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By ESPN Staff

Matthaus predicts Bundesliga stroll for Bayern

Bayern Munich legend Lothar Matthaus believes there will be no stopping the German champions from notching up a 22nd Bundesliga title next season.

The Bavarians cruised to the crown last year under Ottmar Hitzfeld and, despite not spending a euro this summer, Matthaus feels Bayern have taken a further step forward under new coach Jurgen Klinsmann.

'On paper, it should be a stroll (for Bayern),' he told Eurosport.

While Bayern have added just free-transfer signings Tim Borowski and Hans-Jorg Butt to their squad this summer, their rivals have been spending a little more money - particularly Schalke, who Matthaus tips to push them closer than last year.

'All of the opponents are going to be highly motivated against Bayern,' continued Matthaus - currently coach of Israeli team Maccabi Netanya, who are touring Germany during pre-season training.

'Bremen have a strong team, but I would reckon on Schalke, too, due to their transfers.

'Leverkusen have always got a strong squad, and then there are Hamburg and Wolfsburg who will be the six teams playing for places in the Champions League or UEFA Cup while you should not forget Stuttgart either.

'The Bundesliga is certainly not going to be boring.'

Matthaus also feels Bundesliga clubs will have a thing or two to say in Europe next season.

Last year, Schalke reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League while Bayern made the last four in the UEFA Cup, but no German side has triumphed in Europe since Bayern lifted the Champions League in 2001.

Both Stuttgart and Bremen crashed out of the Champions League in the group stage last year and no German representative has made the last four since Bayer Leverkusen lost the final in 2002.

That could be about to change, though, according to Matthaus.

'Bayern always managed to have a team which belongs to the favourites while the others have strengthened in a way that they can represent German football better than in recent years,' he said.


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