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Brilliant Bundesliga bets as champions Bayern raise curtain

Calling all fans of continental football, Coral have a selection of brilliant bets for the Bundesliga season ahead. So, celebrate by placing a stake as the German top flight finally returns this weekend. Beers and bratwurst at the ready!

Current champions Bayern Munich are heavy odds-on favourites at 1/10 to keep their crown, and will be more than up for the fight as they seek a fourth successive title to underline their domestic dominance.

There has been somewhat of a shake-up over summer at the Allianz Arena and, while talismanic Bastian Schweinsteiger will surely be missed, with such an embarrassment of riches in midfield, the impact will more likely be felt off the pitch.

With Douglas Costa (4/1 to open the scoring on his league debut) and Arturo Vidal arriving to complement an already strong squad it is almost impossible to see past the Bavarians snatching silverware again, though the season’s long-running storyline will likely revolve around coach Pep Guardiola’s future at the club.

Training session FC Bayern Munich

As for competitors, Bayern’s strength is underlined by long odds for rivals Borussia Dortmund and Wolfsburg, both 20/1 chances, to steal their throne.

The former needs an extensive overhaul under new coach Thomas Tuchel, despite managing to cling onto star players Mats Hummels and Marco Reus, while Die Wolfe require last term’s top performers, Bas Dost and Kevin De Bruyne, to replicate their impressive scoring rates, though the latter is being persistently linked to Manchester City.

At the other end of the spectrum, fallen giants Hamburg clung on to top tier status by the skin of their teeth and will be keen to avoid the drop zone again, while new boys Ingolstadt and Darmstadt face baptisms of fire with openers against Mainz and Hannover repsectively.

As for potential top four gatecrashers, Borussia Monchengladbach (11/10 to finish in a Champions League spot) boast a young but talented side who should only keep improving, while Schalke, sans Roberto Di Matteo, have crucially retained Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, giving them excellent odds of 2/1.

Germany Soccer Cup

Outsiders Augsburg (20/1 to storm the spots) should also not be discounted, having come within touching distance of a surprise fourth place finish last time out.

Meanwhile, here are three opening fixtures worth keeping an eye on…

Bayern v Hamburg
Everyone expects another humbling of Hamburg, who were cannon fodder last time these two met, succumbing to an emphatic 8-0 demolition, with Munich 16/5 to score five or more again.

Certainly, Der Dino (7/1 to draw) must improve after flirting with a first-ever top flight relegation, but have not beaten Bayern in their past 13 tussles.

Promising now permanent reinforcement Lewis Holtby, once of Tottenham, is 13/2 to strike first, while Pierre Michel Lasogga is 4/1 in the same market to return to his lethal ways.

Hamburger SV vs FC Schalke 04

The best bets obviously surround Bayern scorers, however, as Mario Gotze (10/3 to strike first) has hit three in his last two Allianz outings against Hamburg, while Thomas Muller bagged a brace in the previous rout and is 3/1 to equal or better that again.

Dortmund v Monchengladbach
This tussle should be intriguing as the Foals (7/2 to win) have made some fantastic movements in the market, while Dortmund (7/10), hoping to put a disastrous season behind them, have stood mostly still, opting for continuity instead.

Borussia Moenchengladbach - training camp

Customers can back new Monchengladbach dangerman Josip Drmic at 15/2 to draw first blood, while Thorgan Hazard, captured permanently from Chelsea, is a terrific 10/1 to have the final say. Alternatively, punters can plump for known quantities Marco Reus and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (both 11/8 to strike anytime) to show their quality.

Bayer Leverkusen v Hoffenheim
Regular also-rans and nearly men Leverkusen and Hoffenheim also have the chance to lay down a marker in their opener, though Bayer have had the best of recent battles.

Bayer 04 Leverkusen vs UD Levante

The hosts boast a trio of top attacking talents in South Korea sharpshooter Son Heung-Min (4/1 to notch first), German goal threat Stefan Kiessling (7/2 to net last) and crafty Karim Bellarabi (a 6/4 shout to score anytime), while the visitors can offer dangerous duo Kevin Kuranyi and Kevin Volland (both 5/2).