Bundesliga preview: Dortmund host Bremen, Bayern visit Fuerth
Champions Borussia Dortmund and Werder Bremen kick-off the opening weekend of the 2012/13 Bundesliga on Friday.
Title holders Dortmund, who are aiming to become the first team since Bayern Munich in the 2000/01 season to win three successive league championships, host Werder Bremen at Signal-Iduna Park.
Juergen Klopp's side accounted for Oberneuland 3-0 in the first round of the DFB Pokal last Saturday, while Bremen crashed out at the hands of third division outfit Prussia Muenster.
Both clubs' have endured busy pre-seasons in the transfer market, with plenty of players coming and going.
Dortmund acquired the services of the 2011/12 German Footballer of the Year Marco Reus from Borussia Moenchengladbach, while Shinji Kagawa was Dortmund's biggest departure following his move to Manchester United.
After finishing ninth at the end of last season, Bremen dipped into the market and signed Dutchman Eljero Elia from Juventus, while Nils Petersen (Bayern Munich) and Belgian speedster Kevin de Bruyne (Chelsea) were brought in on loan.
Bayern Munich begin their season with a trip to newly-promoted Greuther Fuerth.
The Champions League finalists, who finished eight points adrift of Dortmund in second place, trumped Dortmund in the 2012 SuperCup and are full of confidence heading into their clash at Trolli ARENA.
Despite leading marksman Mario Gomez (ankle injury) facing a stint on the sidelines, the arrivals of Mario Mandzukic (Wolfsburg) and Claudio Pizarro (Werder Bremen) should help deal with the loss.
Fuerth topped the 2.Bundesliga table last season and will play in Germany's leading division for the first time in their history but face an uphill task against the nation's most successful club.
In other first-round fixtures, Fortuna Dusseldorf, who were promoted to the Bundesliga via a controversial relegation/promotion playoff, tackle Augsburg, while the surprise packets of 2011/12, Gladbach, play host to Hoffenheim.
German international goalkeeper Rene Adler will make his debut for Hamburg against Nuremberg and Freiburg entertain Mainz.
Meanwhile, Stuttgart welcome Felix Magath's Wolfsburg to the Mercedes-Benz Arena on Sunday, Sami Hyypia's Bayer Leverkusen do battle against Eintracht Frankfurt and Schalke face Hannover in the round's remaining match, as they bid to replicate their third-placed effort this season.