Good evening! Thank you so much for joining Sports Mole
for what promises to be a thrilling match between two of European football's most exciting teams - Borussia Dortmund
and Bayern Munich
The first piece of silverware this season is up for grabs tonight, and both teams will be equally as eager to get their hands on it. Apart from taking up yet more space in the bulging trophy cabinets of these two sides, it would also provide the first psychological blow in a season that they are both expected to dominate, at least domestically.
For Jurgen Klopp
, another trophy would add to his ever-growing reputation in football as well as giving his side the belief that they can beat Bayern. They came close in last season's Champions League final, but the manner in which they lost that game - to a late goal - could have had a big impact on their confidence.
For Pep Guardiola
, meanwhile, he has a chance to win a trophy in his first competitive game as Bayern boss. He arrives at a club in magnificent shape but, in some ways, he is under more pressure than most as the only way for him to go is down. How do you better their treble from last season? A win in the Super Cup would be a good start.
Right, let's start by looking at our hosts today. Dortmund have the advantage of being at their home ground for this match, and it could prove to be an important advantage. Dortmund's supporters are among the best in the world, and the Westfalenstadion really lends itself to a great atmosphere.
As far as pre-season is concerned, it was all going swimmingly for Dortmund until their last outing. Comfortable wins against the likes of Magdeburg, Basel, Bursaspor and Luzern showed that they are still a very strong outfit despite the loss of Mario Gotze to Bayern during the summer.
However, they were stopped in their tracks by Borussia Monchengladbach in their final warm-up game, falling to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of their fellow Bundesliga side.
That match was a minor blip on an otherwise exemplary record, however. Jurgen Klopp
's side have won five and lost just that one in their six pre-season games. Their Bundesliga curtain raiser comes against Augsburg on August 10, but before that they must face Wilmhelmshaven in the first round of the cup.
As for Bayern Munich, it is hard to see how they can be stopped at the moment. They have been in scintillating form throughout pre-season and, although some of the teams they have faced haven't been the strongest, they have also taken on the likes of Barcelona and the same Monchengladbach team that beat Dortmund.
There was no such shock when Bayern took them on, however. The Bundesliga champions cruised to a comfortable 5-1 win, the latest in a long line of high-scoring routs that Munich have been responsible for in the build-up to the new season.
Bayern followed that win up with a 2-0 victory over Barcelona, and the result was a lot more comfortable than the scoreline suggests. Granted, it was Barcelona's first pre-season match and they fielded a weakened side, but Bayern still looked very impressive. Just as they did in both of the Champions League semi-finals, they dominated the game and at times seemed to cut through the Barca defence at will.
Overall in their pre-season campaign, they have played nine matches, winning every single one and scoring a phenomenal 61 goals in the process. That averages out at almost seven goals per match. What's more, they have been solid defensively as well, conceding just three goals in that time. It is hard to find a weakness in the Bayern side.
Every other club in Europe must be looking at Bayern in awe at the moment. They won the treble last season - an unprecedented achievement in Germany - yet this season they are looking even better with Guardiola in charge. He has brought Barcelona's philosophy of play to Bayern, and that partnership has the potential to be scarily good.
Including friendlies, they are now unbeaten in 25 games. The last time they lost was to Arsenal in the Champions League way back in March. Furthermore, during that time they have only dropped points on one occasion - to Dortmund in the Bundesliga. Their recent record, then, looks like this: P25 W24 D1 L0.
Both teams do have some absentees ahead of this match. Dortmund are without new signing Henrikh Mkhitaryan as well as Lukasz Piszczek, while Munich will not be able to field Gotze against his old club. Manuel Neuer and Frank Ribery are also unavailable having picked up knocks against Barcelona.
TEAM NEWS: Right, the team news is in for both sides and Bayern have handed a competitive debut to Thiago Alcantara. Lahm returns to right-back after experimenting in midfield against Barcelona, while Van Buyten comes in for Dante. Full team news for both sides coming right up...
