MX23RW : Tuesday, September 21 18:39:43| >> :120:9509:9509:
Aug 16, 2019 at 7.30pm UK at Allianz Arena (München)
Attendance: 75,000
BayernBayern Munich
Hertha Berlin
Lewandowski (24', 60' pen.)
FT(HT: 1-2)
Lukebakio (36'), Grujic (38')

Preview: Bayern Munich vs. Hertha Berlin - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole provides team news, predicted lineups and a full preview of Friday's Bundesliga opener between Bayern Munich and Hertha Berlin.

Bayern Munich begin the defence of their Bundesliga title on Friday night by playing host to Hertha Berlin at the Allianz Arena.

The 28-time champions are still attempting to do business in the transfer market, but Nico Kovac will expect his side to get off to a winning start against last season's 11th-placed team.

Match preview

Niko Kovac in charge of Bayern Munich on February 19, 2019© Reuters

There was a period during the last campaign when Kovac must have wondered if he would make it through a year as Bayern manager, but the Croatian will feel more at ease now that he has a top-flight crown to his name.

However, having been given the opportunity to make several high-profile signings in the form of Benjamin Pavard, Lucas Hernandez and Ivan Perisic, expectation levels have only increased ahead of the new season.

While Bayern still have ambitions to get at least one more fresh face through the door in order to make up for the departures of Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery and James Rodriguez, the bulk of the squad is in place as Bayern bid to win another title by a wider margin than in the last campaign.

That said, they have endured a mixed pre-season, with a defeat to Borussia Dortmund in the DFB Super Cup at the start of the month suggesting that their fierce rivals are ready to match them blow-for-blow over the next nine months.

As for Hertha Berlin, Ante Covic will want to get the club back into the top half of the standings having ended the last two seasons in mid-table.

Dardai has been busy in the transfer market, with the acquisitions of Dedryck Boyata, Dodi Lukebakio and Daishawn Redan from Celtic, Watford and Chelsea respectively being complemented by another loan deal for Liverpool's Marko Grujic.

An effort has been made to mix youth and experience, and Covic will hope that the new faces can hit the ground running when faced with the toughest test in German football.

Having enjoyed a strong pre-season, which has included victories over Fenerbahce and Crystal Palace, Hertha may be quietly confident that they can exploit any first-day nerves within the ranks of their opponents.

Bayern Munich form: LW

Hertha Berlin form: W

Team News

Ivan Perisic in action for Inter Milan on October 7, 2018© Reuters

Kovac is expected to name Perisic among his replacements on Friday after the winger moved to the club on a season-long loan deal from Inter Milan.

The Bayern boss may opt to select the same side which began the DFB-Pokal tie against Energie Cottbus on Monday, although Leon Goretzka could replace Renato Sanches in midfield.

Former Atletico Madrid man Hernandez also started that fixture on the bench, meaning that David Alaba should continue at left-back.

Covic is also unlikely to make major alterations to his Hertha XI after their 5-1 triumph against Eichstatt on Sunday afternoon.

However, attack-minded Alexander Esswein is pushing for a recall after netting his side's final goal of the rout having being introduced at the break.

Bayern Munich possible starting lineup: Neuer; Kimmich, Sule, Pavard, Alaba; Tolisso, Thiago, Goretzka; Muller, Lewandowski, Coman

Hertha Berlin possible starting lineup: Jarstein; Stark, Rekik, Torunarigha; Leckie, Grujic, Darida, Mittelstadt; Duda; Ibisevic, Kalou

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We say: Bayern Munich 4-1 Hertha Berlin

The opening day of the season can be a mixture of nerves and a desire to make the perfect start, and we feel that both factors will play their part on Friday night. Nevertheless, it would come as a surprise if Bayern do not register a convincing win in front of their own supporters.

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Todays Game Header Right
1Bayern MunichBayern54102041613
3Borussia DortmundDortmund54011711612
4Bayer LeverkusenB. Leverkusen5311157810
5Mainz 05531162410
7FC Koln52219728
8Union BerlinUnion Berlin513178-16
9Hertha Berlin5203712-56
12RB Leipzig511367-14
13Arminia Bielefeld504135-24
15Eintracht FrankfurtFrankfurt504158-34
16Borussia MonchengladbachBorussia M'bach511359-44
17VfL BochumVfL Bochum5104413-93
18Greuther Furth5014313-101

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