German Super Cup: Hummels and Götze switch makes for meaningful match | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 13.08.2016
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German Super Cup: Hummels and Götze switch makes for meaningful match

Sunday's Super Cup won't be the biggest prize Bayern and Dortmund will contest this term. But with Mats Hummels and Mario Götze controversially switching sides this summer, it's sure to be a hotly-contested tussle.

The clubs that finished as last season's Bundesliga's top two are widely expected to be in a two horse race for the title again and each will be hoping to lay down a marker at Signal Iduna Park on Sunday. That's particularly true for Dortmund head coach Thomas Tuchel. He's yet to win a match against Bayern while in the Dortmund hotseat and a win on Sunday could provide a vital psychological boost ahead of a season where the Bavarians are again heavy favorites for the league.

For Hummels, the season will begin in familiar surroundings, having left Dortmund to return to Bayern– the club where his professional career began - this summer. Although the significance of the match isn't as great as it will be when the sides meet in the league in November, he's expecting it to be far from friendly.

"There will certainly be some people who won't give me a warm welcome," the German international said. "It's understandable, but I will always cherish my time there, even if I am booed there for the next 15 times in a row."

Bayern have lost three successive Super Cup finals but none turned out to be much of a pointer for the coming season, as the Bavarians claimed all three league titles. But a relaxed Carlo Ancelotti still talked up the importance of the fixture in his press conference earlier this week.

Deutschland - Carlo Ancelotti FC Bayern München

Carlo Ancelotti will take charge of his first Bayern game on Sunday

"It's a final, the first match, which is important for us. Like all competitions we want to win, we are ready," he said.

For his opposite number, as well as chance to get a first win on the board against his title rivals it's a opportunity to work out how best to integrate the glut of signings he's made following the departure of Hummels, Ilkay Gündogan and Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Tuchel bemoaned the impact of Euro 2016 and the three departures on his team's pre-season and warned the fans not to expect too much so early in the season.

The BVB head coach is likely to hand debuts to ex-Barcelona center-back Marc Bartra, French teen forward Ousmane Dembele, Germany international Andre Schürrle and ex-Bayern man Sebastian Rode along with Götze, while Turkish winger Emre Mor and Portuguese left back Raphael Guerreiro may feature at some point.

"The situation for us is more complicated, difficult. We lost three key-players last year. Now we have added a lot of young players," Tuchel said in his press conference on Saturday.

"We wanted the players who played in the Euros to have a long holiday, so they can mentally switch off. Now they have a long way to catch up. The match will give a very realistic benchmark of what we can do and what we cannot."

Ousmane Dembele

Ousmane Dembele is likely to make his Dortmund debut in the Super Cup

For Götze, a second Dortmund debut may bring with it some trepidation, given the reaction of some fans to both his departure and return, but his manager expects the fans to forget the past and focus on the future of a 24-year-old who will be keen to show Bayern that they made a mistake letting him leave after three seasons.

"The moment Mario Götze wears our jersey is the moment where he gets the support of our fans. That's how I expect and demand it," Tuchel said.

The Dortmund boss believes Bayern have made a "big step forward" this summer with the signings of Hummels and Renato Sanches. The Portuguese midfielder will miss the first few weeks of the season with a thigh injury he picked up in Portugal's Euro 2016 final victory last month, meaning Hummels is likely to be Bayern's only deubtant.

The champions will also be without injured trio Jerome Boateng, Douglas Costa and Arjen Robben while Dortmund's Marco Reus is still recovering from the adductor muscle injury that forced him to miss Euro 2016.

The match kicks off at 20:30 CET.

mp/rd (SID/AFP)

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