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 ..."
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