Carlo Ancelotti will continue his bid to maintain Bayern Munich’s dominance of the Bundesliga in 2016-17 after succeeding Pep Guardiola as coach with a trip to Schalke on Friday September 9.
Bayern have won the German league title for the last four years, the latest three of those successes coming under the management of Guardiola who has now moved on to take charge of Manchester City having reached the end of his contract.
However, the club known as FC Hollywood could hardly have appointed a better replacement in Ancelotti who, along with Guardiola and Jose Mourinho, is regarded as being right at the top of the tree as far as current coaches are concerned.
The 57-year-old has won the domestic league title in his native Italy (with AC Milan), England (Chelsea) and France (Paris Saint-Germain) and although he missed out on La Liga while in charge of Real Madrid, he did lead them to the Champions League and Copa del Rey.
Bayern Munich head coach Carlo Ancelotti (Getty Images)
Bayern got the new Bundesliga campaign under way at the Allianz Arena with a 6-0 thrashing of Werder Bremen, which put them top of the table after match day one and they will clearly be very difficult to topple at any stage of the season.
Borussia Dortmund were returned last term by new coach Thomas Tuchel to their customary position as best of the rest behind Bayern following a disappointing final season under now Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, and they began 2016-17 by winning 2-1 at home to Mainz. Next up for them is an away match at newly-promoted RB Leipzig.
Dortmund are considered by the bookmakers to be the only club with a realistic chance of taking the crown off Bayern, quoted at 15/2 by Unibet
, with Bayer Leverkusen next in the betting at 50/1 having finished a distant third last term. Leverkusen’s second opponents are Hamburg at home after starting with a 2-1 defeat away to Borussia Monchengladbach.
The latter are the next opponents for the other newly-promoted team, Freiburg, who began with a 2-1 loss away to Hertha Berlin.
Bundesliga fixtures for September 9-11 (kick-off times BST):
Friday September 9
19:30 Schalke v Bayern Munich
Saturday September 10
14:30 Bayer Leverkusen v Hamburg
14:30 Darmstadt v Eintracht Frankfurt
14:30 Freiburg v Borussia Monchengladbach
14:30 Ingolstadt v Hertha Berlin
14:30 Wolfsburg v Cologne
17:30 RB Leipzig v Borussia Dortmund
Sunday September 11
14:30 Werder Bremen v Augsburg
16:30 Mainz v Hoffenheim