Bayern Munich's winterpause has finally come to an end following the friendly victory over VfL Bochum. The month of January has been eventful for FC Bayern including victories over the Qatar All-Stars and Al-Hilal. We also saw the returns of Holger Badstuber, David Alaba, and Mehdi Benatia. Then, the club received a lot of heat for the stop in Riyadh.
However, FC Bayern returns to the field on January 30 with the return of the Bundesliga. The Rückrunde begins with a trip to the Volkswagen Arena where first and second place in the league will do battle. A victory by the Bavarians will move them fourteen points clear at the top of the table and leave the club with one hand firmly grasped on the Bundesliga trophy.
The Table Does Lie
The saying "The table doesn't lie." likely won't hold true for Borussia Dortmund to start the Rückrunde. They may currently be in 17th place, but they remain only 13 points out of a Champions League place that gives them the automatic berth in the group stage. Everything is still in play for BVB.
There's been a lot of talk thus far about the rest of the league "finding out" Jürgen Klopp and his tactics. That will be very true during the second half of the season if Dortmund's quest of marching up the table fails. However, with the entire winterpause to get things right, one would imagine that BVB will be ready to begin grabbing as many points as possible.
Bayern will visit Signal Iduna Park coming out of an international break, and with the match occurring nearly right in the middle of the Rückrunde, one can suspect that Bayern will have the league won at this time. There's a very distinct possibility that BVB will be fighting for their European lives at this point, so FC Bayern will likely need to be at the top of their game to avoid suffering a potential defeat.
Be Wary Away
Bayern will be forced to go on the road for tough visits to second place Wolfsburg, third place Bayer Leverkusen, and the aforementioned Borussia Dortmund. Wolfsburg hasn't been shy with their wallet in the last calendar year and has shown the willingness to spend a lot of money to improve their squad and get back into the Champions League. They are still dealing with the death of young star Junior Malanda, and with Bayern coming to town on the first match of the Rückrunde, there is no doubt that the match will be filled with emotion.
Leverkusen's bark is always worse than their whenever a big club come calling at the BayArena. They have many talented players in their squad and should put up a big fight on paper, but let's be honest. Of the three opponents listed in this category, Leverkusen is the last one that would be picked to beat FC Bayern.
Guard Your Home
Unfortunately for FC Bayern, fewer of their difficult opponents will visit the Allianz Arena during the Rückrunde. The two matches that standout are the matches against Schalke and Borussia Mönchengladbach. The matches against the clubs from North Rhine-Westphalia are two of only three blemishes against FC Bayern for the Hinrunde. The Bavarians will be out to avenge those non-victories, but they must remain diligent as these clubs have the talent and ability to pull the upset.
Expected Result: Champions
|March 14||Away||Werder Bremen||16|
|March 22||Home||Borussia Mönchengladbach||4|
|April 4||Away||Borussia Dortmund||17|
|April 11||Home||Eintracht Frankfurt||9|
|April 25||Home||Hertha Berlin||13|
|May 2||Away||Bayer Leverkusen||3|