sport news BUNDESLIGA PREVIEW: Can anyone stop Bayern Munich from winning their ELEVENTH ... trends now
Wunderbar! The Bundesliga is back with a brand new season that gets underway on Friday night as perennial winners Bayern Munich take on Europa League holders Eintracht Frankfurt at the Deutsche Bank Park.
There are so many questions to be answered in Germany's top flight as we stand on the start line of a new campaign.
Will Bayern win the title for an incredible eleventh year in a row? Can anyone topple them? How will the top two contenders cope without Robert Lewandowski and Erling Haaland? And will promoted sides Schalke and Werder Bremen survive the drop on their return to the top flight?
It is set to be a fascinating campaign in Germany and Sportsmail looks at the main talking points in the Bundesliga.
Bayern Munich are heavy favourites to win what would be their 11th Bundesliga title in a row
Friday, August 5
Eintracht Frankfurt v Bayern Munich (7.30pm)
Saturday, August 6 (2.30pm unless stated)
Bochum v Mainz
Augsburg v Freiburg
Wolfsburg v Werder Bremen
Union Berlin v Hertha Berlin
Borussia Monchengladbach v Hoffenheim
Borussia Dortmund v Bayer Leverkusen (5.30pm)
Sunday, August 7
Stuttgart v RB Leipzig
Cologne v Schalke
End of an era
It's out with the old and in with the new at the top end of the Bundesliga - though Bayern Munich will once again be heavy favourites to lift the trophy come May.
For the first time in nine years, the German champions go into the season without Robert Lewandowski. This would have presented Borussia Dortmund the perfect opportunity to strike - only for them to also lose their star striker Erling Haaland to Manchester City.
Both sides have dipped into the market as they face life without their strikers who have dominated the Bundesliga in recent years.
Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund are now respectably without Robert Lewandowski (left) and Erling Haaland who have moved on to Barcelona and Manchester City
In Sadio Mane, Bayern Munich have signed a genuine world class superstar who can play out wide or up front as proven at Liverpool last season. This versatility will no doubt be music to the ears of Julian Nagelsmann who has a big task to line up a team that can create and score as many goals as they did with Lewandowski.
However, Mane won't be able to do it by himself and Bayern will hope for more from the likes of Serge Gnabry and Leroy Sane who both suffered second-half-of-the-campaign slumps.
Dortmund meanwhile brought in two forwards who scored 57 goals between them in all competitions last season - in the form of Karim Adeyemi from Red Bull Salzburg (23 goals) and Sebastian Haller (34).
Unfortunately, Haller will be out for some time, after it was confirmed he will undergo therapy after being diagnosed with a malignant testicular tumour.
Bayern Munich have signed a world-class superstar in the form of Sadio Mane from Liverpool
They have also spent well elsewhere in the team. The additions of Nico Schlotterbeck and Niklas Sule (from rivals Bayern) are particularly handy as it means that so much of the responsibility won't fall on 33-year-old Mats Hummels.
Keeping Giovanni Reyna fit when he's healthy again could be a boost to their title aspirations, while Jude Bellingham's influence from midfield is growing all the time and he could be one of the standout players in the Bundesliga this season.
Outside of those two? Bayer Leverkusen have done well to retain the services of Patrik Schick and Florian Wirtz by signing them to new deals, and their only new signing Adam Hlozek is likely to come straight into the fold.
Borussia Dortmund will hope for big things from Karim Adeyemi if they are to challenge Bayern for the title
Wirtz though is recovering from a torn cruciate ligament. Moussa Diaby will have a big part to play after scoring 13 and providing 12 assists last season.
RB Leipzig meanwhile will hope Christopher Nkunku can replicate his fine scoring form of last season, and that Andre Silva can go back to the player who scored 28 goals in the 2021-22 season.
But it still feels that Dortmund and particularly Bayern, should still occupy the top two positions in the league.
Who are the other new signings to look out for?
The most expensive new addition to the Bundesliga is Matthijs De Ligt, who has joined Bayern Munich from Juventus for £60million.
Bayern last season seemed to lack an organisational leader at the back, something which Julian Nagelsmann will hope De Ligt has learned from pairing up with the likes of Georgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci in Italy.
Sadio Mane adds a wealth of experience and success to the squad, while Nagelsmann has clearly had an eye on the future with some of his other signings.
Bayern Munich have spent big with Matthis De Ligt their most expensive signing this summer
Niklas Sule (right) has made the switch from Bayern Munich to Borussia Dortmund
Ryan Gravenberch is one of the hottest midfield