Ahead of Bayern Munich’s UEFA Super Cup showdown with Sevilla on Thursday, bundesliga.com gives five reasons why the Champions League conquerers hold all the cards against their Europa League-winning counterparts.
1) A ridiculous run
The year 2020 has so far been one of great uncertainty, but if there’s one thing that has remained reassuringly constant - although not so much for opposition teams - it’s Bayern’s form both home and abroad.
They last tasted defeat of any kind in competitive football on 7 December, losing 2-1 at Borussia Mönchengladbach - a whole nine months, 31 games, 30 wins and 106 goals ago - and have won each of their last 22 in all competitions.
That stunning sequence led Hansi Flick’s side to a historic treble that set up this meeting with Sevilla, and it has already spilled over into the new campaign courtesy of last weekend’s 8-0 hammering of Schalke that emphatically raised the curtain on the 2020/21 Bundesliga season.
Watch: Bayern demolish Schalke 8-0 on the opening day
Bayern’s latest octuplet came just 35 days after they made shockwaves by putting another eight past Spanish giants Barcelona - who in turn dispatched Sevilla 4-0 last year - and it was a clear reminder to world football that the Bavarians are as unrelenting as ever.
2) The trump card
At the pointy end of Bayern’s enormous success last year - and the past six seasons, in fact - was Robert Lewandowski, who has failed to score in only four of Bayern’s 31 games without defeat and contributed 27 of those aforementioned 106 goals (25 per cent) during that period.
In any other year, Lewandowski’s 55 goals across last season would have landed him the Ballon d’Or as he took home top-scorer gongs for the Bundesliga, DFB Cup and Champions League, as well as all three winners’ medals.
Watch: How Lewandowski has become the world's best striker
The only surprise in Friday’s Matchday 1 victory over Schalke was that Lewandowski didn’t score more than his 31st minute penalty, but the Poland captain did win said spot-kick and set up another two - THAT Rabona included.
It was yet more evidence that the desire for goals - both his own and his teammates’ - still burns red-hot inside the 32-year-old, and he shows no sign of slowing any time soon; a common thread throughout this list.
3) A pair of kings
Bayern’s ability to maintain - and improve upon - the club’s enormously high standards was highlighted by the capture of Leroy Sane and the Germany international made an immediate impact on debut - scoring one and assisting two of Bayern’s eight goals against his former club.
Those assists led to two-thirds of Serge Gnabry’s maiden Bundesliga hat-trick and the pair instantly look to have struck up a devastating partnership that will make Bayern even more potent going forward.
Gnabry - the only Bayern man to reach double figures for both assists and goals last year - revelled alongside his new wing-man, while Sane summed up perfectly how Bayern are far from resting on their laurels, despite last season’s all-conquering efforts.
"The team was already top last year with very good players and very good cohesiveness,” he said. “The boys are still hungry, even though they won the treble. We didn't ease off at all.”
4) Two aces in the hole
For some, Bayern’s decision to allow Thiago Alcantara to find pastures new this summer would have been shocking, but it made perfect sense to a club that boasts one of world football’s best central-midfield double-pivots: Leon Goretzka and Joshua Kimmich.
Goretzka was so good last season that Thiago was usurped in the starting XI after the restart by the Germany international, who underlined his importance in Flick’s side with Bayern’s second goal against Schalke.
Kimmich was sensational in the season opener, too, as he laid on two goals in that victory and the man who ran more than any other Bundesliga player last term will take some keeping up with for a Sevilla side that lost key figure Ever Banega in the off-season.
Banega was crucial to Sevilla’s latest Europa League glory and was replaced at the start of this month by 32-year-old Ivan Rakitic to pair alongside 33-year-old Fernando Reges, who will both be pressed and harried relentlessly by Bayern’s own midfield duo.
5) A stacked deck
Alphonso Davies should be welcomed back into the side after sitting out Friday’s win as a precaution due to a slight muscular injury, meaning FIFA World Cup winner Lucas Hernandez could make way at left-back.
The Schalke game gave Davies a valuable extra few days’ rest after a breakout campaign where he established himself as one of the best full-backs in the world, recharging the batteries ahead of what will be another supercharged season from the Canadian teenager.
It highlights just how strong this Bayern squad is, with Hernandez also an option to take up a place at centre-half should Flick need him to in the absence of David Alaba - although Niklas Süle and Jerome Boateng are certainly more than capable to continue.
It’s not just at the back that Bayern have an embarrassment of riches; another French world champion is waiting in the wings in the shape of Corentin Tolisso, as is countryman Kingsley Coman whose heroics in last month’s final sealed Champions League glory.