Rivals seek to ramp up pressure on Kovac, Bayern
It might be only six rounds in, but Bayern Munich's wobbles along with some impressive performances from their rivals – have threatened to breathe life into the 2018-19 Bundesliga title race.
Second-placed Bayern take on fourthplaced Borussia Moenchengladbach this evening, but may start the match four points off the pace if leaders Borussia Dortmund win their afternoon fixture against mid-table Augsburg.
Given the congestion at the top of the table, if Munich fall to Gladbach,
they could end the round in sixth –increasing the pressure on new coach Niko Kovac to turn it around ahead of the international break.
Bayern fans will be hoping coach Kovac has the answers. After Wednesday's 1-1 draw with Ajax in the Champions League, Kovac said he needed to "process the result", but told reporters he'd be doing all he could to get the side to "forget the three previous games".
"I need to sort out my thoughts and work out why we performed like that," Kovac said.
Strong starts to the season from traditional rivals Dortmund, Gladbach and Werder Bremen – along with Bayern's vanquishers from last round Hertha Berlin – have meant that only three points separate first from sixth in the table.
Dortmund, the only unbeaten team left in the Bundesliga this season, have started the year on fire under new manager Lucien Favre.
Favre has kept his reputation for blooding promising youngsters intact, with Christian Pulisic, 20, Jacob Bruun Larsen, 20, and Jadon Sancho, 18, all impressing under their new boss. Sancho on Thursday earned himself an England call-up after re-signing with Dortmund until 2022.
Led by captain Marco Reus – a veteran in comparison at only 29 - BVB have struck a rich vein of form, scoring 14 goals in their last three matches.