BERLIN – Bayern Munich have made such an impressive start to the season that few if any expect Borussia Dortmund or any other challengers to keep up.
The two rivals are the only teams left with 100% records after two Bundesliga games, where they have already taken the places they held at the end of last season – first and second.
Bayern lead on superior goal difference after scoring six in their opening win over Eintracht Frankfurt and two more in last week’s comfortable win over Wolfsburg. The Bavarian powerhouse next visits Bochum on Sunday, where it hopes for more goal-oriented practice against a team that has lost both of its games.
Dortmund, who have a mix of youth and experience for the new season, beat fierce rivals Bayer Leverkusen and Freiburg. Edin Terzic’s side next host promoted Werder Bremen on Saturday.
Bayern and Dortmund do not play each other until the end of the ninth round on October 8.
Bayern are going for a record 11th consecutive league title since Dortmund last won in 2012.
Former Bayern boss Lothar Matthias is not expecting a turnaround after paying tribute to sporting director Hasan Salehimedzik for a busy summer of transfer activity.
Mathis says the squad is strong enough to challenge for the Champions League.
“Based on the performances we’ve seen so far and my gut feeling, I think Bayern, with this team and this spirit, can once again make a big statement when it comes to winning Europe’s most important club trophy. ” said in a column for Germany’s Sky Sports.
Bayern missed out on top scorer Robert Lewandowski for Barcelona, but brought in Senegalese star Sadio Mane, Dutch defender Matijs de Ligt, Ajax stars Nosser Mezrawi and Ryan Gravenbrech and top-rated French talent Mathis Thiel.
Franz Beckenbauer, another former Bayern great, struggled to contain his enthusiasm after watching Bayern’s opening game in Frankfurt.
“I’m going to stop congratulating you on the title. But I haven’t seen so much passion and such a performance in a long time.” Beckenbauer told the Bild tabloid.
Dortmund are focused on their team and results. Sporting director Sebastian Kiehl said he had watched Bayern’s first game in Frankfurt but it had caused “little excitement” in his family.
Kiehl, who took over from predecessor Michael Zorc after last season, has overseen another summer of rebuilding at Dortmund. Top goalscorer Erling Holland went, first to Sebastian Haller from Ajax and then to Koln’s Anthony Modest after Haller was diagnosed with a testicular tumour.
Dortmund have also signed Germany striker Karim Ademi and his national team-mates Nico Schlotterback and Nicolas Solly for defence.
But current players like Marco Reus, Jude Bellingham, and youngsters Yusufah Mokoko and Jimmy Bain Gittens are just as important. Mokoko and Bayno Gittens both scored in Dortmund’s come-from-behind win at Freiburg last week, and Dortmund extended the contract of 18-year-old Bayno Gittens on Tuesday.
Edin Terzic returns to coach the team following Marco Rose’s inconsistent spell in charge last season. Terzek led Dortmund to the German Cup title in his first spell in 2021. After last Friday’s win in Freiburg, he is also the first Dortmund coach to win nine games in a row.