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Bundesliga Preview: Can anyone catch Bayern Munich?

Friday 24th August 2018

If Bayern Munich is a sprinter, they’d probably be Usain Bolt. As it is almost useless competing with Bolt in a race, so it is with the Bavarians in the Bundesliga. Yet every season, German clubs line up hoping to be that Justin Gatlin. 

For the sixth successive season, Bayern resumes as defending champions. Despite a false start under Carlo Ancelotti last term, they still romped to the title by a whopping 21 points thanks to Jupp Heynckes. The veteran has since linked up with Alex Ferguson. New boss Niko Kovac is condemned to maintain that hegemony else Heynckes may be forced out of retirement again. 

Bayern may not necessarily need another Heynckes rescue mission, however. Not after he revealed to be out of touch with reality. He couldn't keep up with the new trend in Germany; that of young coaches. Schalke boss Dominico Tedesco was the most impressive of them all. Tedesco guided the club to second place, securing a return to the UEFA Champions League. It wasn’t pretty to watch, at times but it was certainly effective.

Just underneath these two, there's a potential fatal four-way battle royal for the other Champions League berths. Hoffenheim and Borussia Dortmund face a mighty task holding on to their spots. Bayer Leverkusen and RB Leipzig, both of which will play Thursday night football, won’t relish a return. 

The quest for survival could be even trickier. Newcomers Fortuna Düsseldorf and FC Nuremberg will be eager to re-establish themselves as Bundesliga regulars. For that to happen, however, they must outwit serial strugglers Wolfsburg, Freiburg, Mainz and Hannover. They would be encouraged by the achievement of predecessors. 

Here's a summary of all 18 clubs' status heading into Match Day One.

Football Results
Toby Prince

If the sport has 11-men on each side, a ball and lasts for 90 minutes then I'll write about it. Simply put, I'm an unrepentant soccer freak that other freaks will, however, call a geek. I do find time for music when not watching the beautiful game, though and have been known to produce the odd track. 

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