Does lack of domestic competition aid Bayern Munich? Could it hurt them?

FCB

by  cznr 

Spring is only just breaking through, but Bayern Munich already have one hand – if not both – on the Bundesliga title.

The defending champions have enjoyed a procession through 2014/15, with domestic competition offering little resistance as the Bavarian steamroller has clicked ominously through the gears.

There are still five games left in the current campaign, with 15 points left to play for, but Bayern are out of sight, 12 points clear at the summit and able to turn their attention elsewhere.

Wolfsburg have offered a challenge of sorts, but the top six are separated by 31 points, with there being some big holes to be found within that pack – Wolfsburg seven clear of third and fourth, who in turn are 12 clear of those scrapping for the Europa League spots.

To Bayern’s benefit, wrapping things up early means that they are in the fortunate position of being able to prioritise – with Bundesliga betting markets now more concerned with the battle to avoid the drop, which is a lot closer than that at the opposite end of the table.

Pep Guardiola was drafted in to oversee this level of success at the Allianz Arena, with Jupp Heynckes rather unfairly removed from his post to make way for the Spaniard after overseeing treble glory in 2012/13.

His successor could only manage the double last term, with European success eluding him.

Bayern and their boss intend to right that wrong this time around, with the German giants within touching distance of a fourth Champions League final appearance in six remarkable years.

They can put all of their eggs in that basket if they so wish, with the cream of the continental crop having risen to the top this season as they have been joined at the semi-final stage by Italian title holders Juventus, La Liga heavyweights Barcelona and defending champions Real Madrid.

Negotiating any of those hurdles will be tricky, but Guardiola can plan according for a two-legged last-four showdown, with the opportunity there to rest key players in an effort to keep them fresh – a luxury afforded to none of their rivals.

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This will undoubtedly aid their cause, with domestic dominance working in their favour – even if it does make for a poor spectacle and raise serious questions as to the appeal of the German top-flight to a wider audience.

They may be financially secure, boast impressive fan bases and some top talent within their ranks, but a lack of spectacle is painfully apparent.

That could, possibly, come back to bite Bayern in the years to come. The best teams in the world thrive on being tested on a regular basis, with competition keeping them sharp and on top of their game.

Bayern’s recent 3-1 defeat to Porto may point to a touch of complacency from a side used to getting things their own way.

To their credit, they turned that tie around in spectacular style with a 6-1 victory on home soil, but you can rest assured that the Reals and Barcas of this world will not roll over on the road and any repeat in the weeks ahead could see Bayern take another step sideways in an existence which fluctuates massively between the mammoth and the mediocre in terms of their opposition.

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