The start of 2023 has been shaky for Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga. The defending champions started the year with three consecutive draws in the league. They bounced back from these setbacks with comfortable wins against Wolfsburg and VfL Bochum. Die Roten failed to make it three wins in a row as they suffered a 3-2 defeat against Borussia Monchengladbach on matchday 21.
The defeat against Gladbach is understandable, as Bayern had to play 82 minutes with ten men. Dayot Upamecano was sent off in the eighth minute of the game for a last-man foul on Alassane Plea. Gladbach made the most of this opportunity and punished Die Roten last weekend.
With two wins in the last six league games, Bayern has seen their lead extinguished at the top of the points table. They were level on points with Union Berlin and Borussia Dortmund at the end of gameweek 21. Dortmund replaced them at the top of the table by winning away at Hoffenheim on Saturday.
Bayern can regain their place at the summit of the Bundesliga by beating Union Berlin on Sunday. It is going to be a tight game since both teams have enjoyed good defensive records this season. While talking to TZ, Matthijs de Ligt insisted that players are very hungry for the win against Union Berlin to get their league campaign back on track.
"“We all know how important the game (vs Union) is. The last few results weren’t all good, we know that, and that makes us hungrier. We want – and must – keep the three points in Munich.”"
The Dutch defender also insisted that the slow start to Ruckrunde is the consequence of a hectic schedule in the first half of the season. Along with competitive football at the club level, players also travelled to Qatar for World Cup 2022 in December. He insisted that Hinrunde was mentally challenging, but the squad remains eager to win every game.
Meanwhile, Oliver Kahn has urged Bayern players to achieve consistency in the Bundesliga. The Bavarian club has done a fine job in the cup competitions this season, but it has been a stop-start season for them in the Bundesliga.
The title race in the Bundesliga is expected to go down to the wire, so Bayern needs to win every game from now until the end of the season. A win against Union Berlin on Sunday can become the springboard for a long winning run in the Bundesliga.
Want your voice heard? Join the Bayern Strikes team!
Matthijs De Ligt will have a crucial role to play against Union Berlin. The Dutch defender is expected to partner Benjamin Pavard in the heart of the defense. Clean sheets have been difficult to come by for Bayern in 2023. De Ligt will look to change this trend against Union Berlin.