DORTMUND STARTING XI: Weidenfeller; Großkreutz, Subotic, Hummels, Schmelzer; Bender, Sahin; Kuba, Gündogan, Reus; Lewandowski
BAYERN STARTING XI: Starke; Lahm, Boateng, van Buyten, Alaba; Thiago, Kroos; Robben, Müller, Shaqiri; Mandzukic
What can we make of those starting lineups then? Well, starting with Dortmund, they were desperate to keep hold of Lewandowski for at least another season and he will be their most potent threat tonight. The likes of Gundogan and Reus behind him are bordering on world-class in their own right, which makes a very strong trio for Klopp. The defensive partnership of Subotic and Hummels also established themselves as one of the best in Europe last season, and they will not make it easy for Bayern to get at Weidenfeller tonight.
As for Bayern, even without the likes of Schweinsteiger, Gotze and Ribery they can field a very strong side. Thiago, Kroos, Robben and Muller all carry out their respective duties as well as anyone, and Mandzukic should get plenty of service from them tonight. The defence is as good as any in Europe as well, with Lahm and Alaba arguably the two best players in their respective positions in the world right now.
One area that may be of concern for Bayern - and of interest to Dortmund - is between the sticks. Manuel Neuer is such an imposing and reliable presence in goal for the champions, but it remains to be seen whether the 32-year-old Starke can fill that rather large void.
Bayern just have the edge when it comes to quality throughout the starting lineup I'd say, but how do these two teams compare when it comes to historical victories?
Well, Bayern will be buoyed by the fact that they have not lost to Dortmund in their last five meetings. The latest of those was, of course, in the Champions League final, but they have won on two other occasions and drawn twice since Dortmund last beat them.
That last Dortmund win was an emphatic one, however, as they thrashed Munich 5-2 in the German Cup final. That was the last in a run of five consecutive wins for Dortmund against Bayern, which is a very impressive record indeed.
The last time that Bayern beat Dortmund in Dortmund's own back yard was way back in 2009. Gomez, Schweinsteiger, Ribery and Muller were all on the scoresheet in that match as Bayern trounced Dortmund 5-1. As good as Bayern have been in pre-season so far, I would be very surprised to see a repeat result of that tonight.
Overall, these two sides have met each other 93 times with Bayern coming out on top in 42 of those games. Dortmund have only won 23 in comparison.
So, distant history, recent history, current squads and recent form all point to a Bayern Munich win tonight, but Dortmund won't take any notice of any of those factors. They know that they are capable of beating anyone on their day and, if their play to their best and Bayern are even slightly under par, it could well be Klopp's side lifting the trophy tonight.
One thing is for sure: whoever wins tonight it will be at the end of an entertaining match. These two sides love playing free-flowing, attacking and expansive football. Neither team will sit back and defend and, if anything, Bayern look even more exciting under Guardiola than they did last season.
PREDICTION: Right, we're five minutes from kickoff which means that it is time I made my prediction for the upcoming match. It is hard to choose between these two sides simply because they are both so good. However, Bayern Munich have been in irresistible form during pre-season and I can't see them being stopped by anyone. I'm going to plump for 3-1 Bayern Munich.
So, how will Guardiola do in his first competitive match in charge. These two sides have taken turns dominating German football over the past few seasons. Dortmund won the double in the season before last, while Bayern went one better in the last campaign to pick up the treble last season. Who will come out on top this season?
We're just about ready to go amidst a cracking atmosphere in the stadium. Dortmund probably need a win more than Bayern do, but both sides will be equally as keen to come out on top tonight.
KICKOFF: Dortmund get us underway in this one. Try telling the fans in the stadium that the Super Cup doesn't matter!
Bayern have made a bright start here, and Alaba is already making his trademark marauding runs down the left flank. He wins an early corner for his side, but Hummels does well to head it clear.
Even in these early stages both sides are looking to attack at any and every available opportunity. This one will not end 0-0, of that I'm sure.
GOAL! Dortmund 1-0 Bayern Munich (Marco Reus)
I told you so! With all the attacking quality on show, though, I didn't expect the goal to come from a defensive error. I mentioned before the match about the questions over Starke in the Bayern goal, and he has had an absolute shocker here. His original poor clearance allows Lewandowski to whip a cross towards the back post. It is headed into the ground and bounces up towards the keeper, who manages to fumble a routine catch. Reus is the first to react and he sends a diving header in. First blood to Dortmund.
