The new Bundesliga season kicks off on Friday when defending champions Bayern Munich play at Borussia Moenchengladbach.
Bayern’s new head coach Julian Nagelsmann, 34, is under pressure to deliver a tenth straight German league title at the end of his first season in charge.
AFP sports looks at which clubs can prevent Bayern completing a decade of Bundesliga domination:
– Borussia Dortmund –
England winger Jadon Sancho may have left to join Manchester United, but Dortmund will be a force to be reckoned with under new head coach Marco Rose.
Dutch forward Donyell Malen has been signed from PSV Eindhoven, to play alongside Erling Braut Haaland, Marco Reus and Giovanni Reyna.
Haaland claimed a hat-trick last weekend in the German Cup, picking up where he left off after scoring 41 goals in as many games last season.
Dortmund have the forward fire-power to challenge Bayern, but they must tighten their defence.
Goalkeeper George Kobel, 23, has joined from Stuttgart, determined to keep out fellow Swiss shot-stoppers Roman Buerki and Marwin Hitz.
Dortmund start their season with a bang.
They host Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday in their opening league game of the season, then face Bayern four days later for the German Super Cup.
– RB Leipzig –
After struggling for goals last season after Timo Werner left for Chelsea, Leipzig have boosted their attack by signing Portugal striker Andre Silva under new head coach Jesse Marsch.
Alongside Silva, who bagged 32 goals in the Bundesliga for Eintracht Frankfurt last season, Leipzig have also signed centre-forward Brian Brobbey, 19, from Ajax.
Leipzig are away to Covid-19 hit Mainz on Saturday and have a chance to throw down an early marker in the league when they host Bayern in the league on September 11.
Marsch has identified matches against Bayern and Dortmund as the «peak» games Leipzig must «conquer» in their bid to win the Bundesliga for the first time.
After eight months out with injuries, Hungarian midfielder Dominik Szoboszlai, 20, capped his club debut off the bench with a goal last weekend.
Marsch needs to restructure his defence after losing centre-backs Ibrahima Konate, to Liverpool, and Dayot Upamecano to Bayern.
– VfL Wolfsburg –
Wolfsburg are back in the Champions League after a five-year hiatus and have appointed ex-Bayern Munich midfielder Mark van Bommel as head coach.
The Dutchman has kept most of the squad which finished fourth in the Bundesliga last season.
They host newly-promoted Bochum on Saturday but Wolfsburg, who last won the Bundesliga title in 2009, need to gel quickly after losing five pre-season friendlies.
Dutch striker Wout Weghorst leads the attack having scored 20 league goals last season while Germany forward Maximilian Philipp has made his loan move from Dynamo Moscow permanent.
One to watch is Germany Under-21 forward Lukas Nmecha, who has joined from Manchester City on a four-year deal.
Nmecha was born in Germany, but played for England at youth level after moving there as a child.
He later opted for Germany, scoring the winner in the final of June’s Under-21 European championship.
– Borussia Moenchengladbach –
‘The Foals’ dropped off badly towards the end of last season as results suffered once it was confirmed Marco Rose was leaving to coach Dortmund.
His replacement Adi Huetter inherits an impressive squad, boasting Germany midfielders Lars Stindl and Jonas Hofmann alongside forwards Breel Embolo, Alassane Plea and Marcus Thuram.
On their day, Gladbach can beat any German club, but need consistency.
Gladbach host Bayern on Friday hoping to repeat January’s shock 3-2 victory when Hofmann scored twice before Florian Neuhaus hit the winning goal.