Bayern Munich v Bayer Leverkusen – Allianz Arena at 19:30 Live at BT Sport
As a tradition in Germany, the Bundesliga champions kick-off the new campaign with Bayern Munich playing host to Bayer Leverkusen under the Friday night lights of the Allianz Arena.
It’s six years since Bayern last failed to win on an opening day and the last two seasons have bought 5-0 and 6-0 victories for the Bavarians; it may well pay to back another comfortable triumph with the -1.5 Asian Handicap available to back at 1.83 quotes.
Bayern turn it on when it matters most
Despite enduring a rough pre-season that saw Carlo Ancelotti’s side beaten by Napoli, Liverpool, Inter, Milan, and Arsenal, the concerns of the summer have been wiped to one side with Bayern securing Super Cup success over Borussia Dortmund whilst also dismantling Chemnitz 5-0 in the Cup at the weekend.
Philipp Lahm and Xabi Alonso may have retired, Jerome Boateng, Javi Martinez, Thiago and new signing James Rodriguez may still be missing but Bayern’s ability to turn it on when it matters most just can’t be ignored.
Robert Lewandowski has already netted in both competitive games that Bayern have contested and the hosts’ incomparable strength going forward should stand them in good stead here. The Bavarians bagged 55 home goals last term, scoring at least three goals on 10 separate occasions in 17 outings.
Ancelotti’s men are under a bit of pressure; falling in the semi-finals in the DFB Pokal and the quarters in the Champions League was regarded as an unsuccessful 2016/17 campaign but it pales in comparison to their guests, Bayer Leverkusen.
Leverkusen looking ripe for plucking
A high-quality Leverkusen squad was on the outskirts of the relegation battle for the final few months and their 12th-placed finish was a major surprise. Roger Schmidt was removed as head coach and the BayArena outfit has brought in Heiko Herrlich as his replacement.
Herrlich was boss of Jahn Regensburg in the third-tier the last term, leading the club to promotion. However, he did that despite a defensive record that saw them concede as many goals as rock-bottom FSV Frankfurt in that division.
Leverkusen’s preseason games have followed a familiar pattern and with the club’s most important attackers – Hakan Calhanoglu and Javier Hernandez – leaving in the summer, as well as key defender Omer Toprak, Die Werkself certainly appear weaker coming into 2017/18.
Leverkusen’s matches averaged 3.18 goals per game last season and with Herrlich in charge, goals should once again follow. But with 10 losses in their last 11 trips to the top-six, it’s hard to find the faith in Bayer picking up a positive result on Friday night and a routine home success should, therefore, be in store.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Bayern Munich -1.5 at 1.690
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