Season preview: Borussia Dortmund to clinch Bundesliga title
Pep Guardiola's Bayern won't be able to match Dortmund
It is most likely going to be a two-way battle for the Bundesliga come next season.
Pep Guardiola's inherited treble-winning Bayern Munich team will be pushed all the way by Jurgen Klopp and his beaten cup finalists Borussia Dortmund. But I will back the side that plays in the Westfalenstadion to pip their Allianz Arena rivals to the league title.
One thing Bayern do not really need at the moment is the amount of pressure that comes with expectation. Guardiola is under pressure to succeed with arguably the most ruthless team in Europe at the moment, and his charges are under significant pressure to maintain the status they have built over the last two years, and make sure they don't crumble under their new manager.
On a player basis, only Dortmund can rival die Roten in terms of quality. Thiago Alcantara is already showing glimpses of quality and Mario Gotze is yet to be fully fit to unleash on all opponents.
Phillip Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteinger, Arjen Robben, Mario Mandzukic and co. will win matches anytime, any day. And any one backing them to trump Dortmund to the league title again has a good case.
Now to Dortmund: They relinquished their league title to Bayern Munich, lost out on the league cup to Munich and agonisingly watched as Bayern lifted the Champions League at their expense.
All last season, Dortmund were second-best to Bayern. And to add insult to injury, Bayern snapped up their most promising attacker in the form of Gotze.
But for a hard stance on his movement, Robert Lewandowski would have ended up in Munich this summer as well. So for Dortmund it is a personal mission to reclaim lost territory and pride.
And they have prepared well for it. Henrikh Mikhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are astute additions to a team boasting Felipe Santana, Sven Bender, Marco Reus and the aforementioned Lewandowski.
The 4-2 victory over Bayern in the Super Cup may not be used as a yard stick to conclude that Dortmund will have it all their own way this season, but with all that is at stake I would stick my neck out for Dortmund.
So, my prediction for the German league is Dortmund to win it, Bayern Munich to be runners-up - even if by the slimmest of margins - and Schalke 04 to go clinch third.
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