Wolfsburg – The long wait is almost over as VfL Wolfsburg and FC Bayern München get the 2015/16 season up and running with the first official match of the campaign: the Supercup (kick-off 20:30 CEST / 18:30 GMT).
bundesliga.com looks ahead to the heavyweight bout between last season’s top two sides…
In a fixture that pits the DFB Cup winners against the Bundesliga champions, the victor here takes home the Supercup trophy. That aside, it is an opportunity to draw first blood in the new season. can the Wolves send out a statement of their intent, or will Bayern flex their muscles?
- This is Bayern’s fourth consecutive appearance in the Supercup, but they have lost the last two (against Borussia Dortmund on each occasion).
- It will be Wolfsburg’s first outing in an officially recognised Supercup, having played in an unofficial version of the competition in 2009 following their maiden Bundesliga title win. After a 14-year-hiatus, the Supercup was officially resumed as a DFL competition in 2010.
- The Supercup has been decided on penalties three times in the past: in 1993, 1996 and 2011.
Team news: Wolfsburg
Injured/unavailable: Luiz Gustavo (knee), Ivan Perisic (knock)
Doubtful: Kevin De Bruyne (l., back), Aaron Hunt, Bas Dost (both knocks)
Team news: Bayern
Injured/unavailable: Dante, Holger Badstuber, Javi Martinez, Franck Ribery, Jan Kirchhoff
Wolfsburg: Veltins XI 7-0, KS Lechia Gdansk 1-1, AFC Ajax 1-1, FC Zürich 4-2, Villarreal CF 1-2, Arsenal FC 0-1
Bayern: Valencia 4-1, Internazionale de Milano 1-0, Guangzhou Evergrande 4-5 (on penalties)
Key player: Wolfsburg
With De Bruyne and Dost both struggling to be fit in time, it will fall to Andre Schürrle to shoulder the attacking responsibility. The 2014 FIFA World Cup winner was unable to hit peak form after joining the Wolves from Chelsea in January, but with a full pre-season behind him he will be determined to show his true colours in 2015/16.
Key player: Bayern
Pep Guardiola’s men looked unbeatable with Arjen Robben (r.) in the side last season, but trailed off without him towards the end of the campaign. Now the Dutchman is fit again and raring to go, and has travelled to Wolfsburg with the rest of the squad. His pace, directness, outstanding ball control and eye for goal have given Bayern an edge more often than not.
Of the 34 Bundesliga matches these two have contested, Bayern have won a whopping 27, while the Wolves have triumphed just four times. Each of those victories came on home turf, however, while they have also drawn four of the 18 games staged in Wolfsburg.