DISALLOWED GOAL! Dortmund think that they have gone 2-0 up within eight minutes! Lewandowski races clear of the defence and slips it under Starke, who is racing out to meet the strike. He peels away in delight, but his celebrations are cut short by the linesman's flag.
It has been a blistering start from Dortmund. That offside decision was very, very tight, but probably just about right.
SAVE! Weidenfeller is called into action for the first time tonight as Shaqiri goes for goal from about 25 yards out. The Dortmund keeper is down well to get a strong hand to it, though. Good effort, good save.
The Dortmund fans are giving particularly vociferous whistles whenever Robben gets on the ball, no doubt because of his role in Bayern's Champions League win.
CHANCE! Big chance for Bayern to draw level! The ball falls to Shaqiri around eight yards from goal with only the keeper to beat, but he hits it straight at Weidenfeller. The ball rebounds back off Hummels and looks like it will bounce in but Weidenfeller is up quickly to make another save and tip it past the post. Good goalkeeping, but Shaqiri should have scored.
Gundogan makes a smart run down the left flank and makes room for himself to cross, but it is too heavy for Lewandowski, who had peeled away from his marker very well.
CHANCE! Starke goes some way to making up for his earlier error, but Lewandowski really should have scored there. Another fluid move ends with Reus sending a perfect low cross into the path of Lewandowski, who just has to poke it home from close range. He doesn't do enough to get it past Starke, however, and the chance goes begging.
Munich go straight up the other end with a fast counter attack, but that comes to an end when Shaqiri blazes his shot high over the bar.
Both sides look capable of getting a goal every time they come forward at the moment, it's great to watch. These two teams may well be the most entertaining in Europe at the moment.
Thiago slips a delightful little ball behind the defence towards Mandzukic, but it just runs away from the striker and Weidenfeller collects. Brilliant vision from the new Bayern man, though, no-one else in the stadium seemed to have seen that pass.
We're just having a mid-half drinks break at the moment. There has been quite a few of them throughout pre-season so far as the heat takes its toll on the players.
Bayern are knocking the ball about in typical Guardiola fashion, but Dortmund are working so hard to press and win it back. Munich are certainly not having possession all their own way in this one.
My word, Starke has almost had another howler there. Lewandowski closes his down quickly and the reserve keeper suddenly thinks he is Arjen Robben
. He tries to dribble it past the Dortmund striker, who puts him under even more pressure and almost steals the ball. Eventually, though, the keeper scrambles it out for a throw. He looks very dodgy.
Brilliant from Mandzukic as he keeps a deep cross from Muller alive by heading it back across goal. Weidenfeller plucks it out of the air with one hand, however, before attempting to launch a quick break.
Mandzukic almost gets on the end of a good cross into the box, but he just can't grow enough to take advantage of a fine piece of football. The ball comes back into the box and this time he does get his head to it, but Weidenfeller collects it comfortably.
The really good chances have just dried up a little in the last 10 minutes or so, but it is still a very entertaining match. Either side look capable of scoring at any moment, and I wouldn't be surprised if we have another goal before half time.
The ball drops to Reus about 25 yards from goal and he tries an ambitious first-time half volley which goes high over the bar. They are looking to test Starke whenever possible, though.
Lewandowski does not give anything up. Bayern look to have the situation under control at the back but they don't count on the striker's work rate and are forced to scramble the ball hurriedly clear. He must be a real pain to play against.
Dortmund are piling the pressure on at the moment. Blaszczykowski makes his way down the right before pulling it back into the path of Gundogan, who hammers a spot against Boateng, who makes a fine block. Dortmund have their first corner of the night...
For once, Starke deals with the high ball well, getting a good punch on it to clear the danger.
The final ball just isn't coming off for Bayern at the moment. They are getting into plenty of promising positions, but their only good chance of the match so far was Shaqiri's around half an hour ago. Since then, they haven't been able to breach this Dortmund defence.
There will be one minute of added time at the end of this half.
HALF TIME: Dortmund 1-0 Bayern Munich
That was a very entertaining half of football. Dortmund go in to the break ahead but in truth it was very even. There was very little to separate the two sides throughout, although Dortmund did probably have more of the clear chances. The difference at the moment has been a howler by Starke in the Bayern goal early on, allowing Reus to break the deadlock after just six minutes.
