'Dortmund can stop Bayern Munich' – Low

Germany’s national coach deems Jurgen Klopp’s side as the only threat to Pep Guardiola picking up his first Bundesliga title with the club

Borussia Dortmund are the only team who can stand in the way of Bayern Munich securing back-to-back Bundesliga titles, according to Germany coach Joachim Low.

Bayern beat Jurgen Klopp’s men in both the Bundesliga and the Champions League final, and added the DFB Pokal in a memorable treble-winning season under former coach Jupp Heynckes.

However, Pep Guardiola’s new side were stunned 4-2 last month by BVB in the German Super Cup, which Low believes shows Dortmund have enough quality to challenge die Roten this season.

“BVB are the only club strong enough to defy Bayern,” Low told Bild am Sonntag.

The 53-year-old stated that some of Germany’s other top sides, such as Bayer Leverkusen, Stuttgart and Schalke, were “well positioned”, however, any real title challenge was only going to come from die Schwarzgelben.

Low also says despite the tag as heavy favourites, Guardiola will be more than capable of dealing with the club’s expectations.

“He has clear ideas, a clear playing philosophy and he will bring that to Bayern,” Low added.

“Guardiola will cope with the pressure. He was the coach of Barcelona and expectations do not get any higher than at that club.”

Despite both Bayern and Dortmund strengthening over the summer with new additions, Low does not think this will herald the arrival of Bundesliga dominance in European football.

He added: “It would be naive to believe that German clubs are now the most dominant in Europe.”

Thiago will cause problems at Bayern, claims Magath

The former Bavarians boss believes Pep Guardiola has risked unsettling the squad with the signing of his fellow Spaniard

Pep Guardiola will cause problems at Bayern Munich with the signing of Thiago Alcantara, according to former Roten boss Felix Magath.

The 22-year-old left Barcelona for the Allianz Arena in a €20 million deal earlier this summer and Magath – who coached the club between 2004 and 2007 – believes the Spaniard’s arrival will cause unrest within the Bayern camp.

“I see it as a problem that a Spanish coach signed a Spanish player,” he told Sport1.

“Pep will get problems with Thiago; either his team-mates will be angry because he plays all the time, or people will question the transfer fee, in case the coach won’t let him play. Pep could have avoided this situation.”

Magath, who was coach of Bundesliga outfit Wolfsburg until last year, believes Guardiola is fighting a losing battle as he attempts to improve upon Jupp Heynckes’ treble-winning formula of 2012-13.

“If he [Guardiola] suddenly assigns proven players to a different position, logically, they won’t have much sympathy for the decision and won’t go along with it,” Magath continued.

“Bayern played better than ever before last season. I don’t think anybody would be able to improve them.

“Pep has the problem that he took over a team that won every title last term. Therefore, he can’t make them better.”

Bayern set for more success with Guardiola, says Netzer

The former Borussia Monchengladbach star is certain that the Spaniard’s arrival in Bavaria will not risk destabilising last season’s treble winners but rather another dimension

Gunter Netzer has expressed his confidence that Bayern Munich will thrive under coach Pep Guardiola.

Die Roten ended last season with Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and Champions League wins but now face a new era with the former Barcelona boss having replaced Jupp Heynckes at the club.

Despite losing 4-2 to Borussia Dortmund in the German Super Cup, Netzer believes that it is impossible to look beyond the Bavarians in terms of this season’s league title and added that Guardiola will adapt seamlessly into his new role.

“BVB will be the biggest enemy [for Bayern] but I do not see anyone else who can match them,” the 68-year-old told Bild.

“Bayern have a bench and a coach as they’ve never had in the history of the club. This enables them to achieve consistent great success. Therefore, I see Bayern this year in front.

“There is nothing called into question [by Guardiola’s appointment]. The players have to deal with their new boss and to meet new requirements, which are not just one-sided, but very diverse.

“The Bayern professionals are being called upon in a fashion as they have perhaps never been required to before.

“Guardiola is trying out his ideas and even some of the players are surprised. That’s just his way to lead a team: full of surprises.

