This Saturday gives us the first big game of the German footballing calendar with the German Super Cup taking place between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund. The game is set to take place at the Westfalenstadion better known as Signal Iduna Park, home to Borussia Dortmund and a very tough place to visit, regardless of who you are.
Dortmund comes into the game after having an exceedingly strong preseason, having won four of their last four including a 3-2 win over Liverpool and a 4-1 domination of both Udinese and FC St. Gallen. A win in the Super Cup would start their season off in an ideal way, having come so close to winning the Bundesliga last year they will be wanted to show intent from the off. Bayern are coming into the game in a similar frame of mind. Their preseason went well, securing wins against the likes of Real Madrid, AC Milan and a crushing 6-1 win over Fenerbahce. However, they did succumb to Spurs and Arsenal. It is fair to say that Bayern had a slightly tougher preseason and have come out of it with a good deal more information about their current squad than Dortmund.
Both teams have taken the opportunity to bolster their squads over the summer transfer window. Bayern have signed World Cup winners Benjamin Pavard and Lucas Hernandez to help bolster an ageing defence, as well as taking a chance on two younger players in the form of Jann-Fiete Arp from Bundesliga 2 side Hamburg and Sarpreet Singh from New Zealand outfit Wellington Pheonix. The strong likelihood is that Pavard and Hernandez will be making the bigger impact of the four new signings that they have bought in as Bayern look to overhaul their defence.
Dortmund haven’t been shy in the transfer market either. Mats Hummels returned from Bayern to Dortmund in one of the most surprising moves of the summer, however, it seemed to make sense for both parties. On top of that, they have purged some of the Bundesliga’s best performing players from the 18/19 season. Julian Brandt, Thorgan Hazard and Nico Schulz will all be playing in front of the Yellow Wall next year having arrived from Bayern Leverkusen, Borussia Monchengladbach and Hoffenheim respectively. Paco Alcacer has also signed on a permanent deal from Barcelona after impressing last term on loan.
Towards the end of last season, Dortmund lined up predominantly as a 4-2-3-1, allowing the wingers to be able to fully come into the game and attack as a four upfront, whilst still being able to have a substantial defensive unit. The addition of Hummels will help to further shore up that unit too. In terms of the attack, it will be an interesting dynamic between the pace and agility of Jadon Sancho and the more technical and footwork-based play of Thorgan Hazard. This all being linked together by the Marco Reus, who could be gearing up for one of the most important seasons of his career.
Bayern also lined up in a similar way but have more of a creative core to the team with a triangle of Thiago, Leon Goretzka and Thomas Muller making up the midfield. Potentially they could line up in a 4-3-3 formation too. The two wingers that Bayern are set to use in Kingsley Coman and Serge Gnabry are very direct and fast which, in the past has caused the opposition quite a bit of discomfort. With an attacking spearhead of Robert Lewandowski, possibly one of the best finishers in world football now and a player Dortmund know all about, he will be hoping to get his season off to a scoring start.
Players to watch
The ex-Arsenal and West Brom man has really come into his own last season as he has been given more first-team opportunities. Gnabry scored ten and assisted seven last campaign in the Bundesliga and could potentially be a man who is able to turn the tide of the game. The way that he will be able to connect with the creative players in the side, such as Thiago and Thomas Muller, will give a new way for the Bavarian side to attack. He’s direct and agile, as well as having an eye for goal, starting on the left is preferable for his style of play as it gives him the ability to cut in on his preferred right foot.
Delaney is a solid box-to-box midfielder who is typically the kind of player who could be overlooked for more attacking players, such as Marco Reus or Jadon Sancho. Sat alongside fellow centre midfielder Axel Witsel he can have a bit more creative freedom when attacking, as Witsel is able to anchor the midfield almost singlehandedly. Delaney, thus, has the ability to dictate play and cause issues further up the pitch. The main objective of his game is to break up the play and allow the counter-attacking style of football that Dortmund likes to play.
Last Time Out
The last time that these two met it was a high scoring affair, but certainly, one team would have enjoyed themselves more than the other. The result was a 5-0 home win for Bayern Munich, with goals coming from Hummels, Gnabry, Javi Martinez and two for Lewandowski. Bayern dominated the game in every sense of the word, having 22 shots and 59% possession they managed to show their dominance against one of their biggest rivals. No doubt Dortmund will be looking to get some payback this time around.
Predicted Line Ups
Burki(GK),Hackimi ,Hummels ,Akanji ,Schulz , Witsel, Delaney, Hazard, Reus, Sancho, Alcacer
Neuer(GK),Kimmich ,Hernandez ,Sule ,Alaba ,Thiago ,Goretzka , Muller, Coman, Lewandowski,Gnabry.