Going back a month, Bundesliga looked like we will be looking at a new champion after 6 long years, however, we were in for “a shock”, when Bayern Munich managed to catch up to former league leaders Borussia Dortmund and reclaimed the top position.
Bundesliga seems to be slowly but surely shifting into one of “those” leagues, where we have a team that dominates and will finish at the top, while the rest fight for the remaining spots. Taking that into consideration, I believe if Bayern goes on and wins the league once again, it would be damaging for German football and its recognition as a strong league. While I tend to stay as unbiased as possible in my articles, this time out I really hope we will see a new champion. I do not have anything against Bayern Munich, nor am I Borussia Dortmund fan I am simply a soccer fan who wishes to see some fresh legs standing on the top of Bundesliga and after 6 years there is a huge need for someone else to stand at the top. That is just to prove to the world, Bundesliga is a league with a few strong teams rather than one dominant team and the rest.
As it stands now there is only one team that can challenge Bayern Munich and that team is no other than the 2010/11 and 2011/12 champions of Bundesliga; Borussia Dortmund, with the other closest team being RB Leipzig who is 11 points behind the league leaders. Looking at the standings now, the teams are tied both with 57 points, however, due to a slightly better goal difference, Bayern Munich sit at the top. But, that was not the case for nearly six months, during which Dortmund were at the top of the league. Even a month ago they held a 7 point lead in front of their rivals but after a terrible run of 2-2-1 in the last 5 fixtures, Borussia Dortmund were caught up by Bayern, who have not been defeated in the last 5 league matches (5-0-0).
Looking at Borussia Dortmund performances in all competitions, they won 3, drew 3 and lost 4 matches. While it may not seem like a disastrous record, those results mean this was one of the worst months for Borussia. Not only have they been knocked out of DFB Cup against Werder Bremen and lost the lead of 7 points in front of Bayern Munich in Bundesliga. Borussia Dortmund also suffered a disappointing 4:0 aggregate defeat against Tottenham in 1/8 finals of Champions League, which resulted in them being knocked out of the tournament. They basically lost it all, except one thing. The Bundesliga.
With only 9 more rounds to go, Bayern Munich are the slight favourites to win, while Borussia Dortmund shifted from league leaders to title hunters, which I believe is a role much more suited for them. Borussia were always the underdogs, which made them the fans favourites. We got used to Borussia chasing Bayern in the league, and so did they. It seems like Borussia play their best when they can play without any expectations, when they can play their natural football and when there is no pressure on them. While this is not the quality you would want a team to have, it’s hard to argue the pressure that was put on them to hold on as the league leaders did not play a part of their recent decline in form. Now that they have fallen out of the position of Bundesliga leaders, Borussia Dortmund can once again breathe and do what they know best. Play from behind and be the crowd’s favourite underdogs. While losing the spot of league leaders, being knocked out of Champions League, and losing the Cup competition is far from a great result, but as mentioned it will help Borussia perform better in the title race.
While I believe we will be looking at a close race for the Bundesliga title, the most important match will be the one between the two competitors on April 6th, when they meet at Allianz Arena. Looking at the whole situation, I believe Borussia is currently in the best spot they have been in a while to finally defeat their rivals and reclaim the throne after 6 long years. While their form has been far from impressive, the fall to 2nd spot will most likely do more good than bad for the team that severely underperforms under pressure and shines when they need to prove their worth. The title race is far from over, but I do believe Borussia are strong enough to pass Bayern Munich, who in addition to having injury issues, still potentially have Champions League matches to attend and DFB Cup matches ahead of them while at the same time trying to hold on to the Bundesliga leading spot.