There will be no backing down when Bayern Munich travel to Eintracht Frankfurt in the opening fixture of the 2022/23 Bundesliga season. - © DFL
There will be no backing down when Bayern Munich travel to Eintracht Frankfurt in the opening fixture of the 2022/23 Bundesliga season. - © DFL

Why Eintracht Frankfurt vs. Bayern Munich is a fitting fixture to kick off 2022/23


The reigning UEFA Europa League winners will host the defending Bundesliga champions when Matchday 1 of the 2022/23 top-flight campaign gets underway on Friday 5 August - giving us a mouth-watering meeting to start the new season.

Both clubs made history last term, with Bayern extending their Bundesliga reign to a 10th season in their first under new coach Julian Nagelsmann.

Eintracht, meanwhile, took the continent by storm as Oliver Glasner's men lifted the Europa League to put the icing on a memorable continental campaign.

It was the second time in the club's history that Frankfurt claimed European glory, adding to their 1979/80 UEFA Cup triumph, and it not only secured a spot in this year's UEFA Champions League but also salvaged an otherwise underwhelming 11th-placed finish in the league.

Watch: How Matchday 1 of the 2022/23 Bundesliga season looks

Despite their heroics in Sevilla, Frankfurt are seeking improvements when the ball gets rolling in 2022/23.

"It has to be said that we didn't show the performances that we had imagined in the other competitions," said Eintracht sporting director Markus Krösche, who worked the same role at RB Leipzig while Nagelsmann was in the dugout. "We know that we have to improve in many areas, have a lot of work ahead of us and are far from ideal."

While Frankfurt will be looking at the Bavarians to inspiration for domestic improvement, Bayern could do with taking a leaf out of Eintracht's book as they compete for four trophies - the first of which they have lifted by beating Leipzig to the 2022 Supercup crown.

Watch: RB Leipzig 3-5 Bayern Munich - 2022 Supercup highlights!

With Bayern exiting the Champions League at the quarter-final stages last time around and being thrashed 5-0 by Borussia Mönchengladbach in the DFB Cup second round, Nagelsmann is aware that the astronomic expectations at the club demand improvement next time out.

"As a little kid, I often stood down there with the fans and always hoped to be up here one day. Now a dream comes true for me," the Bayern coach told supporters during the team's Meisterschale celebrations, before adding: "I would have liked to have won even more – for you too. I hope we'll do it next year."

In order to kick on to another level in his second season at the helm, Nagelsmann's biggest challenge is replacing the goals of Robert Lewandowski. With the Pole now plying his trade in Spain, Bayern have sought the services of Sadio Mane in attack and the payoff has been immediate. Mane was on target in his competitive debut against Leipzig and Bayern's five-goal return against the side they shared the best defensive record with in 2021/22 was an encouraging debut for the post-Lewandwoski era.

Jamal Musiala, Leroy Sane and Serge Gnabry were all on target in the Supercup win over Leipzig, serving up further encouragement that Bayern can share the weight of Lewandowski's goals between them. The role of Thomas Müller - last season's assist king - will again be essential, while Manuel Neuer and Joshua Kimmich will also be required to form the Bayern spine. When you throw into the mix the prospect of a full season for Alphonso Davies, you get the feeling that Nagelsmann's team can indeed move up a gear in 2022/23.

Watch: Bayern's 2021/22 Bundesliga title celebrations

That's especially the case when you consider the further additions at the Allianz Arena this summer. With  Niklas Süle moving to rivals Borussia Dortmund, Bayern strengthened their defence with the signing of Dutch international Matthijs de Ligt, as well as Morocco right-back Noussair Mazraoui.

Meanwhile, Ryan Gravenberch's signature not only adds even more quality alongside Kimmich and Leon Goretzka in central midfield, but sees another of Europe's most exciting talents commit their future to the Bundesliga.

With Musiala - who Bayern's coach described as "world-class" after his Supercup star turn - spearheading the team's existing young talent, Nagelsmann's first-team selection will be a fascinating one from an innovative coach who's full of surprises and has already called on "pressing machines" to emerge out of Säbener Straße when 2022/23 rolls around.

Fortunately, he has the likes of Müller to ensure exacting standards are met and progress is constant, the Germany international telling the Bayern's website in pre-season: "The expectations here are so high they spur you on all the time. I don't see any natural mechanism that could slow us down."

Like their Matchday 1 visitors, Frankfurt will contest four trophies in 2022/23, with the UEFA Super Cup that Bayern won in 2013 and 2020 up for grabs when Eintracht take on UCL holders Real Madrid in Helsinki on Wednesday 10 August.

And Glasner similarly has fresh faces joining trusted lieutenants as the 47-year-old balances the club's Champions League debut with their domestic duties. At their side's core again this season will be the likes of Kevin Trapp, Filip Kostic, Daichi Kamada and Rafael Borre - all stars on the road to European glory.

Eintracht have quickly recruited, too, with Jens Petter Hauge and Kristijan Jakic making their loan moves permanent, and exciting new additions made in the form of Faride Alidou from Hamburg, Jerome Onguene of Red Bull Salzburg and Nantes striker Randal Kolo Muani. It hasn't stopped there, with Lucas Alario adding even more firepower in attack and former Dortmund and Bayern man, Mario Götze, signing a three-year deal at the Deutsche Bank Park.

Rafael Santos Borre was Frankfurt's top scorer in 2021/22 with 11 goals in all competitions. - Maja Hitij/Getty Images

One thing Glasner won't want to change is the atmosphere at the club, or the spirit in the dressing room that was so crucial to sealing Europa League glory and will provide Bayern with a stern first test of their Bundesliga title defence.

"You can win titles by spending a lot of money," said Glasner after his team beat Rangers in the Europa League final, "or you can win titles by forming a very strong unit, a great team unit... And's that's the only way we did it."

The Frankfurt fortress has delivered two home wins from their last two meetings with Bayern, while it's been 13 games since these teams shared a goalless draw in the top-flight and there have been 46 goals at an average of 3.54 per game during that time.

With goals galore in recent years, a mixture of new faces and Bundesliga legends taking to the field, and a raucous atmosphere awaiting - the 2022/23 season has the perfect game to get us underway, proving once more that this is football as it's meant to be.

>> Click here for the 2022/23 Bundesliga fixture list in full!