Bundesliga Preview – Can Bayern Munich be toppled by Borussia Dortmund, RB Leipzig, Schalke or Bayer Leverkusen?

By Mark Peters IN Bundesliga,General - 19:14 Aug 18th 2017
 

Carlo Ancelotti made a winning start to his tenure at Bayern Munich last season, guiding the Bavarian giants to a fifth consecutive Bundesliga title by a comfortable 15-point margin.

Such has been FC Hollywood’s dominance of German football since the mid-1990s, that they have actually been crowned champions in 14 of the previous 21 top-flight campaigns.

Philipp Lahm and Xabi Alonso may have called time on their illustrious playing careers, but the summer signings of Corentin Tolisso, James Rodriguez, Sebastian Rudy and Niklas Sule should ensure that the winning machine continues to rumble on:

Corentin
Tolisso
versusJames
Rodriguez
MIDPOSITIONMID
23Y 0MAGE26Y 1M
5FT 5INHEIGHT5FT 11IN
12ST 3LBWEIGHT11ST 3LB
 
FL | LYN | | RMD | LL
06/16 - 06/1706/16 - 06/17
29
STARTS
13
2577
MINS
PLAYED
1161
8
GOALS
8
5
ASSISTS
5
4
OPENING
GOALS
3
2
WINNING
GOALS
2
5
HOME
GOALS
1
3
AWAY
GOALS
7
1
HEADED
GOALS
1
L
1
R
6
GOALS
R/L FOOT
L
5
R
1
322
MINS
PER GOAL
145
5
TOTAL
2

They may not be universally popular, but RB Leipzig were the undoubted stars of the 2016/17 campaign, marking their first season in the Bundesliga by finishing as runners-up to Bayern Munich.

Participating in the Champions League and no longer being an unknown quantity could make life harder in 2017/18, but the likes of Naby Keita and Timo Werner are only going to get better as they mature.

Borussia Dortmund were the last team to deny Bayern Munich the title back in 2011/12, but the newly-installed Peter Bosz already has a crisis on his hands as the richly-talented Ousmane Dembele looks to secure a dream move to Barcelona:

Ousmane
Dembele
versusOusmane
Dembele
MIDPOSITIONMID
20Y 3MAGE20Y 3M
5FT 10INHEIGHT5FT 10IN
10ST 7LBWEIGHT10ST 7LB
 
BL | BVB | | BVB | CL
06/16 - 06/1706/16 - 06/17
20
STARTS
9
1864
MINS
PLAYED
769
6
GOALS
2
10
ASSISTS
6
1
OPENING
GOALS
WINNING
GOALS
4
HOME
GOALS
2
2
AWAY
GOALS
1
HEADED
GOALS
L
2
R
3
GOALS
R/L FOOT
L
1
R
1
311
MINS
PER GOAL
385
10
TOTAL

Schalke and Bayer Leverkusen were two sides who underachieved massively last season, so both will be looking to at least mount a challenge for the Champions League places this time around.

Now under the management of 31-year-old Domenico Tedesco, it will be interesting to see what the team from Gelsenkirchen can produce, with the form of Leon Goretzka and Max Meyer likely to be crucial to their hopes.

Losing the goals of Javier Hernandez can only be a bad thing for a side who reached the last 16 of Europe’s premier club competition in 2016/17, but uniting captain Lars Bender with his brother Sven in midfield seems like a smart move:


Lars Bender
versus
Sven Bender
MIDPOSITIONDEF
28Y 3MAGE28Y 3M
6FT 0INHEIGHT6FT 1IN
12ST 10LBWEIGHT12ST 10LB
 
BL | B04 | | BVB | BL
08/12 - 05/1708/12 - 05/17
90
STARTS
55
7383
MINS
PLAYED
4801
7
GOALS
2
9
ASSISTS
1
3
OPENING
GOALS
2
4
WINNING
GOALS
4
HOME
GOALS
1
3
AWAY
GOALS
1
1
HEADED
GOALS
1
R
3
GOALS
R/L FOOT
1055
MINS
PER GOAL
2401
10
TOTAL

VERDICT

Bayern Munich are probably not the side that they were under Pep Guardiola, but it is difficult to see anyone mounting a serious challenge to their Bundesliga dominance.

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