Llemar Nicholson

Top 4: Bayern Munich, RB Leipzig, Borussia Dortmund, Hoffenheim

  1. Bayern Munich – Forget preseason. Too much quality. Too much depth. All this translates to a sixth consecutive Bundesliga title. The focus has to be to make amends for under-performing in the Champions league. Therefore, winning the league with as little exertion possible must be the primary aim. It will be interesting how James Rodríguez progresses and how much he will play. Keeping all those who want to make their national teams for the World Cup will be as big a challenge for Carlo Ancelotti as any this season.
  2. RB Leipzig – They’ve managed to hold on to their players, much unlike Monaco who continue to be scalped left, right, and centre. Those who don’t despise Red Bull for much different reasons would like to see the German league shaken up. Another good season for Naby Keita, Timo Werner and Emil Forsberg and the doors will be banging again in the summer of 2018.
  3. Borussia Dortmund – It doesn’t look as optimistic as far as title challenges go. A suspect defense and pressure on star Ousmane Dembele to transfer to brighter lights of Madrid mean there is too much uncertainty for a win but enough quality remains for a top three placing. Young talent such as Christian Pulisic and Mahmoud Dahoud may be auditioning for a future move to you know where. Let’s hope not.
  4. Hoffenheim – You could make a case for any of FC Köln, Hertha Berlin and Borussia Mönchengladbach, but Hoffenheim have only lost Niklas Süle, and will have the services of Serge Gnabry on loan from Bayern, Nico Schulz and Justin Hoogma. Julian Nagelsmann will still be the man come end of season.