Can Serge Gnabry and Kingsley Coman take on the weighty mantle of Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben and drive Bayern Munich to an eighth successive Bundesliga title?
bundesliga.com takes a closer look at what to expect from the defending champions…
Aims in 2019/20
For Bayern, there is no place to be other than at the top of the table. Niko Kovac's first season in charge at the Allianz Arena saw the former Eintracht Frankfurt boss maintain the Bavarian giants’ grip on the Bundesliga title as they made it a magnificent seventh successive German top-flight crown.
But Borussia Dortmund, who at one stage had a nine-point advantage over Bayern, kept Kovac's men waiting to uncork the champagne until a nail-biting final day of the season.
That, and the warning shot BVB fired in claiming the Supercup at Bayern's expense, will mean the Bundesliga's record champions will not be taking their foot off the gas. If anything, they'll be pushing down on the pedal.
The addition of FIFA World Cup winners Lucas Hernandez and Benjamin Pavard was a statement of intent as Bayern seek to also retain the DFB Cup, while the UEFA Champions League will be another aim for a squad that has both the talent and the experience to be a genuine contender for European club football's biggest prize.
Watch: Bayern Munich 2019/20 season preview
Players to watch
‘Robbery is gone, long live Gnabman’ will be what Bayern are saying as their two wide men seek to fill a very large void indeed.
Robben and Ribery played leading roles in Bayern's domestic and continental success for a decade, and their simultaneous departure is a serious challenge for their young successors. Not that Gnabry and Coman do not have the talent to meet it head on.
But for injury, Coman would surely have boasted better stats than six goals and four assists last season; Gnabry was exceptional with 10 goals — second-best in the Bayern squad only to the Bundesliga's 2018/19 top scorer Robert Lewandowski — and five assists, being voted the club’s Player of the Season.
“We thought, okay, we'll bring him back [from his loan spell] and then we'll see if he can play every so often," Bayern's seasoned president Uli Hoeneß told German sports magazine kicker.
“Now he's a regular starter, he's enjoying himself, and he's the biggest surprise of the season in a positive sense.”
Watch: A closer look at Gnabry's play
OUT: Frank Evina (KFC Uerdingen, loan), Adrian Fein (Hamburg, loan), Marco Friedl (Werder Bremen, loan deal made permanent), Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund), Wooyeong Jeong (Freiburg), Rafinha (Flamengo), James Rodriguez (Real Madrid, end of loan), Franck Ribery (end of contract), Arjen Robben (end of contract)
How they might line up
Bayern’s Allianz Arena is one of the most modern and technologically advanced football stadiums in the world. Opened for the start of the 2005/06 season to replace the former Olympiastadion in Munich, it hosted the opening game of the 2006 World Cup in Germany with Bayern’s own Philipp Lahm scoring the tournament’s first goal.
Boasting space for 75,000 spectators in domestic fixtures, the Allianz Arena is just as famous for its exterior as what happens on the pitch inside. An architectural masterpiece, 2,784 diamond-shaped ‘cushions’ form the façade of the Arena and can be illuminated in any colour depending on the event – Red for Bayern matches, white for Germany and green for St. Patrick’s Day each year. Rising up in the distance as you make the 875 yard walk from the station to the stadium itself, the Allianz Arena can appear like a spaceship on the horizon with its red glow lighting the way for spectators.
Watch: Stadium Watch - Bayern's high-tech home
First five fixtures
Matchday 1: Hertha Berlin (h) – Friday, 16 August, 8.30pm CEST
Matchday 2: Schalke (a) – Saturday, 24 August, 6.30pm CEST
Matchday 3: Mainz (h) – Saturday, 31 August, 3.30pm CEST
Matchday 4: Leipzig (a) – Saturday, 14 September, 6.30pm CEST
Matchday 5: Cologne (h) – Saturday, 21 September, 3.30pm CEST