Can Dortmund dig deep to win the title race? Is any side capable of upsetting the seemingly unstoppable Bayern Munich? Free Super Tips analyses the Bundesliga run-in with just eight matches to go.
How things stand in the Bundesliga
Borussia Dortmund held a six-point lead atop the table at the season’s half-way mark but Lucien Favre’s men had the wind taken from their sails in February.
A run of just one win in eight across all competitions (W1 D3 L4) saw them out of the Champions League and the German Cup and the gap between themselves and reigning champions Bayern reduced to goal difference alone.
Bayern Munich have themselves since been knocked out of Europe by Liverpool – the league is now their main focus too – so as everything comes down to the wire, we wanted to ask who has the better fixtures to come?
Borussia Dortmund’s Fixtures
vs Wolfsburg (H)
vs BAYERN MUNICH (A)
vs Mainz 05 (H)
vs Freiburg (A)
vs Schalke 04 (H)
vs Werder Bremen (A)
vs Fortuna Dusseldorf (H)
vs Borussia Monchengladbach (A)
Home games: 4
Away games: 4
League form in 2019: W5 D3 L1
Borussia Dortmund will have enjoyed the 92nd-minute winner from Marco Reus in the 3-2 win against Hertha Berlin last time out – a goal that ended their four-match winless run on the road – but a return to home soil is always welcome.
Der BVB have dropped just four points in front of their own fans this term – in fact, Dortmund hold the best home record in the division (W11 D2), which includes another dramatic 3-2 win over reigning champs Bayern – and half of their remaining fixtures will be played there.
Wolfsburg, Mainz, Schalke, and Fortuna Dusseldorf are the upcoming visitors to Signal Iduna Park, none of which are particularly tough opposition, so it wouldn’t be unreasonable to see them get maximum points from those games.
On the road, however, their matches are a bit tricker. A second encounter with Bayern Munich – this time away – is arguably the toughest fixture of the season, and that’s followed by trips to Werder Bremen, who are unbeaten in 2019, and Borussia Monchengladbach, who hold the third-best home record at this stage.
Dortmund did the double over Bayern in each of their title wins in the 2010/11 and 2011/12 seasons, but they haven’t won at the Allianz Arena in the league since 2014. Anything can happen in 90 minutes of football and how they perform in their next match against Wolfsburg could prove pivotal to whether they turn up in ‘Der Klassiker’.
Bayern Munich’s Fixtures
vs Freiburg (A)
vs BORUSSIA DORTMUND (H)
vs Fortuna Dusseldorf (A)
vs Werder Bremen (H)
vs Nurnberg (A)
vs Hannover 96 (H)
vs RB Leipzig (A)
vs Eintracht Frankfurt (H)
Home matches: 4
Away matches: 4
League form in 2019: W8 D0 L1
Bayern Munich’s chance of retaining the title for a seventh successive season was in jeopardy before Christmas but a run of 13 wins in their last 14 matches has reignited those ambitions.
Bayern’s numbers have improved drastically at a time when Dortmund’s have declined and the fact that ‘Der BVB’ seem unable to keep pace will no doubt give them more confidence.
Not that more confidence is needed…
Niko Kovac’s men top the rankings for expected goals scored (xG – 65 to Dortmund’s 49), expected points (xPTS – 61 to Dortmund’s 49), and expected goals against (xGA – 21 to Dortmund’s 30), which is to say that the Bavarians were “unlucky” not be top of the table sooner.
It’s debatable whose remaining fixtures are more favourable overall – Bayern have the tougher home but more favourable away games – but of course the most important clash will be the crucial ‘Klassiker’ in a few weeks time – an event Bayern have emerged victorious from in 4 of the last 5 meetings.
There’s an equally close title race going on over in the Premier League!
‘Title Retainers’ Double
Will late surges from Bayern Munich and Manchester City see both sides keep their crowns?
‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ Double
Or can Dortmund and Liverpool prove the doubters wrong and round off their remarkable seasons with silverware?