Dortmund had another goal disallowed just two minutes later after a very tight offside call, so it could be even worse for Bayern, but they certainly don't deserve to be more than 1-0 down after that first half.
Bayern haven't been able to dominate Dortmund in the way that they been doing to teams throughout pre-season so far, and Klopp deserves plenty of credit for that. His side are closing Bayern down quickly and not giving them any time on the ball. The likes of Robben, Thiago and Mandzukic haven't had a very big impact on this one so far.
No disrespect intended to Starke, but I think it is fair to say that this match would be level with Manuel Neuer in goal. To be fair, Starke may have been put off by Van Buyten's jump just in front of him, but it was still an awful mistake for a keeper at his level.
So, what will both managers be saying to their respective teams at the break? Well, for Klopp it must be more of the same. You are never going to keep Bayern completely quiet, but Dortmund have done a pretty good job of it so far. Their key players aren't involved as much as Bayern would want them to be, and that is due to Dortmund's heavy pressure. They are content to let Bayern attack them before looking to hit the champions on the break, which they have done to great effect a number of times already.
As for Guardiola, he will want the likes of Robben and Thiago to get on the ball more. They usually draw two defenders to deal with them, which should create space elsewhere on the pitch that Bayern will look to take advantage of.
He will be keen to stress that his side are only behind because of a mistake, not because Dortmund have been the better team. This one is by no means over, and Guardiola will still be confident of coming away with a win tonight.
DORTMUND SUB: Dortmund will make a change at half time as Sven Bender is replaced by Sebastian Kehl. That's a straight swap in midfield.
KICKOFF: Bayern Munich begin the second half, can grab an equaliser in this second half?
Lewandowski takes the ball down brilliantly on his chest before peeling away from Boateng and getting a cross in, but his ball is too long and goes out for a goal kick. Fine play until the cross, though.
Muller brings Gundogan down in a good position for a free kick. It is right on the edge of shooting range and the angle doesn't make it any easier...
...Reus goes for goal but his effort cannons into the middle of the wall.
Boateng mis-times a tackle on Lewandowski and the fans want a yellow card. In the regular season I'm sure he would have entered the referee's book there, but it has to be truly exceptional to warrant a yellow during pre-season.
A good stat here that makes Dortmund's ability to compete with Munich even more impressive: Over the past four seasons, Dortmund have a net spend of £12m compared to Bayern's £137m over the same period. Klopp deserves major credit for that.
GOAL! Dortmund 1-1 Bayern Munich (Arjen Robben)
That hasn't gone down well in the stadium! The villain of the piece Arjen Robben has levelled the sides, nodding in a magnificent cross from Lahm. You don't think of heading when you think of Robben, but that was put on a plate for him.
GOAL! Dortmund 2-1 Bayern Munich (Daniel van Buyten og)
Dortmund hit straight back! A cross into the box is nodded into his own net by Van Buyten. It is unlucky for the defender, but Starke had no chance. It was a fine attacking header!
GOAL! Dortmund 3-1 Bayern Munich (Ilkay Gundogan)
Oh my word, what a spell of football! In the space of three minutes we have had three goals! It all opens up for Dortmund immediately after Van Buyten's own goal and Gundogan takes full advantage. He makes his way to the edge of the box before cutting back and curling a fine strike into the bottom corner. Very good finish, and Bayern have a job on their hands now!
Phew! Just a bit of time to catch our breath now. The stadium is rocking after that quickfire double and Guardiola is on the verge of losing his first competitive match in charge of Bayern. That series of play has left Bayern shocked and it will be interesting to see how they react.
Dortmund counter so quickly and in such numbers that Bayern will still need to be wary about going all out attack in this one. They are still just about in this one, but another goal for Dortmund would be game over.
GOAL! Dortmund 3-2 Bayern Munich (Arjen Robben)
Bayern pull one back! Again Lahm and Robben link up to provide the goal, but it is a very different goal. Lahm's cross is low this time and Robben takes a touch before producing a very smart finish on the turn. That's four goals in 10 minutes, and Bayern will want to avoid a similar reaction from Dortmund to their last goal!
