Bayern Munich begin their 2020-21 campaign at home to Schalke on Friday when the defending Bundesliga champions will look to dig out a ninth consecutive win over the Miners.
Die Roten recovered from an unsavory start to clinch an eighth straight league title as part of last season’s treble, but this will be their first full term led by hallowed head coach Hansi Flick.
Schalke will fancy a fresh start under David Wagner, whose team plummeted in form following the coronavirus suspension to finish 12th in the Bundesliga back in June. The Westphalian club had looked set for European qualification but went on to record their third bottom-half finish in four seasons, failing to record a victory in their last 15 competitive matches.
The form cards couldn’t stack up in a more opposite manner given Bayern—who beat Paris Saint-Germain in August to be crowned kings of the continent—have won their last 21 matches and are undefeated in 30 across all competitions.
Bayern Munich vs. Schalke Tune-In Information
When: Friday, September 18
Where: Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany
Time: 2:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. BST
Live Stream: fuboTV (watch for free)
As if the odds didn’t appear titled enough in favor of Friday’s hosts, Bayern could also hand a second Bundesliga debut to summer arrival Leroy Sane against his first professional club.
The 24-year-old—a $56 million signing from Manchester City—notched two goals and three assists across two legs when City beat his old team 10-2 on aggregate during the 2018-19 UEFA Champions League round of 16. That haul included an 85th-minute equalizing free-kick in the opening away leg:
He won’t be the only former Schalke member in Bayern’s squad, either, after goalkeeping ace Alexander Nubel completed a free transfer this summer, though Manuel Neuer will keep the No. 1 jersey.
Miners midfielder Omar Mascarell is in line to return for the visitors on Friday following a seven-month spell on the sidelines due to injury. The clash could also lead to debuts for Vedad Ibisevic (free) and Goncalo Paciencia, who will spend the season on loan from Eintracht Frankfurt.
Schalke’s most recent result against Germany’s most decorated outfit was a 1-1 league draw at the Allianz Arena in February 2017. Their last win over Bayern came all the way back in March 2011, though they haven’t gotten the better of them in league competition since December 2010.
It also doesn’t bode well that Wagner has lost all three of his managerial matchups against Bavaria’s brutish force—all of which occurred last season—failing to score in each.