Jadon Sancho (c.) and Borussia Dortmund will meet Alphonso Davies (r.) and Bayern Munich again in Der Klassiker on Matchday 7 and 24 of the 2020/21 season. - © DFL
Jadon Sancho (c.) and Borussia Dortmund will meet Alphonso Davies (r.) and Bayern Munich again in Der Klassiker on Matchday 7 and 24 of the 2020/21 season. - © DFL
bundesliga

Key dates in the 2020/21 fixture list: season opener, Der Klassiker, Revierderby…

The first game of the 2020/21 Bundesliga season pits reigning eight-time champions Bayern Munich against Schalke in the traditional Friday night curtain-raiser, while the Bavarian giants go to Borussia Dortmund in the season's first Klassiker on Matchday 7, and BVB take on bitter local rivals Schalke in the first Revierderby on Matchday 5.

Season opener: 18 September

It has become a Bundesliga custom for the champions to play the season opener on the Friday of Matchday 1, and since 2013 Bayern have got the ball rolling at their Allianz Arena, winning all but one of their last seven opening-day encounters – last season's 2-2 draw with Hertha Berlin.

They will kick off 2020/21 at home to Schalke, who could face two former players on the opening night with Leroy Sane having joined Bayern this summer from Manchester City as well as goalkeeper Alexander Nübel swapping royal blue for red during the transfer window. Another man in focus once again will be goal machine Robert Lewandowski, who began last season in record-breaking fashion by scoring in the first 11 Bundesliga games on his way to a fifth Torjägerkanone.

Watch: The full opening Matchday!

Der Klassiker: Matchday 7 (6-8 November) and 24 (5-8 March)

Last season's two Klassiker meetings proved pivotal in the title race. The first saw Bayern thrash Dortmund 4-0 in Hansi Flick's first game in charge, setting the tone for their resurgence in the second half of the season – and the second, settled by Joshua Kimmich's stunning chip, left Bayern seven points clear of BVB with six games to go, a gap they would stretch to 13 by the end of the campaign.

This season, Germany's two heavyweights will first face off on Matchday 7 at the Signal Iduna Park with the exact date of the games to be confirmed closer to the day. The reverse fixture will be played on Matchday 24 at the Allianz Arena in 2021.

Watch: Highlights from the last Bundesliga Klassiker!

Revierderby: Matchday 5 (23-26 October) and Matchday 22 (19-22 February)

But Der Klassiker is not the first clash Dortmund fans will have circled in their calendars. That honour is reserved for the Revierderby, 'the mother of all derbies', which pits the Black-and-Yellows against their Royal Blue rivals of Schalke. The fixture has thrown up plenty of drama in recent years – who could forget the extraordinary 4-4 draw in November 2017? – but BVB eased to victory in their most recent meeting, winning 4-0 at home just after the Bundesliga restart. What their fans would have given to be in the Signal Iduna Park stands that day…

The Dortmund faithful could get their chance to witness only a second home win since late 2015 against Schalke early in the season on Matchday 5, when the North Rhine-Westphalia neighbours meet at the Signal Iduna Park. The return fixture at the Veltins-Arena will take place on Matchday 22 towards the end of February 2021.

Watch: The history of the Revierderby

Berlin derby: Matchday 10 (4-7 September) and Matchday 27 (3-5 April)

History was made on 2 November 2019 when Union Berlin and Hertha Berlin played out their first-ever Bundesliga derby, with a late Sebastian Polter penalty handing new boys Union a famous win over their more established city rivals. It was a very different story in the reverse fixture, though, as a resurgent Hertha romped to a 4-0 win under new boss Bruno Labbadia.

The fight for Berlin bragging rights continues into 2020/21, with the first meeting in the capital coming on Matchday 10, as Hertha welcome Union to the Olympiastadion. The reverse fixture is scheduled for Matchday 27 at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei.

Rhine derby: Matchday 3 (2-4 October) and Matchday 20 (5-8 February)

Gladbach claimed double derby honours over promoted Rhine rivals Cologne last season, edging a close away game thanks to Alassane Plea's early strike, and then securing a 2-1 home win in the Bundesliga's first-ever match held behind closed doors. On paper, these two clubs are poles apart – the Foals just qualified for the UEFA Champions League, while the Billy Goats were involved in the relegation scrap – but their games are always tight; the last nine Bundesliga meetings between them have been settled by a one-goal margin.

In 2020/21, they will meet just three games into the new season with Cologne playing host to Gladbach, before the rivals meet again on Matchday 20 at Borussia-Park.

Erling Haaland stole the show when Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig last met in the 2019/20 Bundesliga season. - Roger Petzsche/PICTURE/Pool POINT

Karneval Kings: Matchday 11 (11-13 December) and Matchday 28 (9-12 April)

Fans of a party persuasion will also want to keep an eye on the games between Cologne and Mainz, the Bundesliga's two Carnival clubs. The Karneval Kings will battle it out for the festive crown on Matchdays 11 and 28.

Leipzig vs Bayern: Matchday 10 (4-7 December) and Matchday 27 (3-5 April)
Leipzig vs Dortmund: Matchday 15 (8-11 January) & Matchday 32 (7-10 May)

RB Leipzig may be the solitary representatives from Saxony in Germany's top flight, but their transformation into a Bundesliga powerhouse has led to a growing rivalry with the division's top dogs. Die Roten Bullen were the only side not to lose to Bayern last term – drawing 1-1 at home and 0-0 away – and all eyes will no doubt be on their meetings with the champions on Matchdays 10 and 27 with Bayern playing host in the first fixture.

Julian Nagelsmann's men will also be out for revenge against Dortmund on Matchdays 15 and 32, after an Erling Haaland double in their most recent head-to-head saw BVB secure second place in the table ahead of Leipzig, and Leipzig will get the chance for that redemption at the Red Bull Arena in the first meeting between the sides.