This week’s schedule:
- Wednesday 15th March, 7pm: German Cup quarter final against VfL Wolfsburg (home)
- Sunday 19th March, 5pm: Bundesliga against VfL Wolfsburg (away)
- Thursday 23rd March, 7pm: Champions League quarter final against Paris Saint-German (home, zum tickets)
A dent in the league campaign
After the surprising league title two years ago, this time last season Bayern were already twelve points clear of the team in second place, which was VfL Wolfsburg. The competition meanwhile were giving their own definitions of a ‘freak season’, most clearly Turbine Potsdam during the final season of the legendary coach Bernd Schröder, with his side ending up finishing 7th out of twelve teams.
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This year the cards were reshuffled. Potsdam are right up there again, Wolfsburg are delivering consistently good football again as well as the results to go with it, and Bayern, for the first time after two dream seasons, can’t quite keep up the tempo week in, week out. They’re having a good season, and it’s all still up for grabs, but the Reds lost their first games against both Potsdam and Wolfsburg in the first half of the season – and both games came at home in Munich.
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There are nine games left of the league campaign. There are 27 points to be won. So with Bayern three points off top spot, nothing has been decided yet – above all because Bayern can still take three points off Potsdam and Wolfsburg in their second games against them. Whether they’ll manage that and escape the rest of the games unscathed is, however, questionable.
They have the tools for it, and yet the positive situation of still being in the cup and the Champions League, with a shot for glory in both, could end up costing them dearly.
Bayern’s women have never won the Champions League
Alright then, we could say, after two league titles in a row and now a decent position in the table, why not turn the focus to the other competitions? The Champions League trophy is lacking in Bayern’s trophy cabinet, after all. Yet it’s not just quarter-final opponents PSG coming from the top drawer of European women’s football. Wolfsburg, Olympique Lyon, Manchester City and FC Rosengård are still in the competition too. The road to Cardiff is paved with stumbling blocks.
So best to just bet everything on the cup?
To win the German Cup again after 2012 wouldn’t just be a nice goal for the season, but would probably also be Bayern’s biggest shot at a trophy this year. Small caveat: winning the cup wouldn’t help the team’s goal of qualifying for Europe next year too. To be able to measure themselves against Europe’s elite in the Champions League next season too, they’d need to finish at least second in the league or win the Champions League itself.
The temptation to set no priorities at all, wanting to give 100% in every match and going from game to game, is huge. Who wants to voluntarily limit their own chances? Particularly if your career is as a competitive sportswoman. But can this team, for whom competing on three fronts is a new experience and an endurance test, find their peak form now when it matters most?
The time is now. With all the hype about the #volleHüte (FCB’s social media campaign for a ‘full house’ in the stadium) against PSG, Bayern should be aware: this week alone, Wolfsburg could end three of their dreams: the cup dream, the league title dream and the dream of playing in Europe next season.
Come on you Reds!