The 2018/19 season kicks off in style on Sunday 12 August as DFB Cup winners Eintracht Frankfurt host Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich in the Supercup.

The showdown at the Commerzbank Arena is a repeat of last May's DFB Cup final, which saw Frankfurt triumph 3-1 at the expense of favourites Bayern at the Olympiastadion. It will also be a first competitive outing for Adi Hütter and Niko Kovac at the helm of their new clubs.

To whet your appetite, bundesliga.com has taken a look at five key duels which could determine who comes away with the season's first piece of silverware…

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1) The brains: Adi Hütter vs. Niko Kovac

This will be quite the baptism of fire for new Frankfurt coach Hütter, who has been brought in to replace the man he will be facing on Sunday. Even if he is gearing up for his first coaching experience in Germany, the 48-year-old has serious pedigree. Last season, he became the first Austrian coach to win a league title abroad, guiding Young Boys to their first Swiss Super League crown since 1986. The former midfielder also masterminded an Austrian Bundesliga and Cup double with Red Bull Salzburg in 2014/15, and will be relishing the opportunity to pit his wits against his predecessor.

Niko Kovac guided Eintracht Frankfurt to a spot in this year's Supercup with victory over Bayern Munich in the DFB Cup final in May. © gettyimages / Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts

Kovac will need absolutely no introduction at the Commerzbank Arena - he will always have a place in Frankfurt fans' hearts after winning last season's DFB Cup, the club's first trophy in 30 years. This time, though, the 46-year-old is on the other side of the fence, and he will be tasked with finding the chinks in the Eagles' armour in order to secure Bayern a third consecutive Supercup victory. The Croatian has proven his tactical nous in the past, and his understanding of Frankfurt's strengths and weaknesses is likely to prove pivotal as he bids to make it a successful homecoming.

2) The quarter-backs: Makoto Hasebe vs. Mats Hummels

Few players boast the experience of Frankfurt's Hasebe, who has made more Bundesliga appearances (260) than any other Japanese player. The 34-year-old is also the captain of the Japan national side, with 114 caps, and almost helped the Samurai Blue get the better of Belgium in the last 16 of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. He will no doubt be a key lieutenant for Hütter, capable of playing in defensive midfield or as a sweeper, and his long-range passing ability could help the Eagles surprise Bayern on the counter-attack. Last season, he completed an impressive 88.5 per cent of his passes in the Bundesliga.

Hummels is one of the best in the business when it comes to the so-called 'quarter-back' position, which is essentially that of a ball-playing centre-back. The Germany international had an ever better pass completion ratio than Hasebe last term – 89.7 per cent – and also won nearly two-thirds of his challenges. The lynchpin at the heart of Bayern's defence, the 29-year-old will play a major role in keeping Frankfurt quiet on their own patch as he looks to lift the Supercup for a fifth time.

3) The string-pullers: Marco Fabian vs. James Rodriguez

Even if 2017/18 had a happy ending for Frankfurt, it was largely a campaign to forget for their midfield metronome Fabian. The Mexican was limited to just seven Bundesliga appearances due to a persistent back injury, and spent the DFB Cup final on the bench – although he did play the full 90 minutes in the semi-final. The 29-year-old will be determined to show exactly what the Eagles were missing in his absence as he attempts to give them the edge in midfield, although it won't be straightforward against a Bayern side brimming with quality in the centre of the park.

Watch: James' stunning debut season at Bayern

James began life in Bavaria in his customary No.10 role, but since being deployed slightly deeper in midfield he has been able to exert greater influence on Bayern's build-up play. The 27-year-old endured a frustrating end to the World Cup – a calf injury ruled him out of Colombia's last 16 exit to England – but he is now back to full fitness and heading into the new campaign with plenty of ambition. After grabbing seven goals and 11 assists in the Bundesliga last season, the on-loan Real Madrid man could once again be the star of the show as Bayern look to get their campaign off to a perfect start.   

4) The flying machines: Timothy Chandler vs. Joshua Kimmich

Chandler recently described the Frankfurt squad as "a family", explaining that their togetherness was at the core of last season's DFB Cup triumph. The 28-year-old right-back – who still hopes to represent the USA again in the future – could have a key role for the Eagles down the flanks if Hütter sticks with a three or five-man defence. The Frankfurt native provided 69 crosses from open play last season, but also didn't shirk his defensive responsibilities, winning nearly 50 per cent of his challenges as his side ended the campaign with the sixth best defence in the Bundesliga.

Watch: Kimmich's Bundesliga goals and assists

Chandler recently described the Frankfurt squad as "a family", explaining that their togetherness was at the core of last season's DFB Cup triumph. The 28-year-old right-back – who still hopes to represent the USA again in the future – could have a key role for the Eagles down the flanks if Hütter sticks with a three or five-man defence. The Frankfurt native provided 69 crosses from open play last season, but also didn't shirk his defensive responsibilities, winning nearly 50 per cent of his challenges as his side ended the campaign with the sixth best defence in the Bundesliga.

Kimmich has long been considered one of the brightest talents of his generation, and his performances last season will have done nothing to lessen the hype. The archetype of the modern wing-back, the 23-year-old whipped over no fewer than 109 crosses – providing 10 assists – and completed over 90 per cent of his passes. He also has an eye for goal, having netted 15 times for Bayern in all competitions over the past two seasons. He made a telling contribution at both ends of the pitch as they finished 2017/18 with the best attack and the best defence, and he will no doubt remain a fixture down the right for many years to come.  

5) The sharpshooters: Ante Rebic vs. Robert Lewandowski

Rebic was the hero for Frankfurt in May's DFB Cup final win, giving them an early lead in Berlin before grabbing the decisive second goal eight minutes from time. The Croatian's stock also rose with an impressive showing at the World Cup in Russia, although he was unable to prevent his side from losing 4-2 in the final against France. The 24-year-old scored nine goals in all competitions last term, and will be hoping for greater consistency this time around, especially with the Eagles making their first European appearance since the 2013/14 UEFA Europa League. A repeat of his DFB Cup exploits against Bayern would give Rebic the ideal lift-off heading into a busy 2018/19.

If there's one man who knows a thing or two about consistency, it's Lewandowski. The Bayern marksman celebrated his third top scorer's cannon in 2017/18, with his 29-goal haul taking his top-flight total to a staggering 180 goals in 257 outings. The Poland striker is likely to pick up where he left off under Kovac, as he looks to become only the fifth man in history to reach 200 Bundesliga goals. In the shorter term, he will be hoping to add to his relatively modest return of just two goals in the last seven Supercups, and lift the trophy for the fourth time.    

Check out the latest Eintracht Frankfurt and Bayern Munich news ahead of the Supercup!