GERMANY SOCCER SUPER CUP, bayern munich.jpg
Arturo Vidal of Munich celerbates scoring the 1-0 during the German DFL Super Cup match between Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich in Dortmund, Germany, 14 August 2016. EPA/JONAS GUETTLER
Photograph: EPA/JONAS GUETTLER

Bayern Munich are not only the bookmakers' favourite to defend their Bundesliga title but also the top pick for the overwhelming majority of the league's coaches themselves in a questionnaire released Tuesday.

When asked by dpa which club would win the 2016-17 Bundesliga crown, 15 of the 18 coaches said Bayern would more or less hoist the trophy by the final round of matches on May 20.

The coaches believe Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen will provide the toughest challenge with Borussia Moenchengladbach and Schalke holding outsiders' chances.

The only coach to pick a team other than Bayern was Hertha Berlin's Pal Dardai, who said: "Leverkusen. That is serious. Leverkusen will manage the surprise."

He added: "And having only Bayern is also boring."

Bayern's new coach Carlo Ancelotti said there are many good teams in the Bundesliga.

"Borussia Dortmund will probably be our toughest opponent. They bought really good, young players with a lot of talent. Bayer Leverkusen also have a good roster, just like Borussia Moenchengladbach."

The Italian, whose team knocked off Dortmund 2-0 in the German Super Cup, believes it will be a "very intersting" championship this season, adding: "And naturally we hope to win it."

In all, 15 of the coaches more or less have Bayern winning their 27th Bundesliga crown.

Their level of confidence ranged from Bayern being "favourite number one" according to Mainz's Martin Schmidt; to "Bayern is the measure of all things" from Werder Bremen's Viktor Skripnik; to Niko Kovac of Eintracht Frankfurt saying: "Bayern will continue to dominate the league."

Nearly all the coaches hoped someone in the league could keep the race tighther than it has been recently as Bayern won the title last season by 10 points over VfL Wolfsburg following a 19-point final lead over Dortmund in 2014 and 25 points up on Dortmund in 2013.

Darmstadt's Norbert Meier did not actually make a prediction, saying: "Naturally it would be nice if it could be a little more exciting at the top. Teams like Dortmund, Leverkusen, Gladbach definitely have high quality in their ranks. But you cannot really say ahead of time."

The other coach who did not make a pick was Dortmund's Thomas Tuchel, who only offered up: "Let's wait and see ..."

Related stories

Latest news

Australian ex-PM slams Netanyahu for 'torpedoing' peace process

Former Australian premier Kevin Rudd has accused Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu of "torpedoing" peace negotiations in the Middle East.

Weekly "Novosti" dismisses NGO's accusations

The newspaper today also dismissed all accusations the NGO presented at a recent news conference, and retorted that the NGO's criticism were ill-intended and untrue accusations.

Sixteen killed in fighting between army and rebels in Congo

Sixteen fighters from the reactivated Congolese rebel movement M23 have been killed during two days of fighting with the army in the east of the country, a military spokesman said Thursday.

Maltese FM on behalf of EU calls for preservation of stability in BiH

Maltese Foreign Minister George Vella said in Sarajevo on Thursday that his country, as the current chair of the European Union, closely followed the developments in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and other parts of the Western Balkans.

Croatia-Hungary committee on minorities meets after four-year hiatus

The Croatia-Hungary Intergovernmental Committee for the implementation of the agreement on the protection of the rights of the respective ethnic minorities met in Zagreb on Thursday after a four-year hiatus.

Syrian rebels claim full control of al-Bab, defeating IS

Syrian rebels backed by Turkey said Thursday they are fully in control of al-Bab, wresting it from Islamic State after a military campaign that began in November and cost hundreds of lives.

HURS says Croatia fails to create conditions for long-term growth

The Croatian Association of Workers' Trade Unions (HURS) warned on Thursday that a report which the European Commission released on Wednesday showed that Croatia had failed to create conditions for a long-term economic growth, adding that the situation in the Podravka food company suggested the continuation of the trend of shutting down jobs in the production sector.

Italy seizes 20 million in assets from Mafia clan

Italian police on Thursday seized assets worth 20 million euros (about 21 million dollars) from a renowned clan of the Neapolitan Camorra Mafia.

Naples doctor nabbed with 50 kilograms of drugs in car boot

Police in Naples on Thursday arrested an Italian doctor who was driving around with 50 kilograms of drugs in the boot of his car.

Two German archaeologists kidnapped in northern Nigeria

Unknown gunmen have kidnapped two German nationals in northern Nigeria, police said Thursday.

UN talks peace with Syrian regime, opposition as fighting escalates

The United Nations launched a new effort at Syrian peace talks in Geneva on Thursday, as heavy fighting between regime and rebel forces dampened hopes for any quick solution to end the war after nearly six years.

EU anti-fraud office eyeing claims against Merkel challenger Schulz

Martin Schulz, the main contender against German Chancellor Angela Merkel in upcoming elections, could face a probe for advocating questionable bonuses and promotions while European Parliament president, the EU's anti-fraud office said Thursday.