Coming up this week on the Bundesliga Preview Show...
Now a fixture on the pre-Bundesliga season calendar and enjoyed in live broadcast by an exponentially growing global audience, the DFL Supercup has becoming something of an annual get-together for FC Bayern München and Borussia Dortmund of late. This year, as last, BVB enjoyed home advantage against their double-winning rivals from Munich and the final outcome was the same as well. A from Jürgen Klopp's troops earned them a record fifth Supercup title against an experimental FC Bayern, whose clutch of World Cup winners were not long back from their late holidays. Of far more concern to Pep Guardiola than the result or indeed the performance, however, was the serious injury suffered by one of his key defenders. A look back at the moments that mattered most in the 2014 Supercup.
Their stars may have been centre-stage at the FIFA World Cup finals but the FC Bayern player likely to be under the most intense scrutiny as the campaign gets underway was not even present in Brazil. Robert Lewandowski, widely regarded as the best all-round centre forward in the business at the moment, is opening the next chapter of an already spectacular career in the Bavarian capital this season, having departed Dortmund with his first Bundesliga top scorer's cannon in the bag. The prolific Poland international offered an early taste of what his new employers anticipate is yet to come on Bayern's pre-season tour of the USA. For his part, Lewandowski is looking forward to life at a club “where I can improve further and have the chance to win a lot of titles.”
Season Preview Schalke
Rounding out the trio of the most obvious candidates to crack the Bayern-Dortmund duopoly this season, FC Schalke 04 now have a couple of world champions of their own in the indefatigable Benedikt Höwedes and the effervescent Julian Draxler. Separated by a few years, both are products of a Gelsenkirchen youth academy whose reputation these days extends far beyond Germany's borders, let alone the Ruhr district. With yet another clutch of promising talents being nurtured into the professional fold by head coach Jens Keller and an attack spearheaded by Klaas-Jan Huntelaar now further supplemented by the explosive pace of Sidney Sam and all-round vision of Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, the Royal Blues certainly have the potential, with a touch more consistency, to mix it with the very best.
Before the action got underway in earnest, four of the Bundesliga's most influential movers and shakers met up for a city bus tour with a difference in Hamburg. Borussia Mönchengladbach sporting director Max Eberl, his VfL Wolfsburg counterpart Klaus Allofs, FC Bayern director of sport Matthias Sammer and local hero Dietmar Beiersdorfer, back on board at Hamburger SV and now in the post of chairman, all enjoy a for the most part friendly if, of necessity, intensely competitive rivalry. In off-duty mode, they shared a few interesting insights into their respective clubs' current standing, and the game in general.