Carlo Ancelotti has all but ensured Bayern Munich’s dominance of the Bundesliga will continue in 2016-17 after succeeding Pep Guardiola as coach.
Bayern have won the German league title for the previous four years, the latest three of those successes coming under the management of Guardiola who moved on to take charge of Manchester City having reached the end of his contract in Bavaria.
However, the club known as FC Hollywood could hardly have appointed a better replacement in Ancelotti who, along with Guardiola, Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte, is right at the top of the tree as far as the most successful current coaches are concerned.
The 57-year-old has won the domestic league title in his native Italy (with AC Milan), England (Chelsea) and France (Paris Saint-Germain) and although he missed out on La Liga while in charge of Real Madrid, he did lead them to the Champions League and Copa del Rey.
Unsurprisingly, Bayern, who finished 10 points clear last season, are now prohibitive 1/100 favourites with bookmaker Unibet
to make it five titles in a row after showing their intention not to stand still last summer when they signed Portugal midfielder Renato Sanches and Germany central defender Mats Hummels.
Borussia Dortmund head coach Thomas Tuchel (Getty Images)
The latter was returning to Munich from Borussia Dortmund and his move was part of a busy summer’s transfer activity for last season’s Bundesliga runners-up, whom coach Thomas Tuchel restored to their customary position as best of the rest following a disappointing final campaign under now Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp.
Hummels joined midfielder Ilkay Gundogan and playmaker Henrikh Mkhitaryan in leaving the Black and Yellows, the latter duo to different parts of Manchester, although Tuchel did not waste much time in reshaping his squad with the signings of Ousmane Dembele, Marc Bartra, Sebastian Rode, Mario Gotze and Andre Schurrle.
Dortmund were originally considered by the bookmakers to be the club with the most realistic chance of taking the crown off Bayern but their odds have been pushed out to 200/1 with bet365
Following an indifferent run of form before the winter break when they had three consecutive draws, since the resumption Dortmund have not been able to close the gap to Bayern and trail the champions by 16 points. But at least BVB are now only three points adrift of second-placed RB Leipzig, who have made a fantastic start to life in the top flight and are on course to play Champions League football next term even though their remarkable title challenge has now come off the rails.
2016-17 Bundesliga title best odds
200/1 Borussia Dortmund (bet365