Munich - The new campaign hasn't even started and already Pep Guardiola's FC Bayern Munich have the football world quaking in their boots.
While Sunday's rampant Telekom Cup victory was a far cry from the glitz and glamour of the UEFA Champions League, the manner in which Bayern eased across the finish line suggests they can expect much more of the same in 2013/14.
After seeing off the threat of Hamburger SV to the tune of 4-0, the Bavarians mercilessly cast aside the challenge of surprise final package Borussia Mönchengladbach. A 5-1 score line says it all about the quality of the performance, with a Luuk de Jong penalty the solitary blemish on an otherwise flawless weekend's work.
Even more impressive was the fact that those nine goals came in just two 60-minute encounters played at a blistering pace and without the injured Mario Götze, Confederations Cup representatives Javi Martinez, Luiz Gustavo and Dante or midfield heartbeat Bastian Schweinsteiger even kicking a ball.
Plan A, B and C
Yet there is more. Guardiola has only been in the job for a month and already it is his blueprint for the future, not a Jupp Heynckes replica, that is bearing fruit. The Catalan, switching between a 4-1-4-1 and 4-3-3 formation, has added versatility to the Bayern ranks as well as a shot of unpredictability for good measure.
Against Gladbach, captain Philipp Lahm, an accomplished full-back by trade, could be seen operating in the centre of the park in front of holding midfielder Thiago Alcantara, while Thomas Müller took on lone striker responsibilities. A day earlier, Claudio Pizarro and Mario Mandzukic took to the field, all producing the same result: goals.
Most importantly, however, there have been no signs of a Heynckes era hangover. Smiles still adorn the Bayern faces and it is this continuation of their 2012/13 swagger that has provided the foundation on which Guardiola has been able to build his latest masterpiece.
We've seen what Guardiola's Bayern can do in 60 minutes; imagine what they will serve up in 90. The good news is, we won't have to wait long to find out, with only five days until Saturday's hotly-anticipated showdown. Borussia Dortmund beware.