga will continue the tradition of having the defending champions kick off the first game of the new season, so Bayern Munich will host Borussia Mönchengladbach on Friday afternoon to begin the 2013-2014 campaign. The treble winners will have their work cut out for them, as Lucien Favre's Gladbach side has been quite the bogey team for Bayern in recent years.
Pep Guardiola will rest a little easier knowing that his team beat Gladbach just a couple of weeks ago in the Telekom Cup to the 5-1 scoreline. The match was played over 80 minutes, and Gladbach's loan goal was a silly penalty conceded by the Bayern defense. The talent in the matchup clearly favors the Bavarians. However, it's been that way for many years now, and Bayern have only managed one win against Gladbach in their last four matches.
Both clubs took place in the DFB Pokal this past weekend, though with very different results. Bayern smashed BSV Schwarz-Weiß Rehden 5-0, while Gladbach were dumped out of the Pokal on penalties by SV Darmstadt 98. Favre did decide to start a weakened lineup against Darmstadt, but when he subbed on Luuk de Jong, Patrick Herrmann, and Håvard Nordtveit looking for goals, those goals were nowhere to be found.
Guardiola seems to have settled on a 4-1-4-1 formation for Bayern, removing one player from the pivot and pushing forward more. This will leave the Bayern defense caught out more, so it will be up to the centerbacks to really keep an eye on each other. Even Rehden managed to take advantage of this at times during Monday's game.
Favre will likely fall into a 4-4-2 with Max Kruse partnering Raffael up top. For now, we'll pencil Arango out wide on the left and hope that he's fully recovered and ready to play.
Bayern Munich: Neuer; Lahm, Martinez, Dante, Alaba; Schweinsteiger; Robben, Kroos, T. Müller, Ribery; Mandzukic
Borussia Mönchengladbach: ter Stegen; Jantschke, Stranzl, Dominguez, Daems; Nordtveit, Xhaka; Herrmann, Arango; Raffael, Kruse
Injuries and Suspensions
Borussia Mönchengladbach: Juan Arango (possible)
Television and Streaming
TV: Gol TV (USA & Canada), ESPN UK (UK), Sky Bundesliga HD 1 (Germany)
Streaming: Sky Go (Germany)
Time and Location
Time: 20:30 Local / 2:30 PM Eastern
Location: Allianz Arena, Munich