Bayern Munich are on top of the Bundesliga once again!
The Bavarian club wrapped up their latest title in unfamiliar circumstances as there are still no fans allowed inside the stadiums due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Despite the uncertain times, the Munich squad has been flawless since the restart of the competition, and their 1-0 win against Werder Bremen at the weekend ensured that there is no catching them once again.
The difference-maker was once again top striker Robert Lewandowski who made use of a Jerome Boateng pass to notch the ball past the Werder goalkeeper and hand his team an eight consecutive Bundesliga trophy.
While the Bavarians are deservedly celebrating their latest triumph, the rest of the football world is wondering whether they could be stopped anytime soon.
This is the focus of today’s piece as I try to figure out whether any of the other Bundesliga clubs have a chance of putting a stop to Bayern’s dominance on the domestic scene.
Here are the champions’ closest contenders:
Dortmund was very much in the race, especially after Bayern had a slow start to the season.
Their attacking firepower with Jadon Sancho and January addition Erling Haaland coupled with the experience that players like Emre Can, Mats Hummers, Marco Reus, and Mario Goetze bring, looked like good value to push the champions.
Dortmund were on course to mount an effective challenge but their recent loss against Bayern pretty much ended any sort of resistance.
Still, if kept together, this squad has every chance to give it another go next season.
The Leipzig club was also in the mix, mostly because of their star striker Timo Werner and the defensive stability that Julian Nagelsmann was able to instill in this squad.
However, things may take a turn for the worse during the summer.
The solid performances of players like Dayot Upamecano and Christopher Nkunku have already alerted the top dogs and I don’t envisage they will stay with the team much longer.
And probably the worst news for RB Leipzig fans is the fact that Timo Werner himself looks to be on the verge of transferring his talents to the Premier League with Chelsea FC.
Werner will be a huge loss as his goalscoring prowess and all-around combinative approach will be almost impossible to replace.
The striker is the soul of this team and whoever Leipzig brings in, will have some pretty big shoes to fill.
One of the surprise packages of the season, Borussia Monchengladbach have certainly grown by leaps and bounds this season.
Coach Marko Rose’s work ethic and determination spread to the entire squad and they were one of the most stable teams throughout the early stages of the season.
The hiatus probably took a bit of momentum away from them but young striker Marcus Thuram has continued with his great form and is at the forefront of the team’s hopes of pushing the elite in the Bundesliga for years to come.
It has been a joy to watch Bayer Leverkusen’s young and vibrant squad operate in the Bundesliga this season.
Not many people expected they will be in the fight for the Champions League spots but they have every chance of clinching one as they are currently just two points away from 4th place Gladbach with a game in hand.
Everyone who has followed the team in the last couple of seasons will know that the main reason for their improvement is Dutch coach Peter Bosz.
The manager completely transferred the vibe around the club and his efforts are starting to bear fruit now that he has been given the time to implement his ideas.
The team is organized, creative, bold in their approach, and possesses bags of talent that Bosz has been able to make the most of.
At the forefront is Kai Havertz, who is definitely in the running for the Young Player of the Year award.
The midfielder will probably lose out to the phenomenal Jadon Sancho but this doesn’t take anything away from what he has achieved this season.
A very cerebral and disciplined playmaker, Havertz’s stock has risen significantly this year because of his all-around skill on the ball, decision making, and taste for goals.
The sky is the limit for this team but everything depends on whether Bosz can convince his players to stay and battle with Bayern’s all-conquering squad.
My Verdict and Final Words
To be quite honest, I don’t see how any club can break the Bavarians’ stranglehold on the Bundesliga title right now.
Dortmund and Leverkusen have the talent and ambition but there’s no telling where their star players will end up.
It is rumored that Kai Havertz is already contemplating a move to the Premier League with Chelsea leading the race for his signature.
Jadon Sancho has also confirmed he would like to return to England and I don’t see him spending too many more years in Dortmund.
The same scenario is very likely to happen at both RB Leipzig and Borussia Monchengladbach and this is probably Bayern’s biggest advantage going forward.
The club has established itself as the main powerhouse of German football and can both attract the best players in the Bundesliga and has the bonus of their opponents needing to sell their key pieces once the elite clubs go after them.
It might be good business for these teams but it won’t get them closer to the Bundesliga title and Bayern Munich will once again be the big winners from all this.