Leverkusen have a golden chance to strip Bayern’s costume of champions | Jonathan Liew

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The top two in the Bundesliga go head-to-head with Xabi Alonso’s table-toppers bidding to shed their Vizekusen tag

It’s carnival weekend in the Rhineland: a time of chaos and celebration, a world of masks and costumes, a time for expressing who you are and discovering who you can be. Certainly there will be plenty of fancy dress on display at the BayArena on Saturday when Bayer Leverkusen take on Bayern Munich in the biggest game of this Bundesliga season: first versus second, the challengers against the champions, the coming force against the establishment. Who are the real contenders? And who is simply wearing the costume?

For Xabi Alonso and his Leverkusen side, this entire campaign has, in a way, been a brilliant exercise in self-deception. It was around the turn of the century when they lost a Champions League final and finished Bundesliga runners-up four seasons in six, that the “Vizekusen” tag (Vize meaning “vice” or “second”) began to stick. They have never won the title. And yet here they are: top of the table, the last unbeaten club in Europe’s big five leagues, able to go five points clear if they can beat Thomas Tuchel’s Bayern.

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Written by Jonathan Liew
This news first appeared on https://www.theguardian.com/football/2024/feb/09/leverkusen-have-a-golden-chance-to-strip-bayerns-costume-of-champions under the title “Leverkusen have a golden chance to strip Bayern’s costume of champions | Jonathan Liew”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.