On Friday evening the German Football League will start into the new season. To kick off, Meister Bayern will play TSG 1899 Hoffenheim in the Allianz Arena. Kick-off of the game is at 20.30 hours. FC Bayern is of course the favourite, but nevertheless the Hoffenheimers are not the easiest opponents at the kick-off. Three points at the start are mandatory for FCB.
Niko Kovac is now making his debut in the Bundesliga as the new Bayern coach. After the first two successful compulsory matches in the Supercup and the DFB Cup, he wants to cheer in the league as well. The opening game is usually only a formality. When FC Bayern, as champions, herald the new season, three points almost always jump out after 90 minutes. In 2008, the Munich team lost points for the last time when they opened the season. The final score was 2:2 against HSV. 3:1, 5:0, 6:0, that is the balance of the last three opening victories of the Bavarians. With Hoffenheim, however, they now have a tough opponent. Last year’s third in the table will play offensively in the Allianz Arena. Niko Kovac can almost draw from the crowd and will be spoilt for choice in the line-up. Only Serge Gnabry is missing injured.
Fastly flawless record
The Bavarians remained unbeaten against the Kraichgau for a long time. In December 2008 the first duel took place in the Allianz Arena. A memorable evening, both were at the top of the table with almost identical scores. The top match was almost over when there was a winner after all. At the score of 1-1, Luca scored Toni to win at the last second. The following 16 games against TSG were all won by Bayern. Among the victories was a 7-1 canter victory from 2012, with Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery scoring a total of eight scorer points in that match. The Munich series ended in April 2017. Hoffenheim won 1-0 in Sinsheim. The TSG starting line-up included Sandro Wagner, Sebastian Rudy and Niklas Süle. All three are now under contract with the FCB. In September of the same year, the duel in the SAP Arena was repeated, and again FC Bayern lost. Both victories against the favourite were achieved under Julian Nagelsmann.
Which philosophy applies?
The duel Bayern versus Hoffenheim is also the clash between the two coaches Niko Kovac and Julian Nagelsmann. Both are currently among the best and most sought-after coaches in the Bundesliga. Nagelsmann’s offensive football meets Kovac’s perfect structure and pressing. Playfully, the Bavarians are clearly superior to the guests. But the counter play of TSG is dangerous. They will miss Mark Uth. Their best scorer of the past season moved to Schalke. Serge Gnabry is also no longer with them. The Bavarians are accurate anyway, but they have four specialists against Hoffenheim. Robert Lewandowski and Arjen Robben scored five times, Franck Ribery and Thomas Müller four times. All four of them are expected in the starting line-up, so the TSG defence will have to work very hard. Anything but a Bavarian victory at the start would be a surprise. Nevertheless, the Munich team has been warned. If they don’t give 100 percent, there is a risk of a false start.