There will only be seven pre-season friendlies − some of them against top-quality European sides − for Lucien Favre to prepare his team for the start of the new Bundesliga season at the end of August. The first of those seven matches will kick off in Vienna at 19:00 CET on Friday evening.
Borussia Dortmund have been hand-picked: the fans of 24-time Austrian champions Austria Vienna voted for the Black & Yellows as their first-choice opponents to mark the reopening of the Generali Arena. "Ten years after the opening of the East Stand, the reconstruction has come full circle as eight-time German champions Borussia Dortmund prepare to return," wrote the Veilchen on their homepage. That match took place in 2008. The two clubs have a long-lasting tradition of playing friendly matches: the first of their previous five encounters − which include two competitive matches in the UEFA Cup − took place in Dortmund in 1949, with the following four meetings (1960, 1968, 1979 and 2008) all taking place in the Austrian capital.
Last season's seventh-placed side in the Austrian Bundesliga will be the first test for Lucien Favre and his new team. While BVB only began their pre-season preparations on Monday, the Austria Vienna players are already back in full swing two weeks ahead of their new campaign. Favre will be without World Cup participants Reus, Bürki, Delaney, Guerreiro, Akanji, Kagawa and Piszczek, as well as Weigl, who is suffering from adductor problems. (br)