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Bundesliga Champions Bayern Face Hamburg in Opening Game

Champions Bayern Munich will host Hamburg in the opening match of the 2008-09 Bundesliga season on August 15, the German Football Federation (DFL) announced on Tuesday, June 1.

Players celebrate after Bayern won the German Bundesliga last season

Bayern and new coach Klinsmann open their title defense against rivals SV Hamburg

Both clubs will line out with new coaches, with Bayern under the helm of Juergen Klinsmann and Hamburg, fourth last season, being trained by former Tottenham Hotspur manager Martin Jol.

Other ties will see runners-up Werder Bremen traveling to Arminia Bielefeld and third-placed Schalke 04 hosting Hanover, while VfL Wolfsburg, who recently recruited world champions Cristian Zaccardo and Andrea Barzagli, take on newly-promoted Cologne.

Promoted Hoffenheim will play their first ever Bundesliga match against the only former East German club among the elite, Energie Cottbus.

Also for the first time, a play-off will take place at the end of May between the 16th-placed first division team and the third-placed second division side with the winner playing in the top flight for the 2009-10 season.

The German Cup final, won by Bayern Munich last season, has been set for May 30 at Berlin's Olympic Stadium.

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