Ten-time defending champions Bayern Munich are counting on manager Thomas Tuchel’s comparatively vast experience to help them ward off Borussia Dortmund’s spirited challenge for this season’s Bundesliga title. A Club World Cup, Uefa Super Cup and Champions League winning manager with Chelsea, the former Mainz, Dortmund and PSG gaffer has over a dozen years of coaching exposure under his belt whereas Signal Iduna Park rival Edin Terzic is in his first full season as a manager.
Tuchel’s steadying influence has already helped the Bavarian giants wrest Bundesliga leadership from Dortmund. Consecutive victories over Hertha Berlin (2-0) and Werder Bremen (2-1) have propelled the seven time European champions to a one point advantage over Dortmund with just three matches to go. Victory over old enemies Schalke on Saturday would put the Allianz Arena juggernauts within six points of yet another title.
Perennial bridesmaids Dortmund have been runners up to Bayern Munich in six out of the last ten campaigns but will consider this a great opportunity lost unless they win their first title since Jurgen Klopp guided them to successive triumphs in 2011 and 2012. The Black and Yellows begun 2023 like a bullet train by winning an unprecedented ten consecutive matches. A more chequered record of just four victories out of their last ten games has handed the impetus back to Bayern Munich.
Victory over 1970s behemoths Borussia Moenchengladbach in Saturday’s late kick off would cement another top two slot for Dortmund. The race for the two remaining Champions League positions allocated to Bundesliga clubs by European football governing body Uefa is heading for a photo finish. RB Leipzig are third and date Werder Bremen at the Red Bull Arena in a winnable rubber on Sunday.
With the chasing pack of Urs Fischer’s Union Berlin and Christian Steich’s Freiburg currently level on 56 points and taking points off each other on Saturday, Leipzig boss Marco Rose is confident of defending his team’s one point cushion until next week’s showdown with leaders Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena.
Koln v Hertha Berlin
Bayern Munich v Schalke,
Eintracht Frankfurt v Mainz,
Union Berlin v Freiburg,
Bochum v Augsburg,
Wolfsburg v Hoffenheim,
Borussia Dortmund v Gladbach
Stuttgart v Bayer Leverkusen,
RB Leipzig v Werder Bremen