He's already kicked off 2018/19 with a hat-trick, as reigning Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich stormed to a 5-0 win over DFB Cup holders Eintracht Frankfurt in the Supercup. Hoffenheim be warned: Robert Lewandowski has a habit of beginning the Bundesliga season with a bang.

The last time the Poland captain failed to score on the opening day of the league season was four years ago, although back on 22 August 2014 he still teed up Arjen Robben for Bayern's second goal in a 2-1 home win over Wolfsburg. He opened his own account the following weekend at Schalke.

Since then, the 29-year-old has emerged as one of the deadliest marksmen in world football, and he has adopted the pleasing habit – from a Bayern point of view – of hitting the ground running from the word go, in all competitions.

In 2015/16, Lewandowski netted on Matchdays 1, 2 and 4, against Hamburg, Hoffenheim and Augsburg respectively. He missed Matchday 5 with a minor ankle complaint but returned with a vengeance, racking up nine goals in the space of just three games against Wolfsburg, Mainz and former club Borussia Dortmund. His record-breaking five-goal salvo off the bench against the Wolves has deservedly become part of Bundesliga folklore.

Watch: "You just cannot be that good!" - Lewandowski's sensational five-goal haul

The three-time winner of the Torjägerkanone started 2016/17 in similar fashion. He grabbed a hat-trick as Bayern put Werder Bremen to the sword on the opening day with a 6-0 thrashing at the Allianz Arena. He had already struck three times the previous week in the first round of the DFB Cup, when the Bavarian giants routed Carl Zeiss Jena 5-0.

Further goals followed in Bundesliga outings against Schalke and Ingolstadt, although a dry spell of just two goals in nine games between Matchdays 4 and 12 allowed his old rival Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to surge clear in the race for the top scorer's cannon. The Gabon star, then at Dortmund, would go on to pip Lewandowski to the prize by just a single goal.   

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (l.) and Robert Lewandowski (r.) enjoyed a fierce goalscoring rivalry after a solitary season together at Borussia Dortmund in 2013/14. © imago

The Bayern frontman had learned his lesson by the following season, as he embarked on an incredible scoring run between August and November 2017. Having netted once in the Supercup victory over Dortmund and twice in the DFB Cup opener against Chemnitzer, he was up to his old tricks again with another goal in the Bundesliga curtain-raiser at home to Bayer Leverkusen.

Lewandowski continued to find the back of the net with surgical precision, plundering 13 goals in his first 12 Bundesliga outings. He only failed to score on two occasions: the Matchday 9 win over Hamburg, and the Matchday 3 defeat to Hoffenheim. The Sinsheim club, who finished third last season, happen to be Bayern's first league opponents in 2018/19.

Robert Lewandowski (c.) led the fightback as Bayern Munich came from two goals down to win 5-2 in January's remarkable Bundesliga clash with Hoffenheim at the Allianz Arena. © gettyimages / Matthias Hangst

The Warsaw native has a solid record against TSG – seven goals in 14 meetings – although they are by no means his favourite victims; consider his 18 goals in just 12 games against Augsburg. Nevertheless, Friday's Matchday 1 contest at the Allianz Arena promises to be a fascinating one.

Lewandowski - who followed up his Supercup heroics with the only goal in Bayern's DFB Cup first-round win over fourth-tier SV Drochtersen/Assel - will be looking to net on the opening day for the fourth consecutive season. Hoffenheim – one of just four teams to beat Bayern last term – will be determined to spoil the record champions' party as they kick off their quest for a seventh straight Bundesliga title.

If there is anyone who can outfox Niko Kovac, it is perhaps Julian Nagelsmann - but it's never a good idea to bet against the mighty Munich and their prolific Pole.

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