Both Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund will be without key participants as they go head-to-head for the first piece of silverware of the new German season in the DFL Supercup on Saturday. It’s just over two months since the two current powerhouses of the Bundesliga met in the Champions League final but both have undergone significant changes since then.
Following their treble win last season, Bayern have a new man at the helm in Pep Guardiola. The most notable change on the playing front is Mario Gotze crossing the divide to link up with Bayern Munich following his big-money move from Dortmund. The young attacking midfielder won’t be involved on Saturday, though, as he continues to be sidelined by the hamstring problem that also ruled him out of Dortmund’s 2-1 defeat to Bayern at Wembley in May.
Bayern, who continued their 100 percent record in pre-season with a 2-0 win over Guardiola’s former side, Barcelona, on Wednesday, will also be without goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and Franck Ribery. Their other major summer signing, Thiago Alcantara could well be involved, however. And Guardiola is eager to hit the ground running by lifting the trophy at Dortmund’s own Signal Iduna Park.
"I go into every match with the intention of winning," he said, according to Bundesliga.com. "And playing a final is always very special, and it's of course important to win titles."
And the Spaniard added that there is still work to be done ahead of the start of the new season. “We worked very hard so far and we're looking forward to the match," he explained, according to Bayern’s website. “We’ll be well prepared and we intend to play well. I'm satisfied so far, but we still need a little more time.”
Dortmund face a mammoth task to close down what was a 25 point gap to Bayern in the Bundesliga last season, while trying to once again go far in the Champions League. But, after losing Gotze, they have set about strengthening their squad. Henrikh Mkhitaryan has been signed to replace the Germany international, while the arrival of striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang provides a stronger backup in the short term and a likely replacement in the future for Robert Lewandowski, who Dortmund have resisted selling to Bayern. Sokratis Papastathopoulos will also add increased competition to the backline.
Dortmund will have to do without Mkhitaryan on Saturday, with the Armenian, along with right-back Lukasz Piszczek, ruled out through injury. Aubameyang and midfielder Jakub Blaszczykowski are rated as doubtful. Having begun their preparations for the upcoming season at a later stage than their opponents, Dortmund will be up against it as they attempt to record a first win over Bayern since their dominant two-year success against their domestic rivals was ended in last year’s Supercup. Defender Mats Hummels, though, is determined to get a positive result and push on for further success in the coming campaign.
“A win over Bayern could be a good indicator how successful our season could be," he said, according to Dortmund’s official website. "We want to beat one of the, if not the, best team in the world. That´s our goal, and that´s our motivation."
Bayern Munich (probable)
D: Lahm, Boateng, Dante, Alaba
M: Thiago, Schweinsteiger
Robben, Kroos, Shaqiri
Borussia Dortmund (probable)
D: Grosskreutz, Subotic, Hummels, Schmelzer
Hofmann, Gundogan, Reus
Where to watch: The DFL Supercup will kick-off at 2.30 p.m. ET. Coverage will be provided by Gol TV. A live stream, which you view at your own discretion, will be available here.