Halloween is just around the corner and by a seasonable quirk of the fixture list, Bayern Munich go up against one of their bogey teams on Matchday 8 with a trip to Mainz, where they have lost their last three Bundesliga games.
bundesliga.com takes a look at the top five teams that have a tendency to haunt the record champions…
Let’s start with the 05ers. Bo Svensson’s side are a bit of an exception on this list, as Bayern have won a whopping 71 percent of all league games against Mainz over the years, with the Carnival club triumphing just seven times.
However, Mainz are deserving of this special mention given that four of those wins have come in the last 15 league assignments, including victories in each of their last three meetings at the MEWA Arena. In a spooky twist, each of that latter trio of victories has taken place in the final week of April.
Watch: Highlights of Mainz's win over Bayern in April 2023
On Matchday 29 last season, Bayern were hoping to gain momentum in a title race against Dortmund, only for Mainz to overturn a 1-0 deficit with three second-half goals in the space of 14 minutes to throw a spanner in the works.
Svensson’s charges won 3-1 in 2022 as well, following on from a 2-1 success the previous year. In short, the Danish tactician has a 60 percent win ratio against Bayern, having won three and lost two of the Bundesliga matches he has overseen against them. Taken proportionally, that puts Svensson’s Mainz second in the all-time list of Bayern’s bogey teams…
2) Wattenscheid 09
Top of the pile in that regard is Wattenscheid. The Ruhr district club, located to the west of Dortmund as a district of Bochum, are perhaps most famous for having had Leroy Sané’s father, Souleyman, on their books during their four-year stay in the Bundesliga from 1990-94.
They secured finishes of 11th, 16th and 14th in their first three seasons before being relegated in 17th place in their final top-flight campaign. While Sané senior and Co. lost 7-0 in their first meeting with Bayern, they went on to achieve something remarkable against the Munich giants in the ensuing years.
They won 3-2 later that same season, one of two victories against Bayern, while also securing three draws – two of which were away from home. As a result, Bayern’s overall win ratio stands at just 37.5 percent, their lowest quota against any opposition they have faced in the Bundesliga.
Happily for Bayern, there is little chance of a reunion any time soon as Wattenscheid were relegated from the Regionalliga West (fourth division) last season, so they would need an RB Leipzig-esque rise from the lower reaches of the German football pyramid to reach the upper echelon.
3) RB Leipzig
Speaking of Leipzig, it is probably wise to keep their name to a whisper in Bavaria, as Die Roten Bullen have skewered Bayern themselves on more than one occasion. This season alone, Marco Rose’s side have beaten Thomas Tuchel’s charges 3-0 in the DFL Supercup and drawn 2-2 on Matchday 6, having taken a 2-0 lead.
That means Leipzig are now unbeaten in their last four competitive assignments with Bayern, following a 3-1 win in Munich in May earlier this year and a 1-1 draw at the Red Bull Arena in January.
Watch: Highlights of Leipzig's Supercup triumph over Bayern
It was perhaps telling that after that stalemate, Rose spoke of “a deserved draw” and a “fair result overall”, the implication being that Leipzig are now operating at a similar level to the record champions and are upstarts no longer.
So while Bayern still have the upper hand historically, with seven Bundesliga victories from 15 games (46.7 percent win ratio), four of those came in the first five meetings. Leipzig have been increasingly holding their own more recently and are well on the way to becoming the biggest of thorns in Bayern’s side.
4) Borussia Mönchengladbach
That title currently belongs to Gladbach, though. Prior to this season’s Matchday 3 encounter, which Bayern won 2-1 at Borussia-Park, the Foals were on a historic roll and went into the fixture unbeaten in five competitive games against Bayern, a club-record sequence comprising three wins and two draws.
Indeed, it was no mere hot streak but part of a wider pattern dating back over more than a decade. Since the start of the 2011/12 campaign, no other club had taken anywhere near as many points off Bayern as Gladbach did; 10 wins, 10 defeats, five draws.
Watch: Gladbach's win over Bayern in February 2023
And that itself was the continuation of a long-standing rivalry dating back to the 1970s, when Gladbach won all five of their Bundesliga titles to date as they battled with Bayern for domestic supremacy.
As such, Bayern have ‘only’ won 46.8 percent of all their Bundesliga games with Gladbach (52 of 111), the Foals triumphing 28 times (31 draws).
5) Borussia Dortmund
Gladbach may have been Bayern’s biggest rivals over half a century ago, but in more recent times Dortmund have come closest to knocking them off their perch. So much so, in fact, that they are the only other team against whom Bayern’s win percentage is less than 50 percent.
BVB’s best streak against Bayern arrived in the Jürgen Klopp era, when they won four consecutive Bundesliga assignments between October 2010 and April 2012 by a cumulative scoreline of 9-2, as part of a six-game unbeaten streak. Dortmund famously won back-to-back league titles in those seasons.
Watch: Highlights of Dortmund's last Bundesliga win over Bayern
Overall, Bayern have taken maximum points off Dortmund 53 times from 108 league games, losing 25 and drawing 30. That ratio of 49.1 percent used to be considerably lower, but the last time BVB got the better of Bayern in the Bundesliga was five years ago in a 3-2 triumph on 10 November 2018.
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