The most successful sides in DFL Supercup history go head-to-head to raise the curtain on the 2017/18 Bundesliga season when Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund meet on Saturday (kick-off 20:30CEST/18:30GMT).
This will be the fifth time Der Klassiker has heralded the dawn of a season in the eight seasons since the DFL brought back the competition in 2010, with the heavyweight duo registering two victories each.
Bayern's win against Schalke in the inaugural edition gives them the edge historically, though events on the Signal Iduna Park pitch will be swayed more significantly by the pair's summer preparations.
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James, Tolisso to start?
Neither has enjoyed a smooth run in the build-up. Though they defeated Premier League champions Chelsea, Bayern were beaten by both Milan clubs — without scoring in either game — during their Bundesliga World Tour adventures in China and Singapore. Dortmund defeated AC Milan before the Rossoneri faced Bayern, but have lost to Espanyol and — very early on — Rot-Weiss Essen as new coach Peter Bosz looks to bed into his new job.
Bayern have been the busier of the two clubs in the summer transfer market, and their line-up could feature some of their new faces. Though it will be unusual to see them kick-off without Philipp Lahm and — to a lesser extent — Xabi Alonso, the arrivals of James Rodriguez and Corentin Tolisso in particular will provide some comfort.
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They are the new signings most likely to start, though centre-back Niklas Süle and midfielder Sebastian Rudy, both picked up from Hoffenheim, could also feature. However, their late return to training following their contribution to Germany's FIFA Confederations Cup win will consign them to a bit-part role if any.
Manuel Neuer's continued recovery from a broken foot means he will certainly be on the sidelines as will Juan Bernat, out after an ankle operation. However, Thiago, who left the pre-season tour of the Far East with an injury, Arjen Robben and Jerome Boateng have all trained this week, and appear fit enough to play some part in the game.
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Dortmund debut trio
While Bayern feel comfortable enough with their squad to have sent Serge Gnabry on loan to Hoffenheim immediately after having signed him from Werder Bremen, Dortmund do not have the same luxury. Marco Reus' DFB Cup final injury rules him out while Julian Weigl's ankle fracture on Matchday 33 last term means he continues to work his way back to fitness. With Matthias Ginter and Sven Bender both leaving the club in the summer, Bosz has seen his options restricted.
The match could, however, see summer arrivals Ömer Toprak and U21 EURO champions Mahmoud Dahoud and Maximilian Philipp make their competitive bows for BVB, who are looking to lift the trophy for the first time since beating Bayern in 2014.