Bundesliga: Five reasons for Bayer or Bayern to win the championship

League leaders Bayer Leverkusen go into the Bundesliga summit against series champions FC Bayern Munich on Saturday (6.

Bundesliga: Five reasons for Bayer or Bayern to win the championship

League leaders Bayer Leverkusen go into the Bundesliga summit against series champions FC Bayern Munich on Saturday (6.30 p.m./Sky) with a two-point lead. This means: Bayer could move within five points 13 games before the end of the season - or be overtaken by Bayern.

The German Press Agency lists five reasons why the title could go to Leverkusen for the first time ever at the end of the season or to Munich for the twelfth time in a row.

Five reasons for Bayer Leverkusen to win the championship:

Xabi Alonso: The Basque, as a player already one of the greats and all-winners in world football, is the father of success in his first big coaching position. The 42-year-old, who also played for Bayern for three years, has formed a team that is bursting with enthusiasm, offensive spirit and self-confidence, where the mechanisms fit and the organization is right. He is not only considered Jürgen Klopp's successor candidate at Liverpool FC, but also as Thomas Tuchel's shadow coach in Munich.

Simon Rolfes: Alonso was an ideal joker in the negotiations as a lure. Nevertheless, sports director Simon Rolfes was the undisputed transfer champion of the league last summer. He got all of the five players who were at the top of the list. They have all hit the ground running, have effectively eliminated the weaknesses in the team and also fit into the team structure. The new leader Granit Xhaka, for example, is not just the player Bayer was missing. But for many, it is the one that Bayern is still missing today.

Florian Wirtz: After tearing his cruciate ligament in 2022, the 20-year-old is back stronger than ever. Wirtz creates a big show with his individual actions, but at the same time has matured into a team player and game designer. Someone who leads the way, is the face of the team and at the same time the man who can make a decisive move.

The self-confidence of the unbeatable: Bayer Leverkusen have played 30 competitive games so far. 26 were won, four ended in a draw, none were lost. Bayern coach Tuchel spoke on Friday of “an extraordinary series”. No German team has ever achieved something like this right from the start. This strengthens the belief that we can still shoot games. Bayer won three of five games in 2024 with goals in the 90th minute or stoppage time.

The balance of the squad: Alonso almost always had the same eleven play in the first games of the season. But as it gradually crumbled, no crash followed. Although up to four regular players will be missing against Bayern, Bayer has strong alternatives, especially on the offensive, in Amine Adli, Borja Iglesias and Nathan Tella.

Five reasons for Bayern Munich to win the next championship title:

Experience: Teams have repeatedly come close to wresting the championship trophy from Bayern in recent history before failing. Leverkusen themselves experienced this in the spring of 2000 with a defeat on the last match day in Unterhaching. A year later, Schalke 04 lost first place on the penultimate matchday and mistakenly believed themselves to be champions for a few moments in the final. In 2023, Dortmund even missed victory and the title in their own stadium on the last matchday. Before the summit, Alonso summed up what all the teams were missing and what Bayern had: "They have the winning DNA."

Mia-san-Mia-Trotz: Bayern are often particularly motivated when their supremacy is called into question. They showed that this season, for example, when the record champions embarrassed themselves in the DFB Cup in Saarbrücken in the fall and were threatened with the next low blow in the top game in Dortmund just days later. What did the Munich residents who were only supposedly counted do? They won 4-0! “FC Bayern is known for being ready on the spot in such games,” said former club boss Karl-Heinz Rummenigge to the “Abendzeitung” before the trip to Leverkusen.

Harry Kane: Even if Munich often lacks sovereignty and spectacle this season, you can rely on one thing: Kane scores and scores and scores. With his 24 goals this season, he is one of the main reasons why Munich are hot on Leverkusen's heels. If the England international scores, then Bayern have not yet lost in all competitions this season.

Jamal Musiala: Like Leverkusen's Wirtz, Musiala is considered a beacon of hope for German football. Some experts even predict that the youngster will eventually win world football honors. What he has ahead of his national team colleague of the same age and similarly talented: Unlike the Bayer professional, Musiala is not only good for important goals, but has already scored them. His goal on the last matchday of 2023, for example, gave Munich their eleventh championship in a row.

Flexibility: Coach Tuchel can actually boast a very good points tally in the league with Bayern. Won 16 games, drew twice and lost only twice. Normally with 50 points you are confidently at the top of the table after 20 match days. This time, however, Leverkusen stands out and has so far eclipsed Munich. Tuchel's troops defied serious injury concerns, so a midfielder like Leon Goretzka had to help out as a central defender. If the hospital thins out in the spring and the winter transfers are convincing, Bayern can enter the decisive phase of the season with a powerful and broader top squad.