Frankfurt - The 51st Bundesliga campaign will get underway with a true classic. On 9 August 2013, defending Bundesliga titleholders FC Bayern Munich host five-time German champions Borussia Mönchengladbach.
These two teams last met on the final day of the 2012/13 campaign, as FC Bayern's former head coach Jupp Heynckes bade an emotional farewell to Germany’s top flight, before going onto to complete an historic treble by winning the UEFA Champions League and DFB Cup.
The opening weekend promises plenty of action beyond the Friday evening encounter, with newly-promoted Eintracht Braunschweig set to host their first Bundesliga match in 28 years when SV Werder Bremen travel to the Eintracht-Stadion. Elsewhere, Borussia Dortmund begin their title challenge away to FC Augsburg, while UEFA Europa League participants SC Freiburg travel to UEFA Champions League side Bayer 04 Leverkusen.
The Bundesliga 2 campaign, meanwhile, is set to get underway on 18 July 2013. As of the 2013/14 season the Bundesliga 2 will kick-off their Friday evening fixtures at 18:30 CET.
In order to relieve strain on clubs competing in the Europa League, the DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga now have greater planning flexibility in producing new fixture lists. As a result, in contrast to the previous schedule, in which a Saturday evening game could be moved to a Sunday on a maximum of five matchdays, it is now possible to program another ten fixtures on a Sunday instead of on Saturday.
The objective of the alteration is to afford sides playing in the Europa League on Thursday evenings more than 48 hours to recover ahead of their next Bundesliga match. Whether, and how often, the DFL will make use of this exception is dependent on the performances of the German sides in the competition.
FC Bayern Munich's triumph in the UEFA Champions League has also had an impact on the 2013/14 fixture list. The German record titleholders will compete for the UEFA Supercup against Europa League champions FC Chelsea in Prague on 30 August 2013. As a result the Bavarians' fixture on Matchday 4 will be brought forward four days to 27 August, 2013 negating the need for a Friday evening fixture.
Furthermore, FC Bayern have also qualified for the FIFA Club World Cup and will enter the competition in Morocco at the semi-final stage on 17 December 2013. Their Bundesliga Matchday 17 fixture will therefore be postponed until either 28 or 29 January 2014. The first half of the season will consequently only be completed after the winter break.