Zee Media Bureau/Rajdeep Saha
New Delhi: Bundesliga is back on German soil, as the nation`s premier division kicks off on Saturday topped with an electric mood amongst its people. The European powerhouse and 2014 FIFA world conquerors, will see their two topmost clubs fighting for the domestic title once again. This time it will not be a one way traffic!
Bayern Munich, who are eyeing a third successive Bundesliga honour, face an uphill task against the `yellow submarine` of Ruhr valley, Borussia Dortmund. Last season, Pep Guardiola`s heroes won the league by a whooping 90 points and had sealed the honour in record time at the end of March. Dortmund will look to prevent a similar outcome this season and in the current scenario, they look set to give Bayern a run for their money until the end.
Dortmund`s German Cup victory last week over Bayern was a good way for them to start the season. The tie showed that last season’s two high-profile additions, Piere-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, have developed to play Jurgen Klopp’s high-energy pressing style now.
The key to their season will be the performance and adaptability of new strikers Ciro Immobile and Adrian Ramos. The duo will look to find their feet quickly to claim success for the German giants. Dortmund have a strong squad at their disposal – and a coach who seems really hungry to deliver silverware and break Bayern`s dominance atop.
Even after losing their premier striker, Robert Lewandowski, to Bayern this summer, and being financially inferior to their rivals, Klopp`s side will hope to do a Atletico Madrid performance this term.
Elsewhere, Bayern have a host of problems in their kitty and Pep Guardiola goes into the season with numerous issues. The injury to Javi Martinez (sidelined for six months) and the unavailability of Thiago Alc'ntara who is still a couple of months away to full fitness following his knee injury in March, adds midfield crisis. Toni Kroos is gone, Bastian Schweinsteiger needs sometime to comeback in game-form.
Right-back Rafinha is injured while Franck Ribery looks likely to miss the early part of the season. These are some of the sheer problems Guardiola is facing and Dortmund will be eager to capitalize on them.
The likes of Sven Bender, Marco Reus and Ikay Gundogan are all fit and that is a big news for Klopp. After a successful transfer window wherein they managed to keep hold of their star players, Dortmund look a team that will challenge the Bayern supremacy.
Dortmund open their campaign against Bayer Leverkusen, whereas holders Bayern take on Wolfsburg on Saturday, 23 August, in their respective season openers.