Philipp Lahm believes Bayern Munich will have competition from four other clubs as they attempt to claim a fourth successive Bundesliga title this season.
Bayern have romped away with the league in recent seasons with their winning margins ranging from 25 points in 2012-13 to 10 points last season.
A 5-0 thrashing of Hamburg on the opening weekend of the new campaign suggested Pep Guardiola’s side will take some stopping once again, but they were not the only ones to enjoy comfortable starts.
Borussia Dortmund and Schalke both claimed impressive wins, while Bayer Leverkusen and last season’s runners-up Wolfsburg also picked up three points.
“I do not see one competitor,” Lahm told Kicker. “It revolves around five teams, and then we will see who can keep it going the longest.
“We need to look at ourselves, we have to win our games. This has always been the case and always will be, we are league leaders and now someone must get it off us.
“You cannot win or lose the championship this early, but you can lose ground. If we march ahead like in past years it is hard for the rest of the league [to catch up].”