Bayer Leverkusen open Bundesliga season vs Monchengladbach

German champions Bayer Leverkusen will kick off their Bundesliga title defence and continue their unbeaten domestic streak away at local rivals Borussia Monchengladbach on Aug. 23, the league confirmed on Thursday as the fixture list was announced.

As usual in Germany, the champions play the first game of the new league season on a Friday night.

Gladbach were the only Bundesliga team that managed to stop Leverkusen scoring last season, holding Xabi Alonso’s team to a 0-0 draw in their last meeting in January.

Leverkusen became the first team to win the Bundesliga title without losing a game.

Fixtures released by the league Thursday also include Bayern Munich starting their league season at Wolfsburg as they look to reclaim the Bundesliga title, and Champions League runners-up Borussia Dortmund playing Eintracht Frankfurt on the opening weekend.

Those games are set for either Aug. 24 or 25, with precise dates and times to be confirmed.

Leverkusen take on Bayern, Germany’s most successful club historically, on the fifth matchday of the season from Sept. 27-29 at the Allianz Arena, and take them on at home between Feb 14-16.

Dortmund face Bayern in Der Klassiker on the final weekend of November at home, with the return fixture in Munich between April 11-13.

The first round of the German Cup starts the season Aug. 16 and there is the Super Cup between Leverkusen and Stuttgart the following day. Leverkusen won the German Cup last year as part of their infallible domestic term.

The only game they lost all season came in the Europa League final at the hands of Serie A’s Atalanta.

Information from the Associated Press contributed to this report.