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Bayern host Hertha in Bundesliga opener

Bayern has lost only two of their games against Hertha since 2007. (PHOTO/Courtesy)

Bayern Munich will once again be the team to beat in the Bundesliga.

The Bavarians have won all the past 7 league titles including scrapping to the 2018/19 title, under pressure from Borussia Dortmund.

In the transfer window, Bayern have made three major transfers, bringing in Benjamin Pavard, Lucas Hernandez and Ivan Perisic, in an attempt to freshen the squad up. Nico Kovac’s side have also added 19-year-old striker Jann-Fiete Arp to their ranks although the youngster is one for the future.

As they have been strengthening up at one end, there has also been back-door activity. The legendary pair of Arjan Robben and Frank Ribery has departed with the former retiring from football. The two have for years been the back-borne of Bayern’s attack and it will take time for them to be replaced. James Rodriguez has also returned to Real Madrid following the expiration of his loan deal while Rafinha and Matts Hummels have also departed.

Against Hertha Berlin on Friday evening, Bayern comes up against a side that they know how to beat upon. In 12 years, Hertha has only defeated Bayern once, losing as many as 16 games.

Hertha finished 11th last season and will be eyeing a European place by the end of this campaign. Having retained the pair of captain Vidad Ibisevic and Ondrej Duda, Hertha will be confident they can put up a good push for at least the Europa League.

Marvin Plattenhardt, Alex Maier and Boyata are major doubts for the game as they carry injuries for Hertha while Bayern are only missing the suspended Perisic.

Bayern’s biggest rival for the title will once again be Dortmund. Lucien Favre’s side pushed Bayern until the last few weeks of the season but a string of poor results towards the end ended their dream of a first crown since 2013.

Dortmund have been busy in the market, bringing in Julian Brandt, Thorgan Hazard, Nico Schulz and Matts Hummels and Achraf Hakimi. The likes of Shinji Kagawa, Abdou Diallo, Sebastien Rode and Maximillian Philip have all departed.

The good news for Favre is that he has retained the trio of Marco Rues, Parco Alcacer and Jordan Sancho and he will look to them as he eyes three points off Augsburg on Saturday afternoon.

Last season, both sides won their home fixtures with Dortmund running out 4-1 victors at the Signa Induna Park.

The most interesting fixture of the weekend will happen at the Commerzbank Arena with Eintracht Frankfurt hosting Hoffenheim.

Frankfurt had a meltdown towards the end of last season and ended up finishing in 7th, four points of the final champions league spot.

For Hoffenheim, they start life without Julien Nagelsmann who departed for RB Leipzig in the offseason. Nagelsmann had had a successful spell in charge of Hoffenheim, seeing them return to the champions league and after his departure, Alfred-Schreuder will have it all to do, if he is to win over the faith at Rhein Necker.

The Bundesliga Match-Day One fixtures

Friday, 16-08-2019

-Bayern vs Hertha Berlin @9:30pm

Saturday, 17-08-2019

-Dortmund vs Augsburg @4:30pm

-Leverkusen vs Pederborn @4:30pm

-Wolfsburg vs Koln @4:30pm

-Bremen vs Dusseldorf @4:30pm

-Freiburg vs Mainz @4:30pm

-Monchengladbach vs Schalke 04 @7:30pm

Sunday, 18-08-2019

-Frankfurt vs Hoffenheim 4:30pm

-Union Berlin vs RB Leipzig 7pm

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