This Friday, Germany’s top soccer league—the Bundesliga—starts with a dynamite match: Bayern Munich hosts Hamburg Sports Club (HSV) in a North-South summit.
The newly-crowned “Deutscher meister,” Bayern Munich, is in no way the clear favorite given the preseason’s indifferent performances under coach Juergen Klinsmann.
Hamburg will have to cope with the loss of its Dutch dynamo Rafael van der Vaart who has left for Real Madrid.
VfL Wolfsburg is another team to watch this season after upgrading with Italian world champions Barzagli and Zaccardo. The goal of coach Felix Magath in Wolfsburg is to win the championship and then go far into the Champions League.
With joy, the Bundesliga welcomes the return of Borussia Mönchengladbach. This club, located on the lower Rhine River, has a long tradition and belongs in the top flight, pure and simple. It is one of the most popular clubs in Germany along with FC Bayern Munich, the Hamburg Sports Club (HSV), and Schalke 04.
Gladbach is guaranteed a full house in the stadium, so the cash registers will surely be ringing. Their first match is at home against VfB Stuttgart with new goalkeeper Jens Lehmann. Lehmann had an up and down Euro 2008 to follow up a miserable season on the Arsenal bench.
Admittedly, in past years Gladbach did not fare well against VfB Stuttgart. After their confident return however, the players and officials appear ready for a great season.
Legendary goalkeeper and current goalkeeping coach of Borussia, Uwe Kamps, told The Epoch Times, “In the last season it had worked out very well, we had a super comeback, we also have a fantastic cohesion within the team again now and we also had much fun.
“All this we want to take with us into the new season … of course the first intention to an upward climber is to remain in the Bundesliga.
“Stuttgart’s new signing, Jens Lehmann, is a very good goalkeeper as he had proven this [with] Arsenal and at our national team. Nevertheless, I hope that our boys will put three balls behind him. Then Stuttgart may have one in return! I could live well if we win 3–1 in the first game!”
Other opening matches this weekend in Germany are:
VfL Wolfsburg vs. 1. FC Cologne
Bayer Leverkusen vs. Borussia Dortmund
Karlsruhe SC vs. VfL Bochum
Energy Cottbus vs. 1899 Hoffenheim
Arminia Bielefeld vs. Werder Bremen
Eintracht Frankfurt vs. Herta BSC
FC Schalke 04 vs. Hanover 96