The 2014/15 campaign will kick off on August 22 with VfL Wolfsburg traveling to Allianz Arena to take on Bayern Munich, the top of the 34 match fixture list the Bundesliga released on Tuesday.
The previous season might have been a disappointing follow-up campaign to the best season to Bayern's history, but the fixture list was spaced out in a friendly way. The new season will be in the wake of the World Cup, causing the fixture list to be shifted up two weeks, compacting both halves of Bayern's Bundesliga season.
Here is the full fixture list, along with the possible dates for DFB Pokal and Champions League matches:
Fixture list as according to bundesliga.de. Eventual schedule is subject to change.
Photos courtesy of Getty Images and UEFA.com
Bundesliga Matchday 10 vs. Borussia Dortmund
October 31-November 2, 2014 – Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany
Nowadays, whenever a Bayern fan pulls out the Bundesliga fixture list, the natural temptation is to look for the Dortmund fixture, a regular league match that has turned into a world showcase of Germany's best.
Of the two league matches against Dortmund, the Hinrunde fixture will be sandwiched between two other competitions: the DFB Pokal and the UEFA Champions League. This case was the same in April, when Dortmund defeated Bayern in Allianz Arena 0-3. That said, the 3-0 victory in Signa Iduna Park last year fueled Bayern's drive to their 24th championship, and this Hinrunde match could very well do the same.
Bayern will have a new weapon this time around, usurping Robert Lewandowski from Dortmund on a free transfer. Dortmund will have to watch one of their stars suit up in red instead of yellow, and unlike Götze, Lewandowski will have a greater chance of coming out of the tunnel opposite his former teammates.
The two will once again bless the world with a Klassiker, and at the midpoint of the Hinrunde, it will be a Wendepunkt that will shake the Bundesliga table again.
vs. TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, @ Hertha Berliner SC, vs. Bayer 04 Leverkusen, @ FC Augsburg
The transfer market has yet to settle the annual Bundesliga turnover, but all four of these teams were gunning for European spots a year ago. Bayern struggled with Hoffenheim last season, and if they are able to retain the likes of Roberto Firmino and Kevin Volland, it will once again be a strong attacking side. Bayer 04 Leverkusen has been a tough out as well, and Hertha Berliner SC and FC Augsburg are developing into solid young teams. Going into the winter break, a strong performance could put Bayern into a very strong position.
vs. Hamburger SV, @ SC Paderborn 07, vs. 1. FC Köln
Over the past two seasons, a promoted side has opened the season on a terrific run to maintain their Bundesliga standing. At the moment, Paderborn and Köln do not look to be sides with that kind of potential. Hamburger SV has many adjustments to make to avoid relegation for the second consecutive year, still with many holes in its defense and many attacking options on the wrong side of 30. With potentially the Champions League Round of 16 on the docket at the beginning of the Rückrunde, a soft stretch in February will be exactly what Bayern need to recommence their 2014/15 campaign.
- With the condensed schedule, one would think that there would be more weeks throughout the season with midweek matches. That is not the case, however, as Bayern have the same amount of free midweeks, six, as they did a season ago. What the shifted schedule has done is push the DFB Pokal Round of 16 into March rather than December, making the spring months of the season packed with matches.
- Of the players that participate in for their countries as well, all of the European ones will be trying to qualify for the UEFA European Championships. Qualification comprised a major portion of last season as well, and many players returned to Bayern with an unfortunate knock that limited their squad availability. A club always takes on a risk when players leave to play for their countries, but sufficient squad depth should quell some of those fears.