Bayern Munich v Bayer Leverkusen
Friday August 18, 19:30
Live on BT Sport 2
I'm only allowed a certain number of clichés per month before my bosses here impose a cruel fine, so I won't describe last night as a Greek tragedy, but it certainly fits the description. Our boys Panathinaikos were 2-0 up against Athletic Club deep into the second half, but conceded three goals in six minutes to lose 3-2. Our first setback of the week, and a stinging one.
I'll soothe that pain with a trip to Germany for the start of the Bundesliga season, because Bayern Munich are up against Bayer Leverkusen.
Much has been made of Bayern not impressing last term under Carlo Ancelotti, and being clumsy and disjointed during a series of pre-season defeats. However, the bare facts are these: Bayern won the league last season by 15 points, and in their first real test of this campaign, they beat Borussia Dortmund on penalties to win the DFL Supercup.
Despite a number of injury problems (Manuel Neuer, James Rodriguez and Jerome Boateng are all out), the champions have an incredibly deep squad, and will be able to field a strong line-up.
Bayer Leverkusen nearly went down last season, and I'm underwhelmed by the appointment of former Germany striker Heiko Herrlich as coach. This is his first Bundesliga gig, and he takes charge of a squad that stopped listening to Roger Schmidt last season, and never started listening to his replacement Tayfun Korkut.
Chicharito, Omer Toprak and Hakan Calhanoglu have all gone, and the acquisition of the experienced but injury-plagued Sven Bender is not enough to mitigate the damage caused by those departures. Bayer needed extra time to see off Karlsruhe in the DFB Pokal last weekend, which doesn't bode well.
Bayer have lost six of their last seven games against Bayern in Munich, and I can't see a different outcome here. In Bayern's last six Bundesliga home victories, they have led at half-time and full-time, so that's the route I'm heading down tonight against a Leverkusen side that may take time to settle under a new coach.
Recommended Bet
Back Bayern/Bayern in the HT/FT market at 1.76

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