Agence France-Presse

Former Germany international Lothar Matthaus expects a tight Bundesliga title race this season.

Bayern won the league by 21 points last season, collecting 84 points, while nearest challengers Schalke won just 63.

Nevertheless, Matthaus believes that both Borussia Dortmund, who finished fourth, and Wolfsburg, who amazingly survived relegation by beating Holstein Kiel 4-1 on aggregate in the play-offs, can challenge Niko Kovac’s men for the title this time around.

Indeed, Wolfsburg signed as many as seven players in the summer, and Matthaus has been impressed with their dealings.

“All great team goes through cycles of success and failure, and Bayern has seen a lot of success in recent years thanks to Jupp Heynckes, Carlo Ancelotti and Pep Guardiola, so it will be interesting to see if Bayern can defend their title, as they are undergoing a transition, with new coach Niko Kovac,” he said in an interview.

“Since this season, Bayern have increasingly relied on young talents.

“An example of this is the departure of Arturo Vidal and the commitment of Leon Goretzka. As the first few games have shown, this strategy seems to work and Bayern is currently the league leader.

“But they can´t rest, because the newly established BVB and revived VfL Wolfsburg are close to their heels. I expect an exciting season.”

Bayern – who travel to Schalke on Saturday – have won their first three Bundesliga games, while Dortmund and Wolfsburg have each picked up two victories and a draw.

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