BERLIN, Germany - Bayern Munich have won the last six Bundesliga titles and are favoured again for the new season starting Friday. The have earned those titles by huge margins between 10 and 26 points, but amid all the expectations they will deliver again they may be vulnerable after all. Following are pros and cons that Bayern will win the Bundesliga again:
New impulse: Ambitious new coach Niko Kovac wants to pay back the faith of club bosses with titles. Kovac knows the special Munich dressing room from his time as player there, and how to deal with stars. A 5-0 Super Cup win over his former club Eintracht Frankfurt was a good start. Bayern president Uli Hoeness named him "the right coach" and added: "There is hard work and a focus on discipline again."
World Cup anger: Bayern's group of Germany players such as Manuel Neuer, Mats Hummels and Thomas Mueller want to prove themselves after the World Cup group stage exit debacle.
Goal machine: He wanted to leave but now Robert Lewandowski continues to score freely in Munich's shirt: a hat-trick in the Super Cup and the 1-0 winner in the German Cup against fourth-tier Drochtersen. But the Polish marksman must also deliver in key games.
Mia San Mia: Meaning "we are who we are," the Bavarian phrase underlines that titles are part of the Bayern DNA. The team has a wealth of experience, is almost unbeatable in the league even on a bad day, given that the opposition has also struggled. And if all doesn't help there is still their proverbial luck, the so-called Bayern Dusel.
Style: The poor 1-0 win in the cup must have shown other contenders that firm defence and a lot of dedication can harm Bayern. The lost cup final against Frankfurt - and the World Cup - showed that possession football introduced in Munich during the Pep Guardiola era is not always successful. Kovac is yet to prove that he can also teach the team other game plans.
Schedule: The Bundesliga schedule could help that Bayern don't run away in the standings by early autumn. They start against Julian Nagelsmann's Hoffenheim who thrashed Kaiserslautern 6-1 in the cup. The second game is in Stuttgart, who beat Bayern 4-1 in last season's finale, followed by matches against contenders Bayer Leverkusen and last season's runners-up Schalke.
Transfers: Bayern are super rich but have made no major transfer. They have only invested in Canadian talent Alphonso Davies who arrives in January. Leon Goretzka came for free from Schalke and Serge Gnabry and Renato Sanchez have returned from loan spells. Munich let midfielder Arturo Vidal go to Barcelona, and Germany players Jerome Boateng and Sebastian Rudy may also leave. It remains to be seen whether veteran wingers Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben can peak once more.
The hunt: Borussia Dortmund, the last club to win the trophy before Bayern's run (in 2011 and 2012) have spent big on new players such as Belgian World Cup third-place finisher Axel Witsel and have a shrewd tactician in new coach in Lucien Facre. Domenico Tedesco's Schalke also have big ambitions, Ralf Rangnick is back in charge at RB Leipzig, Julian Nagelsmann aims for a good final season at Hoffenheim, and he names Leverkusen a contender as well.DPA