Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig: not quite the most fearsome of trios. Nevertheless, when the draw for the Champions League was made, we expected a little more from our German representatives. So can they turn it around after two rounds of matches? Can we really expect a German club to lift the European Cup? Bayern has won one and lost one, Leipzig has drawn one and lost one and Dortmund has lost both their matches so far. It’s still early in the competition, but if this trend continues, we’re looking at one of the worst European seasons for German clubs in recent history.
Leipzig was a shining light in the league last season, and very few neutrals would begrudge them their place at Europe’s highest table. But at the same time, very little was expected of them. In a group that features Besiktas, Porto, and Monaco, it would surprise no one if they ended up on the short end of the group. It is, after all, their first season with Europe’s elite. However, their creditable draw with last year’s semifinalists sees them jump above Dortmund in terms of points earned so far.
This brings us to BVB. Granted, their last loss came against Real Madrid, but did they really expect to be beaten by Tottenham? Nothing less than two wins in their next two games will suffice, but it’s rather funny that we are talking about a team that is enjoying a domestic success so far this season despite being the German weakest link in the Champions League.
Okay, so perhaps that’s a little unfair, they are after all, in a group with Real Madrid. But unless they do something to translate their domestic form into European success, we will see them drop to the Europa League at best.
And then we come to the might of Bayern. BetStars has the club at 7/1 odds to lift the cup, but in fairness, these might be generous odds. With all the upheaval at Bayern, it wouldn’t be surprising to see them bow out in the first knock stage. I really can’t see quite how the hiring of Jupp Heynckes for a fourth time is going to steady a ship that if we’re honest, wasn’t all that rocky in the first place.
They say you should never go back, but nobody at Bayern ever got that particular fortune cookie. Bayern is a strong team, and we fully expect them to beat both the Celtic and Anderlecht in their remaining games. The loss to PSG was a blow, but in all honesty, it’s not the disaster that some would make out. They will qualify for the next stage but how they progress depends on the draw. As likely second place finishers, we could see them face the likes of Barcelona or even Man City. And while it seems odd to suggest that a team who has lost only twice so far this season are in a poor run of form, these are the standards that they have set themselves.
In case you were wondering, no, I can’t see a German team win the Champions League this season. Dortmund has lost their way in Europe while Leipzig is too inexperienced to go the distance. Both could in theory, though, do quite well in the Europa League should they finish third in their groups. And as for Bayern, we think that Heynckes will look to the domestic front for success this season. Should they bow out in the knockout phase, no doubt the finger of blame will point in the direction of a certain Italian. Poor Carlo will likely see much of the club’s woes for the coming season blamed on him.