FIn fact, it is nothing new for German football fans that the winner of the championship has already been decided in April. This was the case in 2013, 2014 (in Pep Guardiola's debut season, even in March!), 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2022. Most likely it will be the same in 2024. However, this season there is something new For football fans in Munich and all other cities (and districts) of the Bundesliga: it will not be FC Bayern that will win the championship so soon.

This Saturday, April 13, on the 29th matchday of the Bundesliga season, Bayern could only avoid the worst: Let Leverkusen, the league's dominant team, become champions on the legendary couch. And since Raphaël Guerreiro so skillfully shot the ball against 1. FC Köln in the 65th minute and Thomas Müller less skillfully repeated it in the 90th minute, at least that worked out quite confidently.

The interesting thing about this mediocre Bundesliga match in Munich (in which, as they say in football parlance, Cologne could have had more) was that one team was clearly not interested in the Bundesliga.

This Saturday it was not only worth mentioning who Bayern coach Thomas Tuchel selected, but also who he did not select. He dispensed with seven players who started in the first Champions League quarter-final match last Tuesday in London (final result: 2-2): Manuel Neuer, Alphonso Davies, Konrad Laimer, Leon Goretzka, Serge Gnabry, Jamal Musiala and Leroy Sané.

And even if Neuer and Sané were not even called up for the match against Cologne, probably only Davies (suspended) and Gnabry (hamstring tear) will be called up for the decisive match against Arsenal on Wednesday (9:00 p.m.) . FAZ live ticker for the Champions League and DAZN) will be cancelled.

What Mazraoui speaks for

In the stands of the stadium, where this sunny Saturday he had to sit due to a yellow card sanction, Thomas Tuchel will have closely observed at least two players: Raphaël Guerreiro and Noussair Mazraoui. One of the two will likely replace left-back Davies. Will Mazraoui be allowed to start in his usual position?

What speaks in his favor is that he is faster than Guerreiro (which is a good argument considering the duel with Arsenal winger Bukayo Saka). What speaks about Guerreiro is that, in general, he is the best soccer player, something that he demonstrated against Colonia. For the movements and passes that speed up the game.

And, of course, for the first goal of the game, which he scored in the 65th minute after a corner kick: he waited in the corner of the area, where no Cologne player defended him and where Joshua Kimmich passed him the ball. . He turned with the ball and then shot into the far corner with his left foot.

When it finally reached 1-0, Thomas Tuchel had already suffered a serious setback: in the 49th minute, winger Kingsley Coman, who has only been able to play again for a few weeks, was left lying in the area due to “a stab wound”, his muscles drove, as sporting director Christoph Freund later said. And since he couldn't put any weight on his leg afterwards, they ran him out of the stadium.

This was not only tragic for the player, who has been plagued by injuries again and again this season, but also for his coach, because Coman was one of the candidates who could have replaced Gnabry in the Champions League. So Gnabry's position should fall to good old Thomas Müller. And if you didn't know that Müller never lacks self-confidence, you could have at least taken it as a good sign when he scored 2-0 in extra time.