Bayern Munich or Borussia Dortmund: Who will win the Bundesliga title? | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 29.03.2019
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Bayern Munich or Borussia Dortmund: Who will win the Bundesliga title?

With eight games to go, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund are level on points in the tightest Bundesliga title race for years. But who will finish on top? DW's Bundesliga writers make their predictions.

For the first time in seven years, the Bundesliga title could be lifted by a club other than Bayern Munich. After a flying start to the season, Borussia Dortmund took advantage of major changes in Bavaria to open up a nine point lead in December. But since then, Niko Kovac's team have made up the ground on Lucien Favre's to leave Bayern leading the table by seven goals and the sides due to meet at the Allianz Arena on April 6. DW's Bundesliga writers offer their predictions for the home straight.

Matt Ford - Borussia will bounce back

After several years of false starts, managerial mishaps and general turmoil, winning the Bundesliga was not Borussia Dortmund's primary aim this season. But Lucien Favre quickly gelled a collection of new faces into a deadly attacking unit. Injuries and defensive lapses cost them as Bayern closed the gap, but the international break has come at a good time. 

With Mario Götze, Axel Witsel, Paco Alcacer and Marco Reus all fit going into the final stretch, Dortmund are well placed to take Bayern all the way to the final two matchdays, where the Black and Yellows' fixtures (Düsseldorf at home and Gladbach away) look slightly more favorable than Bayern's (RB Leipzig away and Eintracht Frankfurt at home). To be in with a chance though, they must at least avoid defeat in Munich. 

Predicted champion: Borussia Dortmund

Matt Pearson - Experience will tell

As refreshing as it would be for this vibrant Dortmund side to break Bayern's grip on the Bundesliga, it feels as if their ship might have sailed. To have such a big lead at the turn of the year and allow it to be eroded shows this young side are feeling the pressure. Dortmund have shown their spirit several times in recent weeks with late goals but Bayern's comfortable wins suggest they are hitting peak form at the right time.

Though Kovac's squad has it issues, it also contains several serial champions, players who have dealt with and overcome real pressure before. The added advantage of playing at home in Der Klassiker could prove decisive and a Bayern win in that match will finally break Dortmund. The worry is, with Bayern starting to overhaul their squad already, that this could be BVB's best chance for some time.

Predicted champion: Bayern Munich

James Thorogood - Reus the difference maker

Marco Reus has been a key figure for Borussia Dortmund this season (Reuters/W. Rattay)

Marco Reus has been a key figure for Borussia Dortmund this season

It's a classic head versus heart battle, but I love a good underdog story and this one hinges on two decisive factors. The first is whether Borussia Dortmund can do the league double over Bayern for the first time since the 2011/12 campaign when they last lifted the Meisterschale. A draw at the Allianz Arena on April 6 won't be enough to dent Bayern's momentum or confidence. Three points is a must.

The second factor is the fitness of Marco Reus, who is in the form of his career. Dortmund's results and performances have both suffered in the absence of their talismanic captain this season, but if they can keep the 29-year-old fresh and firing on all cylinders then he has the potential to be the X Factor BVB need to upset the odds.

Predicted champion: Borussia Dortmund

Jonathan Harding - Bayern have the momentum

As much as Borussia Dortmund winning the Bundesliga would be one of the best things to happen to German football in recent years, it's hard to see beyond Bayern Munich for the title.

Psychologically, having hauled in Dortmund, both Bayern and their head coach Niko Kovac will feel very positive about winning the remainder of their games. Granted, Frankfurt and Leipzig pose two tricky fixtures to finish but Bayern probably do have the edge when it comes to the fixtures. Add to that the form of Serge Gnabry, Javi Martinez and Leon Goretzka and the ingrained routine of winning domestically and it has to be Bayern.

Dortmund are ahead of their expected development but look two injuries away from collapse. As entertaining and dramatic as they have kept things this season, their manner of victories don't appear to be sustainable. It will be a case of so nearly, but not quite for Dortmund - and Marco Reus, who might well end up failing to crown perhaps the greatest form his career with the first league title that his talent has long merited.

Predicted champion: Bayern Munich

Niko Kovac has a chance at winning a first Bundesliga title as a coach (Reuters/Action Images/C. Recine)

Niko Kovac has a chance at winning a first Bundesliga title as a coach

Davis VanOpdorp - Bayern have the easier run-in

Bayern clearly are the team in form and have the momentum heading into the final eight weeks of the season. But the biggest determining factor for me when it comes to the title race is the remaining schedule.

Bayern's last eight opponents have collected 283 points in the Bundesliga so far, while BVB's have collected 303 points. Even if you just look at the points Bayern's and Dortmund's remaining opponents have collected in 2019, the Bavarians still hold the title edge — 100 to 106. 

Additionally, Kovac's side faces many of its tougher opponents — namely Dortmund, Bremen and Frankfurt — at home, whereas the trickier fixtures for Favre's team come away — Bayern, Bremen and Gladbach.

In the end, who they play does matter. Even though the defending league champions still have German Cup fixtures to worry about, I would tip them over Dortmund.

Predicted champion: Bayern Munich

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