Despite last weekend’s slipup by virtue of the 3-2 loss at Borussia Monchengladbach, Bayern Munich is still well poised to make a serious push to win yet another historic treble. There is an incredibly tight, exciting title race in the Bundesliga as both Borussia Dortmund and Union Berlin sit level with Bayern on 43pts but are behind only on goal difference. Sc Freiburg, RB Leipzig, and Eintracht Frankfurt aren’t too far off the perch either, sitting at 40, 39, and 38pts respectively. Slipups from anyone at this stage could prove to be incredibly costly.
Bayern has a 1-0 aggregate lead over Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League round off 16, but the Ligue 1 giants were without talisman Kylian Mbappe for the majority of proceedings in the first leg at the Parc des Princes, so the second leg is all to play for at the Allianz Arena. In the DFB-Pokal, too, with the caliber of opponents that remained going into the draw for the quarter finals, it was always likely Bayern would come up against a fellow Bundesliga side and going up against Freiburg in the beginning of April just before taking them on in the league will be a tough back-to-back.
All things considered; Oliver Kahn recently looked ahead to the crucial stretch of Bayern’s campaign as they enter into the real crunch phase. Mistakes at this point are costly and creeping complacency simply can’t be tolerated. “We are now in the decisive phase of the season - of course our goal must be to constantly deliver top performances. There’s no doubt that we have the quality for big titles,” Bayern’s CEO told kicker’s Frank Linkesch (as per @iMiaSanMia).
Getting things right is all about a balance of willingness, desire, composure, togetherness, and belief. Kahn reflected on the fact that those attributes have been on full display in the Champions League, but that there have just been significant lapses in the Bundesliga performances so far this season that have kept Bayern’s direct rivals within touching distance. “It’s always about total willingness, desire and at the same time a certain easiness. If we bring that to the pitch, we’re unbeatable. Our performances in the Champions League were consistent, but less in the Bundesliga,” he explained.
This weekend’s clash against Union Berlin could create some breathing room between the Rekordmeister and the Die Eisernen if the former take care of business at home, and Dortmund dropping points to Hoffenheim away could add even more breathing room, but they’ve looked a determined side in 2023. Frankly, Kahn cognizant of the slip-ups this season that have allowed such an exciting title race in the Bundesliga this season, but while that might be something that’s aesthetically pleasing to the neutral spectators, Bayern plans on changing that. “Due to the fact we dropped too many points, the title race is very exciting at the moment. Although a lot of people are sure to be happy about that, we at FC Bayern want to make things clear again as soon as possible - and that starts with the game against Union Berlin,” he stressed.
Kahn still has plenty of respect for Bayern’s East Berlin opponents this weekend, though, giving credit where credit is due to Urs Fischer’s side. “Union are doing great, they have been working very consistently for years, and that’s why they are where they are at the moment,” he lauded.
If you are looking for a more in-depth look at the Bayern Munich vs. Union Berlin match, check out our Preview Podcast on Spotify or below!