The countdown to a brand new Bundesliga season has begun! With the fixture list dropping an opening day round of games to whet the appetite of all and sundry, champions Bayern Munich visiting UEFA Europa League winners Eintracht Frankfurt and Borussia Dortmund hosting Bayer Leverkusen are among the most delightful of highlights.
There's also the small matter of a big Berlin derby to get excited about, while European chasers Borussia Mönchengladbach and Hoffenheim will square off in a Matchday 1 contest that's certain to provide plenty of incident and a generous serving of goals. With newly promoted Schalke and Werder Bremen also landing intriguing opening day fixtures, the commencement to the 2022/23 campaign can't come quick enough.
After an opening round of DFB Cup fixtures, the Super Cup will get us into the swing of things: RB Leipzig - who picked up their first piece of major silverware with May's DFB Cup penalty shootout triumph against Freiburg, playing host to the mighty Bayern, the Bundesliga's 10-in-a-row champions.
That 30 July teaser at the Red Bull Arena will lead us perfectly into opening night, when Bayern go to Frankfurt for a Friday night special that will act as the perfect curtain raiser to what will be a season of thrills, spills and goals galore.
Watch: Super Cup contenders Leipzig & Bayern in action last season
Fresh from winning the Europa League in incredible circumstances in Seville, UEFA Champions League challengers Frankfurt couldn't have hoped to entertain their home fans at Deutsche Bank Park with a bigger opening night special. Lock the 5 August date in your calendars and start counting down to what's certain to be a classic.
What is absolutely certain is that Oliver Glasner's men will know exactly what they're up against for Bayern are specialists when it comes to kicking off a new campaign. The most successful team on Matchday 1 with an average of 2.1 points amassed, the defending champions have also earned the most victories (36) and scored most goals (136) on opening night.
With the action then spilling into the weekend, we will be presented with a cracking clash that could gauge the early title credentials of Dortmund and Leverkusen, last season's second and third highest scoring teams respectively. Under new head coach Edin Terzic, BVB have brought in several big names as they seek to go one better than their second-placed finish last term.
Leverkusen and Gerardo Seoane have also been busy during the summer months, adding to what can already be described as one of the most exciting attacks on the European scene. Rarely does a fixture of this magnitude fail to impress, with last season's games alone providing an insane 14 goals across the two meetings.
Supporters will also converge on the German capital for a mouthwatering Berlin derby at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei. Union have recently held the upper hand over their neighbours, Urs Fischer's side even winning all three meetings between the teams last season, two in the league as well as the DFB Cup Round of 16 encounter. Yet having survived a dramatic relegation play-off against Hamburg, Hertha will be on a high as they attempt to put in a better Bundesliga showing this time around than they managed last term.
With Schalke back in the big leagues, a visit to last term's seventh-placed finishers and UEFA Europa Conference League contenders Cologne seems like the perfect place for the Royal Blues to get reacquainted with the top flight. Not that Steffen Baumgart's Billy Goats will provide an easy ride to their visitors, of course. The RheinEnergieStadion will be bouncing on opening day as Die Knappen look to find their rhythm among the big boys again.
Back too are Werder Bremen, the River Islanders coming up as Bundesliga 2 runners-up in what was a monumentally competitive second division last term. Die Grün-Weißen should thus be battle ready for a trip to face a Wolfsburg team intent on making strides under new boss Niko Kovac.
VfB Stuttgart's great escape on the last day of term in 2021/22, meanwhile, sees them rewarded with a first game of the season playing host to the aforementioned title challengers and Cup champs, Leipzig.
Watch: Schalke are back in the Bundesliga !
It all bodes well for a breathtaking beginning to a new Bundesliga season and who knows? We may even have a new record number of goals to celebrate on opening day, with 42 (set in 1986/87) the lofty figure to beat. Let the games commence!
Bundesliga Matchday 1 fixtures:
Eintracht Frankfurt - Bayern Munich
Borussia Dortmund - Bayer Leverkusen
Union Berlin - Hertha Berlin
Cologne - Schalke
Borussia Mönchengladbach - Hoffenheim
Wolfsburg - Werder Bremen
Bochum - Mainz
Augsburg - Freiburg
Stuttgart - Leipzig
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