2012/13 was the season of Bayern Munich’s utter dominance of domestic and European football, but even in that golden period they failed to annex the Bundesliga golden boot prize, making a wager on Robert Lewandowski – the man they failed to sign this summer – a nice looking bet for this year’s top scoring honours at 7/2.
Last season Bayern’s goal power was such that eight members of their squad managed five league goals or more. By contrast, Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen had just four members of the five-goals-plus club within their ranks.
No coincidence then that those two clubs’ – second and third in the final standings – leading hit-men Robert Lewandowski (7/2) and Stefan Kiessling (9/2) finished eight and nine strikes clear of their top goalscorer adversaries respectively.
Both men have lost generous suppliers of assists to richer rivals this summer, but Dortmund remain far better equipped to provide their lethal weapon with an unceasing supply or bullets.
Andre Schurrle and Dani Carvajal – who laid on seven goals each last term – have both departed Leverkusen, leaving Kiessling himself as one of only two remaining players at the BayArena who provided more than three goals in 2012/13.
Lewandowski may have lost the nine assists of Gotze as well as his defender distracting movement, but Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – who provided 16 league goals between them for their former clubs last season – have arrived in his stead.
There’s reason to suspect that given Pep Guardiola’s preference for a false-nine over the traditional centre-forward, that Mario Mandzukic – fourth highest scorer last term – will find his role in the side more limited this term, just as Zlatan Ibrahimovich did at Barcelona.
An attack which uses space rather than a player as its focal point should see the goals shared around the Die Rotblau team, meaning it’s hard – with no one player far more lethal than his teammates – to see one Bayern player scoring the lion’s share of their league goals.
If Dortmund’s victory over last season’s champions in the German Super Cup is anything to go by, this season should be a far more competitive proposition at the top. With Bayern likely to need time to find fluency under Guardiola, the continuity under Jurgen Klopp at Dortmund – 5/1 second favourites to win the league – could further aid Lewandowski’s chances of being Bundesliga top-scorer for the first time.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.