The Bundesliga has been straightforward for Germany’s most successful side in recent years. The last 5 seasons have seen Bayern Munich win the title with little resistance. 3 of those league wins were accompanied with a German Cup win and 1 Champions League title in that time means they have also claimed a famous treble. The last real resistance to their title was Jurgen Klopp’s Borussia Dortmund. With Klopp now at Liverpool and Dortmund struggling for form – and losing their top players to Bayern – can anybody beat Bayern to the league title?
- Manager – Carlo Ancelotti
- Last season – Winners
- Marquee signing – James Rodriguez (Loan – Real Madrid)
- Biggest departure – Philipp Lahm (Retired)
- Odds to win – 2/13 (Unibet)
The favourites for the title have made a perfect start to their league campaign this year and sit joint top of the league, second on goal difference. Both games have seen them beat their opponents, Bayer Leverkusen and Werder Breman, by a 2 goal margin – 3-1 and 0-2 respectively.
Lahm and Xabi Alonso have both retired which depletes the experience in the squad. However, the have Joshua Kimmich who is the perfect replacement for Lahm. Other players arriving at the Allianz Arena are; Niklas Sule, Sebastian Rudy, Corentin Tolisso and Kingsley Coman making his loan stay permanent.
It is hard to look past the Bavaria club. The dominance over the rest of the league has been so strong over the past 15 years, with 10 titles in that time, it is difficult to see anybody finishing above them.
- Manager – Peter Bosz
- Last season – Third
- Marquee signing – Andriy Yarmolenko (€30 million – Dynamo Kiev)
- Biggest departure – Ousmane Dembele (€105 million – Barcelona)
- Odds to win – 7/1 (888 Sport)
Potentially the team that can push Bayern the closest is the team that last won the Bundesliga before Bayern’s dominance. 2011-12 was the last time Dortmund were able to upset the odds and defend the title they had won the year before as well.
New manager, Peter Bosz, arrives from Ajax and brings hope with him. The loss of Dembele is huge but the money that Barcelona offered was too good to turn down. The only other main player outgoing is Matthias Ginter who has switched to Borussia Monchengladbach for a fee of €17 million.
It is not only direct winger Yarmolenko Bosz has brought to Dortmund. He brought young French defender Dan-Axel Zagadou from PSG on a free as well as spending a total of €44 million on Omer Toprak, Mahmoud Dahoud and Maximilian Philipp.
They currently sit top of the Bundesliga on goal difference after starting with back to back wins against Wolfsburg (0-3) and Hertha Berlin (2-0).
Dortmund’s new manager is a great motivator and his run in the Europa League with Ajax last year shows his ability. However, when faced with Bayern Munich Dortmund just do not have enough fire power to outscore them in the Bundesliga.
- Manager – Ralph Hasenhuttl
- Last season – Runners up
- Marquee signing – Jean-Kevin Augustin (€13 million – PSG)
- Biggest departure – Davie Selke (€8 million – Hertha Berlin)
- Odds to win – 33/1 (32Red Bet)
Leipzig’s story is a heart warming one. Last season was their first in the Bundesliga in their 8 year history. To finish runners up was a massive achievement for them. They have attempted to keep the squad together and have done a good job of keeping the group together.
No major players have left. The only real loss is that Naby Keita has confirmed he will leave for Liverpool next season. They still have him for this campaign and he is vital to the success they may have.
Signings have been made with Ibrahima Konate, Bruma and Konrad Laimer standing out as well as Augustin. They have also called up a number of reserve, under 19 and under 17 squad players to their first team.
To recreate the success of last season is a tall order. They began the season with a 2-0 defeat away at Schalke but returned to winning ways at home thumping Freiburg 4-1. To push Bayern close they would have to improve the level of performance they achieved last year.
- Schalke (Odds – 66/1 BetFred)
- Hoffenheim (Odds – 80/1 BetVictor)
- Bayer Leverkusen (Odds – 100/1 Unibet)
- Borussia Monchengladbach (Odds – 150/1 Paddy Power)
As you can see there is not much competition for Bayern who are looking to make it 6 Bundesliga titles in a row. They are favourites and the chasing pack do not seem to have the ammunition needed to stop the top team. It is a shame, Germany have such a fantastic national side and develop great powers – but their league is one sided and unless something dramatic happens it is difficult to see it change. It is highly likely that it will be Bayern claiming the Bundesliga trophy come the end of the season. The more difficult question is what other trophies can they add to it?
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