Saturday, June 10, 2023

German Champions Bayern Munich Face Schalke in 20/21 Season Opening Game

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The coronavirus pandemic pushed back the original Bundesliga start date of August 18th. It will now commence on September 18th, and after completing the treble, Bayern Munich look to make an impact versus Schalke in their opening season fixture.

Munich Decline a Break

Historically, the season opener would take place on a Friday and to fit that schedule; the first match is set to take place on Friday, September 18th. But, with Munich competing in the Champions League final on August 23rd, they were offered a replacement date of September 21st to give them more time to recoup.

As the proud German club they are, Munich rejected the date and opted to keep their original fixture against Schalke for the 18th.

Brave to say the least on Munich’s behalf, as their schedule doesn’t become any easier. The coronavirus pandemic pushing back the Euro 2020 international competition into 2021, meaning domestic fixtures are being crammed into a smaller time frame to make room for Euro 2021 games.

Bayern told the DFL they want to keep the tradition established in 2002, by hosting the opening game. And because of this, Munich will face Schalke at the Allianz Arena on Friday, September 18th with bookmakers listing Bayern as the favourite.

The Youth of Schalke versus Schalke

One of Munich’s most significant summer purchases came straight from their opposition in the first fixture of the season.

The Manchester City star Leroy Sane signed with Munich and will make his debut against the club where he made a name for himself.

Four years ago, Pep Guardiola was impressed by the winger’s skill-set while playing for Schalke and decided to sign the young star. The club he originally signed as a young boy aged eight will now be the opponent he tries to defeat in his return to the Bundesliga.

MUNICH, GERMANY – JULY 23RD: (L-R) Oliver Kahn, member of the FC Bayern Muenchen board, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, CEO of FC Bayern Muenchen, Leroy Sane of FC Bayern Muenchen and Hasan Salihamidzic, sporting director of FC Bayern Muenchen, pose following a press conference announcing Sane’s signing with FC Bayern Muenchen on July 23rd, 2020 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Handout/Getty Images)

And it doesn’t stop there; Sane will team up with Leon Goretzka, Neuer and Alexander Nubel who’re all products of the Schalke youth academy. This foursome will be looking to help crown Bayern Munich with their ninth consecutive Bundesliga title, and it all begins with their original club Schalke.

Schalke coach David Wagner admits the second half-season collapse of Schalke was his mistake and his youthful side will be looking to battle the former youth, with a mix of veterans such as Mark Uth and Sebastian Rudy.

We have to rely on the young players who emerge from the academy, but also on younger players who we bring to the club. Like Suat Serdar, who came two years ago, or Ozan Kabak last season, Weston McKennie, who went through youth system – these are the players we want and need to bet on in the future” Schalke sporting director Jochen Schneider told journalists.

“Mark Uth and Sebastian Rudy are coming back. These are seasoned Bundesliga players who are the framework for the team. We plan with them.”

Last season Bayern Munich won both clashes against Schalke and looking back at their historic meetings, Bayern have been far more successful than their counterparts. Memorably, Bayern Munich destroyed the hopes and dreams of Schalke again in the 2000/2001 Bundesliga season when both teams battled for the title. The Munich side came out on top with a goal in added time that prevented Schalke from their first-ever Bundesliga title.

With Munich surrendering their season opener pushback, they’ll play five domestic fixtures before the German Supercup on September 30th 2020.

The Bayern Munich squad of 2019/2020 could arguably be one of the greatest; their champion’s league performance was exceptional as Hans Flick continues to craft a team of excellence. We should expect nothing other than a dominant performance on an opening day, as Munich take pride as the kings of Germany and will be seeking yet another piece of silverware for the trophy cabinet from the 2020/2021 Bundesliga season.

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