Yes, folks, it’s finally happening. The Bundesliga has a title race which is going to the final week of the season. Predictably, Bayern Munich are in the driving seat yet again. But Borussia Dortmund are hot on their tails, and they have a realistic chance of ending Bayern’s long monopoly on the Bundesliga crown.
Surprisingly, it’s Dortmund who have let a lead slip by. Lucian Favre’s side were at the top on their own in the first half of the season. They were seven points clear at the top as recent as February. The likes of Marco Reus and Jadon Sancho were in stellar form, and so was new signing Paco Alcacer. In contrast, Bayern endured a tough start to the season.
Niko Kovac’s first season in Munich started on shaky grounds. The new manager coupled with an ageing squad did not make for good reading. After a 3-0 loss to Borussia Mönchengladbach in October, Bayern were outside the top four. Since then, Kovac has improved the situation. A stellar 2019 in the league has seen the Bavarians go above Dortmund in the table. They were looking likely to retain the title, until last week’s stumble.
Dortmund played Dusseldorf last week, and they were leading 1-0. But their backup keeper Marwin Hitz made a blunder, and Dusseldorf were level. Meanwhile, Leon Goretzka scored for Bayern against Leipzig to make it 1-0. But as it turned out, that goal was disallowed, and the game remained goalless. Leipzig held their mettle and eked out a goalless draw with the defending champions. On the other hand, Thomas Delaney and Mario Gotze scored to give Dortmund a 3-2 win.
Heading into the final day of the season, the title still hangs in the balance. Bayern lead Dortmund by two points, and their goal difference is superior in case of a tie on points. Dortmund need to win, and they need Bayern to lose their game if they want their hands on the Champions’ shield on Saturday.
But the fixtures on the final day will provide hope to Dortmund. Bayern host Eintracht Frankfurt, which is not an easy fixture by any means. Frankfurt have impressed this season, and they will be looking for a top-four finish on the final day. Their recent form has not been good, but the likes of Luka Jovic and Ante Rebic can cause problems to any side.
Meanwhile, Dortmund will travel to Borussia-Park to face Monchengladbach. Now that is not an easy fixture as well, but it is a must-win game for Favre’s side. Loads of neutral fans will be on their side, as Bayern’s stranglehold on the trophy can come to an end. Since Jurgen Klopp’s Dortmund won the league in 2012, no team has managed to pip Bayern to the title.
Bayern will be the favorites on the final day, and the safe money is on them retaining their crown. But the romantic will be hoping for a Dortmund triumph. It’s unlikely, but one can always expect, can’t he?