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Bayern meet Dortmund in German Super Cup


Bayern Munich’s Portuguese midfielder Renato Sanches (right) and Napoli’s striker Lorenzo Insigne vie for the ball during the third place Audi Cup match PHOTO: AFP

Following five defeats in six warm-up games and whistles from their own fans, Carlo Ancelotti’s Bayern Munich have something to prove at Borussia Dortmund today in the German Super Cup.

As defending Bundesliga champions, Bayern face German Cup-winners Dortmund at a sold-out Signal Iduna Park with recent results suggesting the Bavarians are far from ready for the annual pre-season showdown.

“We have to win, this is an important game for FC Bayern,” said French winger Franck Ribery defiantly, but they have not been convincing of late.Bayern were booed at by their own fans at the Allianz Arena in Wednesday’s 2-0 defeat to Napoli, a day after their 3-0 trouncing in Munich by Liverpool, which left them last in their own pre-season tournament.

Germany defender Mats Hummels said the Liverpool defeat was the worst he had “ever experienced with Bayern” while head coach Carlo Ancelotti replied “of course we are worried” when asked if results are a concern.

“There are a lot of points we need to work on, we aren’t 100 percent yet,” added Hummels.The back-to-back defeats in Munich followed loses to AC Milan and Inter on their pre-season tour of China and Singapore, plus a penalty shoot-out defeat to Arsenal and a slender win over English champions Chelsea.

New signing James Rodriguez is out for the next few weeks with a hamstring injury and attacking midfielder Thiago Alcantara will miss the Super Cup game with a stomach muscle injury.

Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer only recently returned to training after foot surgery, so Sven Ulreich will deputise in goal with Thomas Mueller captaining the team.
Both defender Jerome Boateng and veteran winger Arjen Robben are lacking fitness.

Dortmund will also be something of an unknown quantity after losing three of their six pre-season matches.Thomas Tuchel was sacked just days after winning the German Cup final, so new head coach Peter Bosz faces his first real test at home.

“We’re making progress. I can see that we have a better understanding of what is asked of the players. That pleases me,” said the Dutchman.Bosz dismissed Bayern’s recent poor results and rejected any notion of a “pre-season crisis.”

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