Now the real business starts - Guardiola set for official Bayern bow

Following a successful pre-season, Pep's reign at the European champions officially gets underway on Saturday in what promises to be a fascinating Bundesliga season
By Enis Koylu

The long wait is finally over. Six months after Pep Guardiola was first confirmed as the next Bayern Munich coach, he has his first competitive game in charge of the Bavarians. And it could not be a tougher one - a trip to Borussia Dortmund.

Since he first charmed the world at his official unveiling at the club a month ago, the Spaniard has enjoyed a flying start to life in Germany, winning all of his pre-season friendlies convincingly - though question marks pervade.

Having experimented with a 4-1-4-1 formation in warm-up ties, what gameplan will he use in the competitive arena? Will Philipp Lahm revert to his strongest role as a right-back after being used as a midfielder in pre-season? Where will Mario Gotze fit in once he returns from injury?

The 21-year-old's potential return to Signal Iduna Park to make his Bayern debut would have made for a fascinating sub-plot to the Supercup, but now the attention is bound to be on the Catalan coach, who is up for the challenge.

"It is the first time I will coach in Signal Iduna Park. I have been told it is a very special experience, but a final is always special," Guardiola said in his pre-match press conference.

"It is a title and a title is always important. It is an honor to challenge for this trophy but if you are Bayern coach, you have no excuses or apologies if you lose."

For Dortmund, the fixture represents the perfect chance to enact some form of revenge after losing to Bayern in the Champions League final. Having also lost both their DFB-Pokal and Bundesliga crowns to their hated Bavarian rivals last season, BVB then saw their best player swap Signal Iduna Park for the Allianz Arena.

However, Dortmund have invested well this summer and prevented Robert Lewandowski from following Gotze to Bayern, and are ready to make another charge for the title.

The German season starts now, and it promises to be the most fascinating one in years.

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