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After Damian looked at Ligue 1 in France last week, this week Damon focuses on the Bundesliga. Which teams are in the frame to win? And who is tipped for the drop? This listening report is a shortened version of the regular weekly podcast. You can listen to the report by clicking on the link above.

The Bundesliga

With its well-run clubs, huge attendances, and relatively cheap tickets, many people are looking at German football with envy. Add to that two teams in the final of the Champions League last season, and perhaps the German Bundelsiga can be considered as a challenger to the two most popular leagues in Europe, La Liga and The Premier League.

The favourites

Who are the favourites for this year’s title? It looks a one-horse race. Last season Bayern Munich won the treble – the Champions League, the league and the German Cup and they were 25 points ahead of nearest rivals Dortmund. Now with Pep Guadiola installed as manager, they also ad. It also looks as though Bayern will poach Levandauski from Dortmund, weakening last year’s closest rivals even more. Most pundits believe the challenger will be Borussia Dortmund, but they will need to rely on Munich’s new manager slipping up and they will hope that their new playmaker, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, shines. Their manager, Klopp, has built an exciting attack-minded side, but defensive frailties may be their undoing.

In with a shout

While top spot is unlikely, Bayer Levrkusen showed enough progress last season to convince many that they are ready to dine at the top table. This season, Sami Hyypiä will manage the team on his own after sharing the job with Lewandwoski for 2012/13. Leverkusen certainly have a united team, but have no big name stars, especially after André Schürrle’s exit. They have invested heavily in youth and will be hoping that, as they have no huge expectations, they can play without pressure and build on last season.

Whipping boys

The team that faces an uphill struggle to stay in the top flight is Braunschweig. Although they have been champions before, that was back in 1967, and they haven’t been back at the summit for decades. The Lions finished 2nd to earn promotion last year, and will need to hit the ground running to stand any chance of staying up. Unfortunately in the first six games of the season they have only picked up 1 point, shipping 14 goals. It’s going to a long haul for Torsten Lieberknecht’s men.

Football vocabulary and phrases used in this week’s listening report

one-horse race: A competition with only one team that can win (see the more common ‘two-horse race’)

firepower: attacking strength; in football, good strikers, the ability to score goals

poach: steal; take something without another’s permission

slip up: make a mistake; lose a game

playmaker: usually an attacking midfielder; someone who has the ability to control a game, to pass intelligently

frailties: weaknesses; weak points

undoing: a person or team’s reason for failing

dine at the top table: be comfortable with being at the top of the league

uphill struggle: a very difficult task; something that takes a lot of effort

the top flight: the top division; the top league

the summit: the top place; first place

hit the ground running: start well; win the first few games; get points from the first games

to ship goals: to give away goals; to allow the oppenent to score

a long haul: a long campaign; a long season with few victories; a struggle

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I was born and brought up near Chester in the north west of England. I have always loved playing and talking about sport, especially football!
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2013-14Episode 186