“But in the end will be a working system. For Guardiola is not against the will of the players. He will use them according to their abilities and talents.”

Netzer also urged Borussia Dortmund to retain an amicable relationship with Robert Lewandowski, himself a Bayern target, seeing it as essential if they are to remain competitive.

“Lewandowski has an enormous importance for the club and I appreciate him very much,” Netzer continued.

“Dortmund need him to seriously pursue the Bavarians. I therefore expect him to behave professionally and to remember his contractual commitment that it has entered into when he signed for BVB.

“Threats of refusal to work are misplaced. He has to accept the reality and that reality is Borussia Dortmund.”

Bayern kick off their Bundesliga campaign against Monchengladbach on August 9.

Dortmund come before Lewandowski, says Watzke

The club’s general manager says he is only interested in putting the club’s best interests first after refusing to allow the striker to join Bayern Munich

Hans-Joachim Watzke says Borussia Dortmund will always come before Robert Lewandowski after he hit out at the club for not allowing him to join Bayern Munich.

The Poland striker looked destined to follow in the footsteps of Mario Gotze and leave BVB for the Bavarians this summer, but the Bundesliga runners-up have refused to sanction his departure.

That resulted in Lewandowski hitting out at the club last week, but Watzke remains satisfied that he has acted in the best interests of the team in keeping him at Signal Iduna Park.

“He was obviously referring to me,” he stated to WAZ. “I can fully accept that Robert is a bit frustrated. But I have got to make decisions for the good of this club.”

Watzke then revealed he was surprised that Gotze opted to depart the club, while explaining the decision to spend big money on recruiting Henrikh Mkhitaryan from Shakhtar Donetsk.

“I was surprised at that time by Gotze’s decision to leave the club, but not at his destination. We spent a lot of money on Henrikh Mkhitaryan because we needed an immediate solution.

“He is a combination of the long-term and the short-term at this day. We could not have gotten a player that would have taken another three years to develop after Gotze’s departure.”

Dotmund surrendered their Bundesliga title to Bayern last season but did reach the final of the Champions League, where they were beaten by their great German rivals.

However, Watzke has written off the chances of Jurgen Klopp’s side repeating that feat next season.

“It would be completely unrealistic to believe we can manage the semi-finals or finals of the Champions League in 2013-14 again,” he said.

“I have no intention to paralyse us by heckling at targets. We must remain realists. With increasing success we will no longer be everybody’s darling in the coming years.

Aubameyang targets European crown

The striker wants to help Borussia Dortmund bounce back in the Champions League and believes that he suits the side’s counterattacking instincts

Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has his eyes on the European crown having joined the club this summer.

Bayern Munich beat Jurgen Klopp’s men at Wembley in May in the Champions League final, but the Gabon international wants to bounce back immediately with continental success though is aware of the threat the Bavarians pose to BVB.

“My dream – and the dream of the whole team – is to be German champions once again and get back [and win] the Champions League final,” Aubameyang, 24, told Der Welt. “I hope we can do that in these five years.

“Bayern have a great team and great players. But that you can also beat them, as you saw in DFL-Supercup [which Dortmund won 4-2]. Nevertheless, Bayern are currently not only the best in Germany but also in Europe.”

Aubameyang admitted that he was unable to resist the lure of the Schwarzgelben and believes he fits the counterattacking style Klopp’s side play with in the Bundesliga.

“When I heard that BVB has interest in me, I was immediately hooked,” the forward added. “I was excited about being part of this team that have progressed in recent years with incredible development.

“And the Dortmund style of play fits in with my philosophy. As an attacking player, I think the same. I simply thought I’d fit and then I immediately wanted to come.

“BVB switch quickly from defence to attack and I’m a fast counterattack player. I think that I can contribute with my good attributes.”

In pre-season fitness training this summer, Aubameyang posted a faster time over 30 metres than Olympic 100m champion Usain Bolt, and the striker has jokingly suggested: “Maybe you can even organise a sprint duel between the two of us!”