Bayern Munich ran away with the 2013-14 Bundesliga title, then picked up the German cup as well to round off a highly successful first domestic season in charge for Pep Guardiola. Can anyone live with the champions next year?
The first thing to remember is that this was actually a bit of a comedown for Bayern from the previous season, when they won both of those trophies and Champions League as well under Jupp Heynckes. Although they won the Bundesliga in record time and did not suffer a defeat until April, they is now a feeling that next year will see them focus more on the wider European competition rather than domestic trophies. Add to that the fact that the history of Europe’s major leagues is that no one team dominates for long (although there are many where two or three sides do) and the odds of just 1.1 that Bwin are offering on a repeat win look even shorter.
The chasing pack this year consisted of Bayer Leverkusen, Borussia Dortmund and Schalke 04, with the latter perhaps the surprising team of that bunch. Borussia Moenchengladbach were also in contention for a time, but look likely to lose their highly rated goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen to Barcelona once the transfer window opens.
Of these four Dortmund look to be the best of the bunch at 7.5, with Leverkusen at odds as long as 36.0 and Schalke, about whom there must be some doubt whether they can maintain the level at which they played, at 26.0.
Indeed, the better bet here may well be the option to back any team other than Bayern, at odds of 6.5. There’s always a risk in backing any one side in a year with a major tournament in it, as injuries and just general fatigue can take a toll in the following season. That is particularly true where you have a team reliant upon one or two stars. It might therefore be better to wait until July before backing any side too heavily.