As exciting as the prospect of der Klassiker is it’s not the most important game in the calendar this season, not for me anyway. The big one I was looking out for is SC Freiburg v VfB Stuttgart and the reverse of that fixture. When it comes to Stuttgart Freiburg have some unfinished business, namely that 4-1 defeat they suffered at home back in the 2014/15 season. Away they did a little better, drawing 2-2 thanks to Nils Petersen. Jogi was at that game, hopefully he’ll be there this season too, as a sort of good luck charm. I only have to wait until MD10 to see how that game plays out this time around and I won’t have to wait much longer for the other big fixture, the week after Dortmund play Bayern.
MD1 is home to Eintracht Frankfurt, given the results last season that’s not a bad game to start out with. I can’t help but feel a little superstitious about it though, that was the first game in 2014/15, the season they got relegated. It’s certainly a difficult set of opening games, in order; Frankfurt, RBL, Dortmund and then Leverkusen. Still it could be worse, Leverkusen have been handed the unenviable task of facing Bayern on MD1 for the opening Friday night game, just in case new coach Heiko Herlich didn’t already have a big enough task on his hands. Also facing a difficult task is Schalke’s new coach Domenico Tedesco with Schalke playing RBL. Meanwhile newly promoted Stuttgart play Hertha in Berlin (I’m hoping for a Jogi video from that one) and Hannover face Mainz. Another game of huge interest is the Rheinland derby, Gladbach beginning their season against Cologne, now that should be an interesting encounter. Despite (and not because of it) Vincenzo Grifo being a Gladbach player now I’ll be rooting for Cologne, I could never root against Jonas Hector unless I really had to.
As for the end of the season Freiburg get to wrap things up at home this time around, playing host to Augsburg. Something which they haven’t got to do the last three years running, 2014/15 they ended the season in Hannover (the less said about that the better) 2015/16 in the 2. Bundesliga they ended the season as champions but lost 2-1 to Union in Berlin, and 2016/17 in Munich. So that’s a first for me and it’s a game which is hugely preferable to ending the season in Munich. Instead VfB Stuttgart have the unenviable honours of that. MD34 also offers a most mouth-watering prospect indeed, Hoffenheim v Dortmund. Though it’s hard for me to admit I care about that after Dortmund sacked Thomas Tuchel. If only Matze Ginter were to leave Dortmund then I can stop caring about them at all.