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Augenthaler bullish over Bayern´s Bundesliga title defence

Bayern Munich are still finding their way under head coach Carlo Ancelotti but former captain and club great Klaus Augenthaler is confident the Bundesliga champions will reign supreme at the end of the season.

Pep Guardiola’s shoes have proved difficult to fill early in the season, with Ancelotti’s Bayern upstaged in the Der Klassiker and outshone by newcomers RB Leipzig.

Having won 10 of their opening 11 matches last term, Bayern have only seven victories to their name at the same stage in 2016-17 following last week’s 1-0 loss at rivals Borussia Dortmund – Ancelotti’s first Bundesliga defeat since moving to Bavaria.

The result, which saw Bayern drop to second in the table behind high-flying Leipzig, served as a demonstration of the defending champions’ qualitative demise since Guardiola’s move to Manchester City, with their lack of cutting edge in the final third punished by a gritty and determined Dortmund outfit.

Despite the growing concerns at Allianz Arena, seven-time Bundesliga winner Augenthaler remains bullish over Bayern’s chances of claiming a fifth successive ‘Deutsche Meisterschale’, insisting the table will return to normal by season’s end.

In an interview with Omnisport, the 1990 World Cup winner said: “It’s difficult to change the coach. After Guardiola, it’s another philosophy.

“But I think in the league, after the 12th matchday, Bayern will still be number one at the end of the season.

“Ancelotti won the European Cup three times. Another coach with a different mentality.

“It’s difficult for a team to change a coach. But I’ve seen the team twice in the past two weeks, they are doing great with high quality. They lost in Dortmund, but in the next matches we will see the league table turn.”

Bayern have collected 24 points from 11 matches, three less than Leipzig, who continue to impress following their promotion from Germany’s second tier.

Dortmund are six points off the pace but former Germany international Augenthaler added: “The league is in two classes. First it is Bayern and Dortmund. Then it is maybe Leverkusen and Schalke but they are too far down.

“I think the title will be decided between Bayern and Dortmund.

“Leipzig have a good young team but in January and February, we will see their normal place – fifth or sixth.

“The table is not normal at the moment. It is still early in the season.”

Wed 23 Nov, 2016
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