The title race of the Bundesliga will probably end up as one of the most thrilling definitions in Europe during the 2018-19 season. Perhaps only rivaled by the battle between Liverpool and Manchester City in the Premier League, don’t be surprised if the title race in Germany extends until the final weeks of the campaign.
And just like it happens in England, this is a two-team race as well between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund. The reigning champions are on the rise following a slow start to the season, while The Yellow Bees have been excellent despite having one of the youngest squads in the league.
Through 27 games in the campaign, Dortmund sit at the top of the standings with 63 points while Bayern rank in second with two fewer points. There’s a nine-point gap between Bayern and third-placed RB Leipzig, so it’s safe to say only two teams will remain in contention until everything is said and done. But does any team have an advantage in the final seven matches of the campaign? Let’s take a deeper look to find out.
Which team has an easier fixture?
First, let’s begin by looking at each club’s remaining fixtures. On one hand, Dortmund have Bayern Munich (away), Mainz (home), Freiburg (A), Schalke 04 (H), Werder Bremen (A), Düsseldorf (H) and Monchengladbach (A). Meanwhile, Bayern’s list shows Dortmund (H), Düsseldorf (A), Werder Bremen (H), Nürnberg (A), Hannover 96 (H), RB Leipzig (A) and Frankfurt (H).
One would think Bayern have an easier path since they’ll meet on the last two teams on the standings, but they’re also going to take on Leipzig (3rd) and Frankfurt (4th) in their final two matches of the campaign. Meanwhile, Dortmund will finish the year on the road against Monchengladbach (5th), but four of their seven opponents are in the bottom half of the standings. The edge goes to Dortmund in this one.
Does experience really matter?
Another key aspect will be the amount of experience on both sides. Some might say those intangibles do not matter, but you have to “know how to win” certain games and how to perform on key moments of the season. And there’s no question Bayern hold the edge here.
This core of players has been dominating the Bundesliga during most of the past decade, and after all there’s a reason why Bayern have won the last six league titles. Dortmund have had three second-place finished and one in third place over that span, but there’s no question Bayern are used to dealing with the pressure of being title contenders. Plus, age could be a factor as well since Dortmund are a very young team. That could prove costly down the stretch.
Advantage Bayern Munich when it comes to experience.
So… who holds the edge?
It’s quite hard to say if Dortmund or Bayern enter the final stretch of the season as favourites. Much will depend on what will happen this next weekend when both sides collide at Allianz Arena; it’s one thing to see Dortmund with a five-point lead and six matches to go, and a completely different one would be to have Bayern Munich with a one-point edge and six games left. But if we look at the numbers, we can see Bayern own the best attack and the second-best defence, while Dortmund have the second-highest attacking line and the third-best defensive unit. So, both sides are even when it comes to the numbers and stats.
One thing is certain, though. We will be in line for a photo finish in Germany’s top-flight. It’s time to buckle up and enjoy the ride, as two of the best teams in Europe will go toe-to-toe for the Bundesliga title. And that’s all a football fan could ask for.
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