2. Bayern Munich
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It is frightening to think that Bayern are without a host of key players, instead having to utilise a full back in midfield.
Yet regardless of managerial change and injuries and a makeshift midfielder, Bayern have arguably gotten even better. It took Pep Guardiola’s men almost no time at all to scratch Dortmund’s early league lead and assert themselves as the rightful premier team of Germany.
While they may have shared the spoils with Leverkusen last week, it is important to note that they completely and utterly decimated their opponents in every aspect except the final score.
They held an astonishing 78% of possession – that means four-fifths of the match involved a Bayern player with the ball – while more than quintupling Leverkusen’s shot count (27:5). That is not a mere moral victory. That is physical assault.
Die Roten have been equally as dominant on the European stage, clinically dispatching Manchester City in England with consummate ease, despite again playing Lahm in defensive midfield, with Rafinha deployed in Lahm’s right back position.
That City completed only four dribbles throughout the whole game (against Bayern’s 15) is a testament to the high pressing game instigated by Heynckes and developed by Guardiola.
Franck Ribery has been in Ballon d’Or contending form, with seven direct goal involvements in all competitions, as well as his three-assist dismantling of Australia’s defence on international duty.
The impending return of Javi Martinez will see Bayern final field their ideal starting line-up. And to think, the expected signing of Lewandowski is about to make Bayern even stronger.