Germany: Bundesliga
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FC Bayern
L. Sané (4), H. Kane (74), L. Sané (90), M. Tel (90)
By Ben Sully@SullyBen

Werder Bremen vs. Bayern Munich preview: The Bundesliga is back

The wait is finally over, the Bundesliga is back and open for business. The defending champions will begin the new campaign with a trip to the Weserstadion for Friday's opening-day fixture against Werder Bremen.

Werder Bremen

Bremen are preparing for a second straight season in the topflight after rounding off the 2022-23 campaign in 13th position. While they would have been pleased to avoid relegation, a top-half finish looked to be on at one stage of the season. However, they ultimately ran out of steam as the campaign wore on, picking up just nine points from their final 15 games - the lowest of any side in the division during the same period.

Bremen began the 2023-24 campaign with a disappointing defeat to Viktoria Köln in the DFB-Pokal last weekend. Niklas Füllkrug gave his side the lead after they had been reduced to 10 men when Amos Pieper was given his marching orders in the 11th minute. The third-tier outfit managed to find a leveller before Füllkrug restored Bremen's slender advantage, but the numerical difference ultimately proved to be decisive as Viktoria Köln turned the tie on its head to claim a 3-2 victory.

After suffering a surprise cup exit, Ole Werner's side would have been looking to ease themselves into the new Bundesliga season. But, they will have no such luck as a date with the champions awaits them on opening day. Bremen will be dreaming of claiming their first home win over Bayern since recording a 3-1 victory in October 2006.

Team News

Naby Keita, who arrived from Liverpool on a free transfer, will miss Friday's encounter with a groin injury. The hosts are also unable to call upon the services of the injured Felix Agu.

Bayern Munich

To say Bayern have experienced an eventful summer would be something of an understatement. After spending a considerable proportion of the transfer window pursuing a deal for England captain Harry Kane, Bayern finally got their man last week following lengthy negotiations with Tottenham Hotspur.

Raphaël Guerreiro and Konrad Laimer have also arrived at the Allianz Arena ahead of the new season, while Kim Min-jae is now a Bayern player after helping Napoli end their 33-year wait for the Serie A title.

Their transfer business may provide a reason to be optimistic, but Bayern’s 2023-24 campaign got off to a disappointing start in Saturday’s DFL-Super Cup meeting with RB Leipzig. While Kane’s arrival dominated the build-up, Leipzig’s Dani Olmo proved to be the star on the pitch, netting a sublime hat-trick to condemn Bayern to a 3-0 defeat.

The Bavarians will now turn their focus to the first game of the Bundesliga campaign, as they bid to win the league title for the 12th consecutive season. They will be confident of getting off to a positive start, having won their previous 13 Bundesliga away games against Bremen.
Team News

Manuel Neuer is still recovering from a broken leg, ensuring Sven Ulreich will begin the Bundesliga season in the Bayern goal. The Bavarians are also without the services of Guerreiro, who is currently sidelined with a calf problem.

After featuring as a substitute in the Super Cup defeat to Leipzig, Kane could be presented with his first start for his new club.

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