The Bundesliga enters its 50th season when last season's champion Borussia Dortmund hosts Werder Bremen on Friday 24th of August. While none of the 18 team coaches can predict a clear winner in the new season, most predict that it will be either Dortmund or record champion Bayern Munchen.
Dortmund walked away with both the German and Football Association championship last season, leaving Bayern to take second in three competitions, the Bundesliga, the association cup and the Champions League, after their devastating loss against Chelsea in the Allianz Arena.
Three newly promoted teams debut in the Bundesliga in the 50th season, SpVgg Greuther Fuerth, Eintracht Frankfurt and Fortuna Duesseldorf. Greuther Fuerth gets its baptism under fire on Saturday the 25th, when the newly promote club hosts FC Bayern.
Both Bayern and Dormund have made some new acquistions during the off season and it remains to be seen how these will fit into the mix.
Bild.de has collected the predictions of the 18 team coaches and here are those of Jupp Heyckes, Bayern coach and Juergen Klopp of Borussia Dortmund:
Heynckes: One thing is clear when a team captures the championship two years in a row, it can't argue against its favourite role. Naturally, we will attack Dortmund and do everything in our power to bring the title to Munich.
Juergen Klopp: Who will be on top at the end? I don't know. There is only one club that only has one option, which is to be successful. That club is Bayern Muenchen. The club has the best pre-requisites, which is ok. Actually I don't care one way or the other, I am just happy that we are part of it.
Some coaches have raised the concern of the danger of the Bundesliga developing into a two club league. That danger has always been around, but at the end of most seasons there have been at least six clubs competing at the top.
There could be some surprises this year, including Schalke 04, VFB Stuttgart and Bayer Leverkusen. Hanover 96 were no slouches either last year.
One thing is clear that the Bundesliga won't be boring. There is enough talent in all 18 clubs to provide the odd upset and surprise. If the outcome were a given, there would be no sense in having a season.
The demands on Bayern and Dortmund will be high, with expectations to do well both in the Bundesliga and the Champions League. Other clubs will have expectations to qualify for European competitions, while for some just to remain in the league will be an accomplishment.
Bundesliga Season 2012/13 Matchday 1:
Friday August 24th
Borussia Dortmund - Werder Bremen
Saturday August 25th
M'gladbach - 1899 Hoffenheim
SC Freiburg - FSV Mainz 05
FC Augsburg - Fortuna Düsseldorf
Hamburger SV - Nürnberg
G. Fürth - FC Bayern
Eintracht Frankfurt - Bayer Leverkusen
VfB Stuttgart - VfL Wolfsburg
Sunday August 26th
Hannover 96 - Schalke 04