The start of the new Bundesliga season has offered hope that it’s not going to be a stroll towards another title for Bayern Munich and that there is some betting value to be found.
Bayern are going for a fourth successive title and are a very short price in the Bundesliga betting to achieve that feat for the first time in their history. Bayern have previously won a hat-trick of titles on three different occasions, but have never been able to make it a fourth.
Pep Guardiola’s side have been quick out of the blocks in winning all three of their Bundesliga games before the international break. Bayern beat Hamburg 5-0 and Bayer Leverkusen 3-0 at home, either side of a 2-1 victory at Hoffenheim.
But Bayern aren’t the only team with a 100 per cent record after three games as Borussia Dortmund have also made a flying start to the season. And it’s Dortmund who have realistic and legitimate claims of stopping Bayern making it four titles in a row.
Dortmund now have Thomas Tuchel as coach following the charismatic Jurgen Klopp’s decision to leave at the end of last season. Tuchel has similarities to Klopp and it has ensured there is going to be no major upheaval, while also having an invigorating effect on the players to be hearing a new voice on the training ground.
In some respects, it’s strange to suggest Dortmund as Bayern’s main rivals given there was a 33-point difference between them last season. But Dortmund had a torrid first half to the season before recovering after the winter break and they have already shown that’s not going to happen this time around following wins over Borussia Monchengladbach, Ingolstadt and Hertha Berlin.
Dortmund have also not particularly strengthened their team over the summer, either, with Manchester United forward Adnan Januzaj a late loan addition before the transfer deadline.
Their best business, instead, has been keeping all of their key players at the club, with Mats Hummels, Ilkay Gundogan and Marco Reus remaining part of the squad. In addition, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has signed a new contract, rumours of a departure for Henrikh Mkhitaryan amounted to nothing and Shinji Kagawa has also started the season well.
It’s not that long since Dortmund won back-to-back titles themselves and they are blessed with a squad containing talent and experience, certainly enough to push Bayern close.
Of the rest, only Wolfsburg look to have the potential to be capable of challenging Bayern and Dortmund.
Last season’s runners-up may have lost Kevin de Bruyne, but have astutely signed Julian Draxler from Schalke and also agreed a deal to bring in Dante from Bayern. The Brazilian defender may have his detractors, but he brings title-winning experience to the party.
Wolfsburg are probably still a little short on the depth to make up 10 points on Bayern from last season, and it will be interesting to see how they cope with playing in the Champions League as well.
The odds may tell you it’s a one-horse race for the Bundesliga title this season, but Dortmund’s double-figure price is a huge temptation.