This season’s Bundesliga title race is on, with Bayern Munich dropping to second place the matchday before the international break.
The Bundesliga title race is probably the least anticipated one compared to the other European major leagues, since the league is usually wrapped up by now. However, it comes sooner than expected as Bayern lost the top spot after a recent 2-1 defeat against Bayer Leverkusen. They sit second in the table with 52 points, one point adrift from the league leaders Borussia Dortmund.
Bayern’s position is not yet entirely safe since they are only four points clear from Union Berlin on the third. The capital side and Die Borussen are the contenders for the Meisterschalle.
Die Roten have been in a state of flux after Julian Nageslmann’s sudden dismissal during the international break. Does that leave the Bundesliga title race coming to life after Bayern’s domination all these years? Or will it lead to the same ending with Bayern eventually retaining the league trophy?
Their form in the next nine matches will determine whether such is real or not.
Bundesliga title race 2022/23 Season: Fact or fiction?
Union Berlin has been the most unexpected rival in 2022/23. It is their first ever involvement in a Bundesliga title race. Union was able to topple Bayern earlier this season before eventually dropping points at the end of 2022. Urs Fischer’s side has collected 48 points from 25 games. They have clinched 14 wins and suffered five defeats in the process.
After the international break, Robin Knoche and co will resume their domestic campaign in the Bundesliga and DFB Pokal. They take on Eintracht Frankfurt on April 4 in the cup quarter-finals, three days after playing host to VFB Stuttgart in the league.
In their last nine fixtures of the season, Union Berlin plays five times at home. The matches against Dortmund, Gladbach, Bayer Leverkusen and Freiburg are bound to be the trickiest ones. Considering their inconsistency in 2023 with only two victories in the last six games, they will be lucky to stay in the top four in the end. In order, their remaining matches are against Stuttgart (home), Dortmund (away), Bochum (home), Borussia Monchengladbach (away), Bayer Leverkusen (home), Augsburg (away), Freiburg (home), Hoffenheim (away), and Werder Bremen (home).
Die Borussen seems to be on the positive trend lately. Despite Champions League elimination to Chelsea, Edin Terzic’s men have been in-form in their domestic campaign. They are unbeaten in domestic play 2023, having won nine of ten Bundesliga games. Dortmund has also reached the German Cup quarter-finals, with RB Leipzig being as their next opponent.
This season could be their time to finally end their league title drought. Their last trophy came under Jürgen Klopp’s tutelage 11 years ago. However, replicating that team’s form is not easy as it seems.
Their squad is currently in crisis as ten of their players are sidelined until early April. Those include Julian Brandt, Karim Adeyemi, Salih Ozcan, Nico Schlotterbeck, Youssouf Moukoko and Gregor Kobel. All of them are likely to miss out Der Klassiker this weekend as former Dortmund boss Thomas Tuchel makes his return in the dugout with Bayern.
Should they share spoils with the Bavarian side, Dortmund will still have difficult fixtures ahead such as playing host to Union Berlin, Frankfurt and Gladbach. It will be intriguing to watch if Edin Terzic can inspire his squad to win the league this summer.
Die Rotten is set to begin their new era under Thomas Tuchel. They are confident to bounce back at the right time. In fact, it could even be sooner as Der Klassiker is staged immediately after the international break. His experience could be crucial in this game and Bayern’s campaign, including in the Champions League. Thomas Muller and co meet Manchester City in the UCL and Freiburg in the DFB Pokal quarter-finals.
At the moment, Bayern has four names on their injury table: Jamal Musiala, Lucas Hernandez, Eric Choupo-Moting and Manuel Neuer. Tuchel’s side may struggle a bit against Dortmund, but will likely secure three points at home. They will undoubtedly snatch wins in the remaining eight games. Matches against Freiburg and RB Leipzig will still take place before season’s end. Even if they drop points, Bayern will still have the advantage due to their higher goal difference and goals scored compared to Dortmund.