Gladbach out to gatecrash Pep Guardiola Bayern bow

Ex-Barcelona boss Guardiola took over in June and inherits the side which became the first German team to win the treble of European, league and cup titles last season.

Updated: August 08, 2013 08:24 IST
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Berlin: European champions Bayern Munich kick off the new Bundesliga season at home on Friday with visitors Borussia Moenchengladbach looking to ruin Pep Guardiola's German league debut.

Ex-Barcelona boss Guardiola took over in June and inherits the side which became the first German team to win the treble of European, league and cup titles last season.

Bayern were beaten 1-0 in Munich by 'Gladbach in their opening game of the season two years ago when Igor de Camargo's second-half header shocked the hosts. (Also read: Bayern boss opens door to Luiz Gustavo transfer)

Much has changed since then with Bayern having assembled a powerful squad with Guardiola having the pick of 10 full internationals in his midfield alone, including Spain Under-21 captain Thiago Alcantara, a new arrival from Barcelona.

But the expectations of delivering the instant success Bayern are used to is clearly weighing on Guardiola.

"It's not easy having to always win," said the Spaniard, who has had eight weeks to work with his team.

"People expect us to win by six or seven nil, and that's just not possible."

Gladbach have made three signings since last season with Germany striker Max Kruse having joined from Freiburg, Brazil's Raffael from Dynamo Kiev and Germany Under-20 defensive midfielder Christoph Kramer brought in on loan from Leverkusen.

But the chance to shake up the league by claiming Bayern's scalp is firing up the underdogs, according to Moenchengladbach's right-back Tony Jantschke.

"The game will be broadcast in more than a hundred countries, the eyes of the world will be watching us," said the defender, who will be marking Bayern's France wing Franck Ribery.

"There is nothing better for a footballer, even if you know that a difficult game awaits us in Munich and we're the underdogs.

"Game against Bayern have always been close over the last few years and hopefully, with a bit of luck, we can take a few points home."

Last weekend's results suggest 'Gladbach will struggle as they were beaten on penalties by minnows Darmstadt in the German Cup as Bayern rested their stars yet still managed a 5-0 win at Rehden in the first round.

Last season's runners-up Borussia Dortmund open their season at Bavaria's Augsburg with new-signing Henrikh Mkhitaryan unlikely to start after tearing ankle ligaments in pre-season.

Dortmund's other new signings Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Greek defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos will feature while Augsburg's Turkey forward Halil Altintop makes his return to the Bundesliga from Turkish side Trabzonspor.

There will be a interesting opener at Bayer Leverkusen with Sami Hyypia's team hosting Freiburg, who just missed out on a Champions League place, but have lost five first-team regulars since last season.

Leverkusen have recruited heavily in the off season by signing South Korea striker Heung Min Son from Hamburg and Australia winger Robbie Kruse from Fortuna Duesseldorf while Italy Giulio Donati and Germany's Roberto Hilbert strengthen the defence.

Bayer impressed in the pre-season with a 4-0 win over Vitesse Arnhem and a 6-1 hammering of minnows Lippstadt in the Germany Cup.

Freiburg have several new arrivals with 22-year-old French midfielder Francis Coquelin quick to impress since signing on loan from Arsenal while Sporting Lisbon's Gelson Fernandes adds midfield depth and his Swiss compatriot Admir Mehmedi, another loan arrival from Dynamo Kiev, brings further promise of fresh punch to the frontline.

Having won promotion from the second division, Eintracht Braunschweig host Werder Bremen on Saturday evening, while Hertha Berlin host Eintracht Frankfurt in the capital.

Friday (Kick-off 1330 unless stated, all times in GMT)

Bayern Munich v Borussia M'gladbach (1830)


Hoffenheim v Nuremberg, Bayer Leverkusen v Freiburg, Hanover 96 v VfL Wolfsburg, Augsburg v Borussia Dortmund, Hertha Berlin v Eintracht Frankfurt, Eintracht Braunschweig v Werder Bremen (1630)


Mainz 05 v VfB Stuttgart, Schalke 04 v Hamburg (1530)

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