Telekom Cup 2013: Previewing Our Competitors

The Liga!Total Cup 2012. This year's looks the same. - Oliver Hardt

Bayern Munich takes part in the 5th annual Telekom Cup with the likes of Borussia Dortmund, Borussia Monchengladbach, and Hamburger SV. Here's looking forward at our opponents and our first chance at silverware.

In what has become an annual preseason tradition since its inception in 2009, the Telekom Cup takes place this weekend. The four team preseason friendly previously known as the LIGA! Total or T-Home Cup, is just another meaningless preseason trophy; an exhibition before the upcoming season. Or is it?

In what has become a crash and burn event of apocalyptic nature, Bayern Munich has never won this competition. In fact in the four years it has been held, they’ve only made it to the final once. But not this year! That’s because this year’s motto is WE WINZ ALLZ TROPHYZ! Anything short of winning ever single piece of silverware and cutlery available to this team, starting with this trophy, will be met with disgust, disdain and a festival where we pillory Pep Guardiola and Phillip Lahm and throw rotten lettuce, cabbages and tomatoes at them.

Ok, maybe that’s a little hyperbolic but you catch my drift. In a season where Bayern Munich is going to have an enormous 50-story target on their back (they hold it up Yertle the Turtle style), it would behoove this team to approach each and every competition, even the relatively meaningless preseason ones with a pillage and salt the earth mentality. To that end let’s take a look at those we'll be pillaging in this fixture.

Hamburger SV

Die Rothosen approach this campaign hopeful that their fortunes improve after their sixth placed finish last season which saw them miss Europa League qualification by three points and a boatload of goal differential (9-2 losses will do that do you). While they are hoping this season proves to be an improvement, their actions so far in this transfer window have so far been rather reductionary. Most of their moves this offseason have been about bringing in young talent to augment their squad. However, Hamburg has seen one of their best attacking midfielders in Heung-min Son jump ship to Bayer Leverkusen on a €10M transfer. In response, they’ve brought in young Cameroonian striker Jacques Zoua from FC Basel on €1M transfer, but have stood pat on all other fronts.

Losing one of your best attacking players in Son with no obvious replacement is not the way to inspire your team to European qualification and at this point Hamburger SV should not be expected to challenge for much. Of course, there is still quite a bit left in the transfer window so expect some action from them but probably not in this tournament.

Borussia Mönchengladbach

The Mönchengladbach side spent last year recovering from the transfer of Marco Reus to Borussia Dortmund and showing of its incredible youth. Anchored on one end by 21 year old goalkeeper Marc Andre ter Stegen and on the other by 22 year old strikers Patrick Herrmann and Luuk de Jong, this Mönchengladbach side oozed potential before the transfer window even opened this summer. So what did they do? They bought SC Freiburg’s impressive midfielder Max Kruse. Considering the quality on this Mönchengladbach side, they should be expected to earn Europa League qualification at a minimum, and challenge for Champions League qualification. This competition should be a good first test for this talented squad.

Borussia Dortmund

The Black and Yellows have been Bayern’s chief competitions in these last few seasons. Even with the loss of Mario Götze, this side is considerably stronger than the one that earned its way to the UEFA Champions League final before falling to us. With each passing day, as it looks more and more likely that Robert Lewandowski will remain despite his desire to move on, this team looks more and more dangerous. With the addition of striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and central midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan, along with the already potent attacking midfield of Reus, Großkreutz and Blaszczykowski, this Borussia Dortmund should not be taken lightly.

Competition Schedule

In what is a two day competition, Bayern Munich faces the less dangerous (and admittedly less exciting) Hamburger SV on Saturday at 12:30pm ET, while Monchengladbach squares off against Dortmund at 10:45 am ET. The winners face each other on Sunday at 12:30pm ET, while the third place match takes place at earlier that morning at 10:45am ET.

TV/Streaming

7/20/2013 : Borussia Monchengladbach vs. Borussia Dortmund : 10:45am ET

beINSport (USA), Sport TV1 (Germany), ESPN (UK)

7/20/2013 : Bayern Munich vs. Hamburger SV : 12:30pm ET

beINSport (USA), Sport TV1 (Germany) , ESPN (UK)

7/21/2013 : Third Place Match 10:45am ET

beINSport (USA), Sport TV1 (Germany) , ESPN (UK)

7/21/2013 : Final 12:30PM ET

beINSport (USA), Sport TV1 (Germany) , ESPN (UK)

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