Perennial Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich return to the Allianz Arena for their opening 2023/24 home league fixture against Augsburg on Sunday.
Last season’s 11th consecutive top-flight title qualified Thomas Tuchel’s side for the DFL-Supercup clash against back-to-back DFB-Pokal champions RB Leipzig.
Less than 24 hours after swapping Tottenham Hotspur for Munich, Harry Kane had a chance to win his first major silverware, but the Bavarians slumped to a dreadful 3-0 defeat to the Red Bull outfit.
However, the 30-year-old frontman introduced himself to the Bundesliga with a goal on his debut last weekend as Bayern thumped Werder Bremen 4-0 to get their defending campaign off to a flying start.
Kane, whose formidable attacking presence could be crucial to the Munich side’s bid to extend their domestic supremacy, will be looking to maintain momentum in his first Bundesliga outing at the Allianz Stadium.
Augsburg should stand no chance against Tuchel’s star-studded squad. However, after overcoming a two-goal deficit twice to hold Borussia Monchengladbach to a 4-4 draw, they deserve the benefit of the doubt.
Enrico Maasen’s team showed an impressive fighting spirit to secure a point against a more heavily fancied Gladbach en route to producing the joint-highest scoring opening-day clash in Bundesliga history.
The visitors’ morale-boosting start to the new Bundesliga campaign could set the tone for a more sustainable domestic season following a dismal 15th-place finish in 2022/23.
As mentioned in our 2023/24 Bundesliga season preview, Bayern will probably have to overcome Leipzig to lift a 12th straight league title, with Borussia Dortmund also lurking in the shadows.
While the Allianz Arena remains the most intimidating venue in Germany’s top flight, the Bavarians have recently struggled at home, losing back-to-back matches to Leipzig.
The last time they lost three competitive games on home turf was in 1977, and considering they’ve won their last four home meetings with Augsburg, three of which via multi-goal margins, they’ll likely maintain that trend.
Bayern tend to put on a show in their curtain-raising home league openers, winning their last three such fixtures by a combined score of 13-2.
Augsburg slipped to a shock 2-0 defeat to lower-league Unterhaching on their first competitive travel this season, ending their DFB-Pokal campaign in the opening round.
That could prove a blessing in disguise for Maasen’s side, as it will allow them to focus on securing top-flight survival, which remains the club’s priority.
But they’ll probably have to pursue points elsewhere, especially considering their last Bundesliga win on hostile turf dates back to October 2022, confirming their well-documented travel sickness.
Since beating relegated Schalke 3-2 almost a year ago, they have gone winless in 13 consecutive away league matches (D3, L10), including a 5-3 demolition at the hands of Bayern in this corresponding fixture in March.
First-choice goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and summer signing Raphael Guerreiro are still unavailable for selection, with Jamal Musiala joining them on the sidelines with a thigh injury.
Bayern could turn to long-serving stalwart Thomas Muller to replace the up-and-coming youngster after returning to the fold following a lengthy spell in the treatment room.
Masaya Okugawa and Raphael Framberger are not in contention for Augsburg due to fitness problems, while Maasen still sweats over Ruben Vargas’ struggle with illness.
Bayern Munich potential starting line-up:
(4-2-3-1): Sven Ulrich; Noussair Mazraoui, Dayot Upamecano, Kim Min-jae, Alphonso Davies; Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka; Leroy Sane, Thomas Muller, Kingsley Coman; Harry Kane.
Augsburg potential starting line-up:
(4-4-2): Finn Dahmen; Mads Valentin Pedersen, Felix Uduokhai, Maximilian Bauer, Arne Engels; Ruben Vargas, Niklas Dorsch, Elvis Rexhbecaj, Ermedin Demirovic; Mergim Berisha, Sven Michel.
We Say: Bayern Munich 3-1 Augsburg
Bayern’s defence excelled on Kim Min-jae’s Bundesliga debut, but we could still envisage Augsburg on the scoresheet.
That should not change the fact the hosts will likely walk away with three points.
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