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Which teams are best positioned to catch Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga during the Rückrunde?

Is Bayern Munich’s reign atop the Bundesliga in jeopardy?

Costa Rica v Germany: Group E - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images

Bayern Munich coasted into the World Cup break on a roll and looking like it had fully asserted itself as the favorite to win the Bundesliga once again.

Now, however, after season-ending injuries to goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and center-back Lucas Hernandez, along with a strategic shift back to a formation that will feature one striker, things might not be so settled.

Even with the loss of personnel and the uncertainty surrounding how the team will adapt to everything that comes with changing the formation right now, Bayern Munich is still out in front of its competition. Admittedly, the success or failure on making this rumored formation change permanent at this point will depend on how well Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Thomas Müller take to performing consistently at the No. 9 spot.

Regardless, Bayern Munich could be susceptible for the first time in a long time, but who can catch them? Let’s take a look at the candidates:

  • SC Freiburg: Currently in second-place, the feeling here is that Christian Streich’s boys just don’t have enough top-end talent to stay in this position for the long haul of the season.
  • RB Leipzig: Of all of the clubs, Die Roten Bullen might be the one best-equipped with personnel to challenge Bayern Munich. Unfortunately, the biggest question with Leipzig is with Domenico Tedesco, who has historically found a way botch things from the coaching box. Leipzig, however, will also have to fight off the upcoming distraction of Christopher Nkunku’s transfer announcement to Chelsea FC for next summer and also find a way to consistently avoid letdowns against inferior competition. Both of those will prove to be difficult. Leipzig is currently in third place.
  • Eintracht Frankfurt: Currently in fourth place, Die Adler just does not have enough talent or depth to be good enough consistently to be in a position to knock off Bayern Munich. Frankfurt has recently been more about the sum of its parts rather than individual talent, but the club just keeps seeing its best players leave. That makes it tough to match up with Bayern Munich’s star-studded lineup.
  • Borussia Dortmund: BVB resides in sixth place of the table, but has the roster talent available to match up with Bayern Munich. The Black and Yellows, however, need to develop a championship mentality to finally get over the hump against Die Roten. Nine points is not exactly an insurmountable deficit, but it won’t be easy either.

That’s it...these are the four teams most likely to be able to challenge Bayern Munich. Keep in mind that challenging and dethroning are very different things.

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