Whilst European soccer is widely regarded as the best in the world, some of their domestic leagues have become something of a foregone conclusion in recent years.
In MLS, we have seen six different winners in seven years, namely Seattle Sounders, Atlanta FC, Toronto FC, Portland Timbers, LA Galaxy and Sporting Kansas City. Going back further, Colorado Rapids, Real Salt Lake, Columbus Crew and Houston Dynamo have all won the MLS Cup in a diverse spread of winners. So the top MLS clubs regularly compete with each other for the title.
In the same seven-year period in the Bundesliga, the German top flight, only one team has won the title, Bayern Munich. Indeed, since the turn of the century, Bayern have won the title 14 times from 20, making them the dominant force domestically. Could this season be different? Some of their rivals are taking unique approaches to the transfer market and reaping the rewards, but will it be enough to stop the unstoppable force in their tracks? We look at the favorites, starting with Bayern and then their four challengers.
Going into the last international break, the red-hot favorites for yet another domestic title were already leading the way, one point ahead of their nearest rivals. They are, for many, already dead certs to top the table after some ruthless performances. On the opening day of the season, they put eight past Schalke without reply, with six different scorers. Robert Lewandowski, their talisman for the last five years, is still as dangerous as ever, whist Leroy Sane and Serge Gnabry have found success after failed spells in England. While Thomas Muller has been in great form.
If anyone is going to catch Hans-Dieter Flick’s side, it is going to be Die Schwarzgelben, the Black and Yellows of Dortmund. They have won it three times since the turn of the century and have now finished as runner up twice in successive seasons, and this could be the year they finally get the upper hand if the experts are to be believed. One of the more recognizable sports betting providers featured on TuxSlots is Paddy Power, who have developed their appeal in soccer with promotional stunts and often hugely attractive odds on high-profile fixtures. They have installed Borussia Dortmund as the side most likely to topple Munich’s domination of the domestic scene, which is understandable. Dortmund have found their own talisman in Erling Haaland, as well as exciting English talents Jadon Sancho and Jude Bellingham, but lost to Munich in early November to concede the advantage.
Leipzig are a relatively new kid on the block, having only been dining at the top table for four years. In that time, they have finished second once, and third in successive seasons, making them the obvious choice to do the same this season. Leipzig were hit with the loss of Timo Werner in the summer, with the 34-goal striker moving to Chelsea, but they will still fancy finishing in the Champions League spots. They did suffer a huge blow in the 2020-21 Champions League group game gainst Manchester United, losing 5-0, but it was an uncharacteristic collapse from a usually stoic and tough team to break down.
Leverkusen have never won the Bundesliga, which does make them an outside bet, but having finished fifth, fourth and fifth over the last three seasons, they have cemented themselves as possible outsiders. Like Leipzig, they were hit by losing a top player to Chelsea, Kai Havertz making a £62m ($82m) switch in the summer. That has not dented their confidence though and they hit a remarkable 23 goals in just seven matches heading into late November, with Argentine hitman Lucas Alario bagging nine from 10 starts, after only managing 12 in 36 last season.