Bayern Munich are Bundesliga royalty. The Bavarians have finished at the top of German football 28 times with the 28th title making it six in a row. All good things must come to an end, however, and Bayer Leverkusen manager Heiko Herrlich believes Bayern’s reign of dominance will be interrupted this season.
I picked BVB last year and stick to this assessment. Dortmund had a super squad, which has been reinforced. Lucien Favre will bring back order.
Herrlich’s prediction was well off the mark last season. BVB’s 2017/18 campaign was one to forget as neither Peter Bosz or Peter Stoger truly left their mark. The Ruhr-valley club only just managed a top-four finish and faced shock exits from both the UEFA Champions League and Europa League.
This year, though, Herrlich’s claim may have some merit. Dortmund have been active in the transfer market this summer to shore up a leaky defense and shed some dead weight, bringing in Thomas Delaney, Abdou Diallo, Marwin Hitz, and Marius Wolf and offloading the disappointing Andriy Yarmolenko and Andre Schurrle, and aging stars Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Gonzalo Castro. Most recently Dortmund have been linked with Axel Witsel, with some reports claiming the Belgian is in Dortmund for a medical.
Alongside the new additions, manager Lucien Favre has a strong core consisting of a resurgent Marco Reus, Shinji Kagawa and Mario Gotze and wonderkids Jadon Sancho, Christian Pulisic, Mahmoud Dahoud and Manuel Akanji.
The Black and Yellows have some holes to fill as their search for a striker continues, but Lucien Favre has a proven track record of shoring up teams at the back and outperforming expectations at both OGC Nice and Borussia Monchengladbach. Favre will also have access to the most firepower he’s had at his disposal in his time as a top flight manager.
Will that be enough, though? Despite valiant efforts by new challengers RB Leipzig and Schalke, no team has come close to dethroning the Rekordmeister since Jurgen Klopp’s Borussia Dortmund last won the title in 2012.
It is unlikely this trend will change, but a title challenge is exactly what Bayern need. Playing in more competitive games in the Bundesliga can only benefit Niko Kovac’s men as they advance to the later stages of the UEFA Champions League and DFB Pokal. Overcoming adversity in an unforgiving league will prepare Die Roten for battles with Europe’s elite, which have not gone according to plan since the 2013 treble-winning campaign.
As other Bundesliga clubs begin to stockpile talent, Bayern will continue to raise their standard. Discomfort in the Bundesliga may lead to European glory.
Will this be the year the Bavarian Giants are deposed? Who can challenge Die Roten for the title?