The wait is over - the Bundesliga is back. The Black & Yellows go into the opening weekend of the season encouraged by the good news that, with the exception of Mateu Morey and Raphael Guerreiro, the entire first-team squad is available for selection.
''We want to win all our matches. But we know that there are no easy opponents in this league - that of course applies to FC Augsburg too,'' said Lucien Favre in his opening comments of the first pre-match press conference of the 2019/20 Bundesliga season. The BVB head coach is setting his squad high goals right from the first kick-off, and the Black & Yellows are well positioned to get off to a good start in Signal Iduna Park on Saturday: with the exception of Raphael Guerreiro (muscle injury) and Mateu Morey (dislocated shoulder), the entire first-team squad is available for selection.
That also means that certain top players may be forced to sit on the bench come kick-off time on Saturday. Sporting Director Michael Zorc, when asked to what extent one-on-one conversations are necessary when making difficult personnel decisions of this nature, responded: ''We have high goals for the season. We've made that very clear. We need to have a strong squad to achieve this and competition for places is part of this. We expect our players to respond to the situation in a professional manner.'' Favre expressed his agreement: ''It's likely that certain players will be forced to sit on the bench. Competition is part of every profession, football is no exception. The players know that. It's part of the game.''
''We're looking forward to the season!''
Excitement for the new Bundesliga season isn't just confined to the players and fans; the Sporting Director is also brimming with anticipation: ''I'm happy that it's all getting underway again. We've already had two big games in the Supercup and the DFB-Cup, but the first Bundesliga match is something else entirely. Preseason is always a bit like swimming in the paddling pool,'' said Zorc. The head coach is also looking ahead to the new season full of optimism, but he nonetheless chose to sound a note of caution: ''Preseason was a success, but, as I've always said, the good work has to continue. Like all other teams, we'll need two or three weeks to hit top gear. In any case, we're looking forward to the season!''