Mandzukic goes for a highly ambitious bicycle kick with the ball behind him, but he shins it and it goes harmlessly wide. That would have been some way to level the scores!
BAYERN SUB: Guardiola makes his first change of the night as Schweinsteiger replaces Shaqiri. Schweinsteiger is not fully fit, we understand, so this is a bit of a risk.
Nuri Sahin lines up a free kick from around 28 yards out and he goes for the Ronaldo-esque strike. He can't get the dip on it, however, and it sails over the bar.
Time for another drinks break, and these players will be catching up on breath as much as they will be on fluids. It has been a fine match, and this last 15 minutes in particular has been a joy to watch. There are still 20 minutes left as well, and this one is very finely poised.
DORTMUND SUB: Klopp uses this juncture to make a change as Pierre Emerick Aubameyang comes on for his debut. Off comes Blaszczykowski.
Robben lines up his full-back and looks set to take him on, but instead rolls the ball to the overlapping Alaba. His cross is nodded back in by Muller, but Bayern just can't get hold of the ball and Dortmund eventually clear.
BAYERN SUB: Claudio Pizarro is going to come on here, replacing Mario Mandzukic. The striker position is probably Bayern's weakest spot when they have a full team out, a world class forward could really make them a complete side.
Having said that, the scoring records of Mandzukic and Pizarro are very impressive. Pizarro, for example, has scored 11 goals in his last nine starts.
OFF THE BAR! Muller is very unlucky there, that would have been a glorious goal. Thiago lifts an inch-perfect ball over the top to the German international, who takes it first time on the volley from over his shoulder. It is probably the hardest skill in football, but Muller connects well and sees his strike come off the top of the bar. Superb effort.
CHANCE! This chance sums up the way this match has gone so far. Bayern knock the ball about patiently but eventually lose it and Dortmund break immediately. Lewandowski feeds the ball to Aubameyang in a three-on-two situation, but the keeper is out well to save the debutant's effort.
OFF THE LINE! Dortmund come close to sealing the win yet again! This time a pull back finds Lewandowski in the middle, but his effort is very well saved by Starke. It rebounds back out to Reus, who fires a rebound towards goal but Alaba is back there to make a block on the line.
BAYERN SUB: This is an interesting change from Guardiola as Dante, a defender, replaces Kroos, a midfielder.
GOAL! Dortmund 4-2 Bayern Munich (Marco Reus)
That is surely game over now! Bayern are once again cut open as Dante immediately goes up front, freeing space for Aubameyang to race into. Lewandowski finds the sub, who in turn slips Reus in for the simplest of tap-ins. Surely there is no way back for Munich now?
Dante almost reaches a low cross into the box but Weidenfeller is out with a fine clearance. That was brave goalkeeping.
YELLOW CARD! The first yellow card of the evening goes to Boateng, who fouled Lewandowski while the Dortmund striker was keeping the ball by the touchline.
There will be three minutes of added time, by the way.
The crowd are loving this now as Dortmund knock the ball about waiting for the final whistle. They are cheering every pass and are enjoying rubbing Bayern's noses in it.
FULL TIME: Dortmund 4-2 Bayern Munich
BORUSSIA DORTMUND WIN THE GERMAN SUPER CUP!
First blood to Dortmund, then. That could be a huge blow to Bayern psychologically, and huge lift to Dortmund. They were brilliant tonight and any team who scores four past Bayern Munich deserves all the plaudits that come their way. Those who thought Bayern would sweep all before them this season - of which I was one - may now have to think again.
As for Bayern, they played their part in what was a thoroughly entertaining match. They will feel like they didn't deserve to lose this one and, on the whole, it was an even match. Dortmund had more clear cut chances, however, and that was the difference in the end. Bayern are still the team to beat this season, but Dortmund look set to push them all the way.
Right, that's it from me tonight. Thank you for joining Sports Mole
for what was a brilliant advert for German football as Dortmund and Bayern once again put on a thrilling show. It ended 4-2 to Dortmund, who lift the first piece of silverware of the season, but both sides played their part. I will leave you with Matt Domm's match report
and be sure to stick around for match analysis, which will be on site within half an hour. From me, though, it's goodnight!