Ri­vals seek to ramp up pres­sure on Kovac, Bay­ern

Observer on Saturday - - Sport - AFP

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,

MU­NICH -

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.

Promis­ing

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.

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