Can Borussia Dortmund mount a serious title challenge in 2017/18? That is the burning question on black-and-yellow lips following the DFB Cup winners' third-placed finish last term.
bundesliga.com weighs up the Ruhr district club's chances…
Watch: Dortmund's top 10 goals in 2016/17
Transfer ins and outs
New defender Ömer Toprak (Bayer Leverkusen) and midfielder maestro Mahmoud Dahoud (Borussia Mönchengladbach) are safe bets for a regular starting berth, while French defensive prodigy Dan-Axel Zagadou (Paris-Saint Germain) and dynamic goal-getter Maximillian Philipp (Freiburg) reinforce the spine of a side plagued by injury last team.
Sven Bender (Leverkusen), Matthias Ginter (Gladbach) and Mikel Merino (Newcastle, loan) are three of six fringe players to have moved on to pastures new, but – unlike in recent seasons – BVB have rebuffed global interest in their star performers, most notably keeping hold of 2016/17 top scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
FIFA World Cup-winning midfielder Mario Götze is also back in the picture with a big point to prove after recovering from a long-standing metabolic disorder.
Toprak and Co. are not the only new faces at Dortmund. Peter Bosz has picked up the baton from Thomas Tuchel, fresh from steering an unfancied Ajax outfit to the final of the 2016/17 UEFA Europa League.
The Dutchman's ideas still need time to sink in – as evinced by the 2-1 Supercup defeat to Bayern – but his penchant for attacking football and reputation as a champion of youth suggest BVB will be in safe hands.
Watch: Bosz talks up Dortmund's twelfth man
With players of the ilk of Aubameyang to call on, is it any wonder?
The prolific Gabon striker plundered an eye-watering 31 goals to dethrone Bayern's Robert Lewandowski as Bundesliga top scorer last season, continuing a tradition of hitting double figures in each of his four campaigns to date as a Dortmund player.
Combined with creative brilliance of USMNT talent Christian Pulisic, Aubameyang's insatiable appetite for goals could make all the difference as Bosz's men attempt to muscle their way back into the title reckoning.
Watch: Aubameyang and Pulisic take down AC Milan
Dortmund travel to Wolfsburg on the opening day, but it is 2016/17 runners-up RB Leipzig who are expected to provide the first real test of Die Schwarz-Gelben's title credentials on Matchday 8. A trip to promoted Stuttgart separates blockbuster home games against Klassiker foes Bayern and Revierderby rivals Schalke in November.
Stadium - Signal Iduna Park
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