The wait is finally over. The 2016/17 Bundesliga season is almost upon us and promises to be full of excitement and drama. Reigning champions FC Bayern München will kick off the new campaign on Friday 26 August with a home match against SV Werder Bremen.
After three trophy-laden seasons under Pep Guardiola, Bayern enter the Carlo Ancelotti-era aiming for success at home and abroad. Yet the competition has used the summer wisely and all 18 Bundesliga clubs can approach the season with optimism.
In Portuguese wonderkid Renato Sanches and World Cup-winning defender Mats Hummels, Bayern have made some eye-catching signings. The latter returned to his former club from close rivals Borussia Dortmund, who themselves have undergone a complete overhaul. Last season’s runners-up have made a whole host of impressive signings and kick off with an exciting new-look squad.
The return of Mario Götze made all the headlines, but there were plenty of other big-name moves. Andre Schürrle will link up with his international teammates Götze and Marco Reus at club level as well. And with teenage sensations Ousmane Dembele and Emre Mor supplying further additions to attacking midfield, yet more goals seem guaranteed at the club that finished top scorers in the league last time out. At the back, Spanish international defender Marc Bartra joined from Barcelona to bolster the defence alongside European Championship winner Raphael Guerreiro. The race for the title looks set to go down to the wire.