Bayern Munich's testing start to the Bundesliga season continues with a trip to the Veltins-Arena on Saturday, with Schalke hoping to stunt the defending champions' momentum.
The Gelsenkirchen hosts started their season with an away defeat to Hannover, but Jens Keller will look upon his team's first home fixture of the campaign as sweet occasion for an upset.
Bayern managed to put nine goals past the Miners in their two league meetings last term, winning 4-0 when last they travelled to Schalke, and Pep Guardiola will hope his summer restructuring results in more of the same.
Date: Saturday, August 30
Time: 5:30 p.m. BST/12:30 p.m. ET
TV Info: BT Sport 1 (UK), beIN Sport 4 (US)
Key Players To Watch
Schalke: Benedikt Howedes
Conceding two goals against Hannover wasn't the ideal fashion in which Schalke's defence will have hoped to get their 2014-15 ball rolling, but Benedikt Howedes had his share of positives to take from the 2-1 loss.
Who will emerge victorious on Saturday?
WhoScored.com shows that the 2014 World Cup winner led his side in interceptions (5), clearances (3) and shots blocked (1), and if there's anyone capable of leading Schalke through the impending onslaught, one would expect it to be the captain.
News of Sead Kolasinac's long-term injury absence means that Christian Fuchs will start at left-back, putting more pressure on Schalke to limit the influence of Arjen Robben off that wing.
However, it's almost assured that the Dutchman will be delivering ammunition, and Howedes is the figure Keller will be relying on to restrict that impact.
The centre-back's direct confrontation will lie in dealing with Robert Lewandowski, however, a physical struggle that could dictate a great portion of the end result by itself.
Bayern Munich: Xabi Alonso
Bayern's shock move for Real Madrid's Xabi Alonso will have been treated as sweet news for many at the Allianz Arena, but even sweeter is the thought that the new acquisition may make his club debut at Schalke.
Kick TV's Cristian Nyari confirms that Alonso will be in Saturday's squad, and even if only for a cameo appearance, the veteran can hope to start his Bayern tenure with a bang in Gelsenkirchen:
Alonso and Benatia will be in the squad against Schalke this weekend.— Cristian Nyari (@Cnyari) August 29, 2014
Some might have seen the departure of Toni Kroos in the opposite direction as a blow to Guardiola's resources, but the capture of Alonso brings the club back to previous strength, or perhaps even better.
Scottish broadcaster Graham Ruthven jests that it won't be in his usual central playmaking spot that he makes his bow, however:
Guaranteed Pep Guardiola plays Xabi Alonso at right back. Just because.— Graham Ruthven (@grahamruthven) August 29, 2014
Bayern's plethora of midfield weapons stretches even deeper now that Alonso sits among their number, and what could be an extremely fruitful period of his career could begin at the Veltins-Arena.
It will be of major intrigue to see how the maestro fits into a side more centralised around the passing tempo that he so favours these days, Guardiola's relationship promising to squeeze yet more out of his talent.