Competition at the upper echelons of the German top flight has been a cause for concern for some time now. Aggravations arising from the persistent dominance of Bayern Munich over the course of the past decade have caused opposition fans to grow weary of a lack of competitiveness in the league.
Nevertheless, with global viewership on the rise and with a new near $5 billion television deal signed, sealed and delivered, hopes for a gritty battle at the upper echelons of the Bundesliga would do a world of good for the league’s reputation at home and abroad.
Despite concerns over the competitiveness of the league, the Bundesliga has been able to attract a whole host of exciting young talent which in turn has boost the growing popularity of the German top flight.
Bundesliga fandom has been gaining pace across the world but in Africa in particular with a stand out audience in the continent’s southern tip worthy of note. A wide range of betting sites in South Africa are currently pushing Bundesliga odds for this season’s title race.
Although the gap in title odds is already reaching considerable proportions at such an early stage of the season, there is hope that the market will contract over the next few weeks as points start to be chalked on the board.
Results from the first two rounds of this season’s incarnation of the Bundesliga have been promising for fans looking for signs of a potential title race this time round. Reigning champions Bayern Munich were held in a 1-1 draw away to once fierce rivals Borussia Mönchengladbach.
Bayern dropping points on the opening weekend hasn’t traditionally been a cause of concern for their title hopes in the past, but the current champions are currently finding it difficult to get across the line. However Borussia Dortmund’s capitulation to a Freiburg side that finished mid-table last season is of larger concern.
Alongside RB Leipzig, Dortmund represent Bayern’s greatest challengers in the fight for the Bundesliga trophy and the departure of leading figure Jadon Sancho does not send immediate signs of encouragement.
RB Leipzig have undergone significant personnel changes of their own over the last 18 months which has seen them lose key players at both ends of the pitch. Top scorer Timo Werner departed for Chelsea in the winter transfer window, while centre back Dayot Upamecano will turn out for rivals Bayern this season.
Like Dortmund, Leipzig have won one and lost one match so far. A surprise opening day defeat to Mainz gave way to a comprehensive four nil battering of Stuttgart the following Friday.
Another key departure crossing the divide between Leipzig and Munich is new Bayern manager Nagelsmann. The 34-year old is heavily rated in Germany but his new look Munich side are finding his tactics hard to grasp according to full back Alphonso Davies.
Bayern Munich are still firm favourites to take this year’s title but they’ve not had it all their own way in recent years, and new managers can often find the Allianz Arena and the pressure of the job difficult to master.
Both RB Leipzig and Borussia Dortmund will be hoping to get a run of positive results in order to find consistency in the opening stages, as midweek Champions League football is growing closer on the horizon after the international break.
Only time will tell if this year’s Bundesliga title race will be one of note. Let’s hope it is.