Back-To-Back Titles for Bayern? Bundesliga Preview
After an all-German Champions League Final last season and another European Championship success for the women, thus dominating football on a European stage, Germany is widely being considered the “new Spain”. As German football is enjoying something of a golden period, perfect timing ahead of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, to help celebrate their success, William Hill will be showing nearly every single Bundesliga game live on William Hill TV!
Just like the past few seasons, the Bundesliga title is expected to be a two horse race between last season’s treble winners Bayern (1/5) and Borussia Dortmund (5/1) and Dortmund will look to use their 4-2 DFL Super Cup success over Bayern as a marker for the season. But with Bayern replacing their European winning Manager Jupp Heynckes with another European winner in former Barcelona Head Coach Pep Guardiola, along with adding Thiago Alacantara and Mario Gotze to their already frighteningly good squad that only lost once in the league last season, it’s difficult to see anyone knocking them off top spot this year and I make The Bavarians dead certs for the title.
On top of losing out to their closest rivals both on the domestic front and European stage last season, Bayern added insult to injury to Dortmund by taking one of their prized assets in Mario Gotze away from them towards the end of last season, but will be boosted by the news that star striker Robert Lewandowski will see out the final year of his contract at the club and is our favourite to finish Top Goalscorer at 10/3.
The Polish striker will be assisted by new recruits Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (both 20/1) to challenge for the title this year, but my pick would be Stefan Kiessling (6/1) at Bayer Leverkusen to retain the Kicker Torjagerkanone after fellow forward Andre Schurrle left for Chelsea this summer and goals are more likely to be shared amongst the rotating Bayern forwards.
From the chasing pack, Leverkusen are the most likely to finish just behind the top two, but face competition from last season’s fourth placed Schalke 04 and are both 8/13 for a top 4 finish. Last season’s seventh placed Hamburg (7/1) are long shots for a top 4 finish as they boast an impressive midfield of Tomas Rincon and Rafael van der Vaart, but with no out and out striker, it could prove too much to ask. The surprise package could come in the form of Borussia Monchengladbach (also 7/1) if the creative striker Luuk de Jong (25/1 top goalscorer) , now with a full Bundesliga season under his belt, can rediscover his goalscoring form that led to his team investing an estimated £12m fee last summer.
For the drop, last year’s 2. Bundesliga runners-up Eintracht Braunchweig (1/2) seem the most likely to be heading straight back down having not played in the top flight for almost twenty years, with the remaining place expected to be filled by either Augsburg (2/1), the side who just avoided the drop last season, Hertha Berlin or Nurnberg (both 4/1).