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Hasan Salihamidzic wary of Bayern Munich’s direct Bundesliga rivals

Dortmund, Leipzig, Freiburg, Union Berlin, Frankfurt and Leverkusen are all within ten points of Bayern. Anything can happen.

FC Bayern München v RB Salzburg - Test Match Photo by Christina Pahnke - sampics/Getty Images

Bayern Munich is currently four points clear of second-placed SC Freiburg at the top of the Bundesliga table before the second half of the season kicks off with the Rekordmeister travelling to third-placed RB Leipzig, Julian Nagelsmann’s former side. Bayern ended the Hinrunde on a ten-match winning streak across all competitions and they still have not lost since the mid-September 1-0 defeat at Augsburg, though they did draw Borussia Dortmund 2-2 just before they went on their win streak. They quickly shook off what had been a four-match run without a win in the Bundesliga.

Nagelsmann will be hoping his side is able to pickup right where the left off before the break for the World Cup in Qatar, but he does have fresh injury concerns with Lucas Hernandez and Noussair Mazraoui as well as Sadio Mane still working his way back to full fitness. There’s also a concern that there will be a bit of a Qatar hangover from Bayern’s German and French contingents, but the club’s front office and coaching staff have downplayed those suggestions, expectedly so.

All things considered, sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic knows that Bayern’s direct rivals in the league are hovering within touching distance, not allowing Bayern to get comfortable. For him, it’s a balancing act of being aware what’s around them in the table with how some of their rivals are performing, but taking care of their own business, beating whoever is put in front of them.

“Dortmund is there, Leipzig is there, Leverkusen is also strong. We have to wait and see how they present themselves in the second half of the season. Freiburg and Union also play a good role. It’s good and exciting. But we want to look at ourselves and win our games,” Brazzo told Az’s Maximilian Koch (via @iMiaSanMia) while Bayern was still in Doha for warm weather training.

Bayern face a difficult test right from the get-go to get the second half of the season under way. Brazzo knows that match is going to be difficult and can set a tone for how the rest of the season will go. “An absolute top game. We know what a great team Leipzig have. We’ll immediately get down to business,” he said.

Looking at statistics, Bayern’s only loss of the season came to a team outside of the top six in the Bundesliga, and only two of their draws were against top six teams as they seem to be faring quite well against teams in the upper end of the table. There have been notable defeats to Eintracht Frankfurt (6-1), SC Freiburg (5-0) and even the 5-3 DFL-Supercup win over Leipzig in what was technically the first competitive match of the season.

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