Dortmund hope to send message in Super Cup against Bayern
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BERLIN – The German football season opens with the Super Cup on
Saturday as Borussia Dortmund duel with Bayern Munich for the first -
but probably not the last – time this campaign.
"The Super Cup carries a great significance for all of us," Dortmund
captain Marco Reus said after Tuesday's final friendly, a 4-1 romp
over Swiss side St Gallen.
"It's a title up for grabs, it's important to make a good start to
the season and to show our fans that we're out to achieve something."
Reus has made no secret of the fact Dortmund, Bundesliga runners-up
last season, are out to go one better by becoming champions this
That would end Bayern's seven-year title streak since Dortmund last
claimed the honour in 2012.
Coach Lucien Favre has been given both more quality and depth to work
with from the squad which came up just two points short in the table
a few months ago.
Julian Brandt (Bayer Leverkusen), Thorgan Hazard (Borussia
Moenchengladbach), Mats Hummels (Bayern Munich) and Nico Schulz
(Hoffenheim) are significant arrivals while Abdou Diallo (Paris
Saint-Germain) and Christian Pulisic (Chelsea) the main departures.
Brandt will miss out of the Super Cup, hosted by Dortmund, while
Hazard and home keeper Roman Buerki are injury doubts.
"The Super Cup is a match with lots of potential," said back-up
keeper Marwin Hitz, "That's when it really starts for us."
Reus did admit that it is "equally clear that neither we nor Bayern
are at 100 per cent," going into tie which limits its value as a
predictor for the season ahead.
Bayern have been involved in the Super Cup every year since 2012,
winning four and losing three, so are used to both positive and
"The Super Cup is a good game," coach Niko Kovac said after losing
Bayern's last friendly on penalties to Tottenham Hotspur on
Wednesday. "I have taken it very seriously last year and we'll take
it seriously in Dortmund at the weekend."
Twelve months ago Kovac watched his side cruise 5-0 over his former
club Eintracht Frankfurt to open a season which ended with the
But he survived a poor run of form early on and a good start this
season is likely crucial for his future.
"The current condition of the team is very good," said Kovac, though
he has publicly hoped for more reinforcements.
Bayern have added World Cup winning defenders Lucas Hernandez and
Benjamin Pavard, and young striker Fiete Arp this close season.
But all three deals were agreed months ago and the weeks since the
German Cup win over RB Leipzig in May have been spent on a - so far -
fruitless search for wingers to replace the departed Arjen Robben and
French wide player Kingsley Coman is a slight doubt for Saturday
having picked up a knock against Spurs though Kovac said "he'll play
again in the next few days."
Win or lose against Dortmund, Bayern will have work to do before the
Bundesliga start against Hertha Berlin on August 16.
But for 90 minutes – and possibly penalties – all their concentration
can go on beating their old rivals.
"We are looking forward to the game on Saturday, to our first match
for the first title," said midfielder Thomas Mueller.