Under new manager Julian Nagelsmann, Bayern Munich will begin its quest for a 10th consecutive Bundesliga title. Just one more trophy will complete a decade of dominance for the Bavarians. The campaign begins on Friday when they hit the road against Borussia Mönchengladbach, which is hoping to rebound from a disappointing finish last season.
Naturally, the reigning champs are heavily favored with a moneyline of -170, even on the road. At home, Borussia Mönchengladbach has a moneyline of +445 with a draw listed at +371.
After finishing eighth in the Bundesliga last season and being left out of Europa, Mönchengladbach has brought in Adi Hütter as the new coach after he guided Eintracht Frankfurt to a successful campaign last season. It was a tight race for the last couple of European spots and the Colts are hoping that a new coach can make the difference.
Despite finishing eighth in the table, Mönchengladbach scored the fourth-most goals in the Bundesliga last season, so there is no doubt that the Colts are capable of doing damage on the attack. Lars Stindl will continue to be the focal point of the attack after scoring 14 goals in 30 matches last season. Mönchengladbach is also hoping to see improvement from Marcus Thuram, who remains with the club despite plenty of outside interest over the summer. Jonas Hofmann is also a key figure after leading the way with 11 assists in just 24 matches last season. The likes of Florian Neuhaus and Breel Embolo shouldn’t be overlooked either when it comes to putting the ball in the back of the net.
Meanwhile, Mönchengladbach needs to make strides when it comes defending, which makes Bayern Munich an undesirable opponent in the season opener. Swiss goalie Yann Sommer provides stability in net, but he needs more out of the players in front of him who allowed Mönchengladbach to allow the fifth-most goals in the Bundesliga last season. For the most part, it’ll be the same cast of characters anchoring the Mönchengladbach, but the results must be better.
At Munich, the manager might be different, but the expectations haven’t changed. Obviously, this will be new territory for Nagelsmann, who previously coached at RB Leipzig, which finished second to Munich last season. But new manager or not, after winning the Bundesliga title with a 13-point cushion last season, Bayern will be expected to dominate from the start of the new season.
Offensively, Bayern Munich didn’t make any serious additions this summer, not that they needed to do so. Robert Lewandowski is still arguably the best striker in the world and is coming off a season in which he scored 41 goals in 29 Bundesliga matches. Even if he’s half as good this season, he’ll still be the best striker in Germany. There is no shortage of support around him with Thomas Muller and Serge Gnabry both scoring at least 10 goals last season. On top of that, there’s the speed of Leroy Sane and Kingsley Coman, giving Munich plenty of depth at the attacking positions.
To be fair, there were some changes this summer to the Bayern Munich defense with David Alaba leaving for Real Madrid and Jerome Boateng and Javi Martinez both out of contract. However, Munich was able to poach Dayot Upamecano from RB Leipzig to help fill the void. Lucas Hernandez, Benjamin Pavard, and Alphonso Davies will help provide some stability to the back four. The midfield is also in excellent shape with the likes of Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzkka, and Corentin Tolisso. Just for good measure, Manuel Neuer remains the starting goalie at Bayern Munich.
If it matters, Munich has three losses and a draw in four friendly matches leading up to the season, including a 2-0 loss to Mönchengladbach. But that shouldn’t matter too much once the games start to count. Munich has too much going forward offensively for Mönchengladbach to handle given their defensive struggles last season, including a 6-0 defeat against Munich late in the campaign. Look for a similar result on Friday.
Pick: Bayern Munich 4-1