BERLIN (AFP) – The Bundesliga resumes on Friday for Bayern Munich’s top-of-the-table clash at VfL Wolfsburg, but some of the Bavarian giants’ German league rivals are already waving the white flag.
Second-placed Wolves are tasked with stopping Pep Guardiola’s side extending their 11-point lead at the top of the table as Bayern chase a third-straight league title.
Guardiola’s team is set to break their own record having held a seven-point lead at the same stage last season before being crowned German champions for the 24th time with seven league games left.
But as the current campaign resumes after the winter break, Bayern’s huge lead only seems to have demotivated their rivals.
“The gap to Bayern is never going to be closed again,” predicted Rudi Voeller, director of sport of third-placed Bayer Leverkusen, who are 17-points behind Bayern.
“You can scout as well as you want, but you’re never going to get into a position where you can get even close to matching them.
“There are just worlds lying in between.”
And Wolfsburg coach Dieter Hecking refuses to accept the German media describing his side as ‘Bayern Hunters’.
“Bayern are hard to stop, so we can’t afford to spend too much time looking at them,” he said last December.
“We’re not ‘Bayern Hunters’, I don’t want to point that out every week, they’d need to only play with seven men every week for us to catch them up.
“We just need to worry about ourselves.”
Bayern, who beat second division side VfL Bochum 5-1 in a warm-up friendly on Friday, have won the Bundesliga for the last two seasons, but their main rivals Borussia Dortmund, the 2011 and 2012 German champions, have endured a dramatic fall from grace this season.
Several factors, not least seeing stars Mario Goetze and Robert Lewandowski sign for Bayern in the last two seasons, have contributed to Borussia losing 10 of their first 17 games.
Down in 17th position, they trail Bayern by a massive 30 points, are level on points and goal difference with bottom side Freiburg and their main concern for 2015 is staying up.
As Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp put it, albeit tongue-in-cheek: “Any football supporter who just wants success has only one chance: to be a Bayern fan. That’s the best way to be happy.”
Voeller’s gloomy prediction of Bayern’s continued domination is fully justified.