One common cliché in sports is that “defending your title is always harder than winning it originally.” For Bayern Munich, that might not actually be the case.
In the 2019/2020 season, Bayern Munich famously battled through injuries, a coaching change, numerous positional changes, and, well, a global pandemic.
Things don’t get much more difficult than that.
For 2020/2021, Bayern Munich has once again battled some injuries and is still working its way through said global pandemic, but otherwise, the biggest issues are — gasp — that maybe Hansi Flick is rotating too much and potentially not being comfortable with some of his depth players.
(Faints...sounds of body hitting the floor)
So, yeah, things are pretty swell in Bavaria.
Flick, the mastermind pulling the strings through this crazy season, has been excellent in his first full season at the helm and has a roster that is poised and ready to make a run at the Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal, and Champions League once more. Sure, it will be difficult, but it is supposed to be, remember?
Flick’s mentality, ability to strategize for each opponent, relationship with his players, and the star-studded roster that he works with are all distinct advantages for the club at this stage of the season.
More, Bayern Munich has absolutely not lost its hunger or drive in this title defense. In fact, you could argue they’re more focused and powerful heading into the stretch run of the season.
There may never be a reason to be over-confident, but Bayern Munich should have every reason to be supremely confident in its ability to make a strong run at another treble.
The Bavarians have the best manager, the best roster, and the best mentality. That should be more than enough to push the squad to the cusp of greatness once more.
Okay, I’m finally watching The Mandalorian
Okay...so, you all broke me down. I did not hear anything bad about The Mandalorian and now Disney has its hooks in me for the ESPN+, Disney+, and Hulu bundle. I already had ESPN+ for the Bundesliga, so it just made sense to grab the bundle.
Anyway...I am watching and you were all correct: It is amazing. I made it through season one and found it to be fascinating — and in line with the other relatively recent Star Wars universe productions (Rogue One and Solo) that I think were good, rather than those I think were subpar (the sequels).
The Mandalorian simply has a great and fascinating story. What Star Wars fan didn’t wonder what life was like immediately after the fall of the Empire. In the Star Wars universe, it’s a huge galaxy out there with plenty of Empirical figures and loyalists — not to mention the well-established culture of bandits and outlaws. The potential for stories from that particular time period are endless.
In just about every way, The Mandalorian captures that Star Wars magic that fans fell in love with — only in a different medium, which now works better than traditional cinema for this “universe.” In addition, there might not have been a better actor to handle the lead role for The Mandalorian than Pedro Pascal as he truly carries the show through each adventure.
About the only thing that bugged me — and it shouldn’t because it has long been a running joke in every iteration of Star Wars — was just how wholly incompetent the Storm Troopers were. I feel like they were even dumber and worse warriors than ever. It is just silly at times to think that the Emperor and Darth Vader would surround themselves with such buffoons before they ultimately met their respective demises (please don’t get me started on The Rise of Skywalker).
Anyway, I am working my way through season two now and will post some thoughts when I finish up, but like ALL of you told me — The Mandalorian is a smash hit and deserves all of the praise it has received.
The boys are back
Maybe it’s just me, but the prospect of Thomas Müller, Leon Goretzka, and Joshua Kimmich reuniting to firm up the middle of Flick’s formation is definitely something to get excited over. In baseball, it has always been said that you build a great team up-the-middle and if that translates to soccer, I can’t think of a better trio to man Flick’s midfield.
Back in the saddle baby! Here we go!
Bayern Munich will face-off with a Mainz 05 side that is a raging dumpster fire. In the midst of front office and coaching shake-ups, Mainz has a thin roster and no direction at this point. To say that the Carnival club is a rudderless ship would assume there was a rudder to begin with.
Simply put, this is about the worst possible match-up that Die Nullfünfer could have asked for coming out of the break.
With everyone except Tanguy Nianzou expected to be healthy, Bayern Munich will be at full-strength — and that is bad news for Mainz.
It could be expected that both teams will be shaking off just a little rust, but the biggest factor in this game will be how Die Nullfünfer decides to approach the game? Will Mainz attempt to play with Bayern Munich or just park the bus in hopes of limited damage?
Whatever plan it deploys Mainz is in trouble.
Actual Prediction: Bayern Munich 4-0 Mainz
Predictions for the other Bundesliga games are as follows:
- Arminia Bielefeld 1-3 Borussia Mönchengladbach
- Eintracht Frankfurt 1-2 Bayer Leverkusen
- FC Köln 2-2 FC Augsburg
- Hoffenheim 3-2 SC Freiburg
- Werder Bremen 2-2 Union Berlin
- Hertha Berlin 2-1 Schalke 04
- VfB Stuttgart 1-2 RB Leipzig
- Borussia Dortmund 3-2 Wolfsburg
Last Bundesliga match day record: 4-5
Overall record: 65-58*
Guest predictors’ record: 18-3
(*includes DFL-Supercup, DFB-Pokal, and Champions League)