Bayern bankers for Bundesliga title

Bookies braced for big payout on Bayern.In England certain bookmakers were left with egg on their faces last season after prematurely paying out on Manchester United to win the title before they caved in to their 'noisy neighbours' Manchester City during the run-in, eventually losing the title on goal difference.

In Germany, Bayern Munich remain trophy-less since 2010 with the added trauma of Champions League defeat in their own backyard still fresh in the memory. This heartache is certain to spur them onto the main domestic prize this time around.

Borussia Dortmund have claimed the Bundesliga title the last two years but seem to have set their focus on the Champions League campaign, rather than the Bundesliga this time around. It is only right to mention though, that on the back of two consecutive championships, a second or third spot finish for them this year, alongside a good European run, is in no way a bad season. Such is the weight of expectation that once you win one, you are expected to win more even if the stark reality is a far more complicated matter. Winning is after all, that immortal feeling. After last year's nightmare, it is Bayern who are desperate to find that feeling again.

Schalke 04 also have one eye firmly fixed on European progress and newly-promoted Frankfurt are performing creditably. Although, come the end of the season Veh and his men will count a Europa League qualification place as a serious success. Leverkusen, who ended Bayern's unbeaten start to the Bundesliga last week, haven't been christened 'Neverkusen' for a reason but their season form continues to improve and they will fancy a run at a European spot.

No-one is saying this Bundesliga race is already over. Bayern, for all their perceived arrogance, are not that foolish. Even President Uli Hoeness hasn't gone that far, not yet anyway. There is no doubt that there is more than simply an underlying feeling about Bayern being champions this year. If you have a bet on Bayern becoming champions, this is a cast-iron safe investment. Unfortunately in Germany though, you have to wait till May to collect.

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