Bayern Munich travel to Eintracht Frankfurt in the opening fixture of the 2022/23 Bundesliga season. - © DFL
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.

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

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.

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 the 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 will be their 2022 Supercup showdown with Leipzig on Saturday 30 July.

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 will be first tasked with ensuring that Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Müller can again defend their respective top scorer and assist king crowns.

Lewandowski scored 35 times across the 34-game season as he clinched the Torjägerkanone for the fifth year in a row and seventh time overall, while Müller finished as the Bundesliga's leading provider for a third time in four seasons by producing 18 assists.

Watch: Bayern's 2021/22 Bundesliga title celebrations

The likes of Manuel Neuer and Joshua Kimmich will again be required to form the Bayern spine, while the prospect of a full season for Alphonso Davies goes a long way to suggesting Nagelsmann's team can indeed move up a gear in 2022/23.

But while those are familiar faces for Bayern to hang their hopes on, there has been change at the Allianz Arena which should make for excitement and fascination in equal measure.

The trip to Frankfurt will give us the first opportunity to see how the team adapts to the departure of Niklas Süle to rivals Borussia Dortmund and whether the arrival of Morocco right-back Noussair Mazraoui will see Benjamin Pavard partner Dayot Upamecano at centre-half.

USA international Chris Richards is also back from his loan at Hoffenheim to compete for a place, while 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 Jamal Musiala spearheading Bayern'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."

Will Julian Nagelsmann add to his 2021/22 Bundesliga and Supercup wins in 2022/23? - Sebastian Widmann/Bundesliga/Bundesliga Collection via Getty Images

Glasner similarly has fresh faces joining trusted lieutenants as the 47-year-old balances the club's Champions League debut with their domestic duties.

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.

At their side's core again this season will be the likes of Kevin Trapp, Martin Hinteregger, 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.

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 Deutsche Bank Park, 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!