Last season threatened to be something of a classic in the Bundesliga. Borussia Dortmund led for much of the 2018/19 campaign, making the most of a poor start by perennial title winners Bayern Munich. For so long it seemed that there would be a shift in power at the top of the table, but this wasn’t to materialise.
Gary Lineker once famously said that football was a game where 22 men kicked a ball for 90 minutes and then the Germans won. The Bundesliga equivalent of this would end with Bayern Munich winning having lifted the past seven league titles. But what will the 2019/20 season hold? Here is a preview of the campaign to come.
While Bayern Munich might have kept their trophy by their fingernails last season we can at least draw from the positive that there was, for the first time in a number of years, a genuine title race at the top of the Bundesliga. There is a chance that this will carry into the 2019/20 season, particularly with the Bavarians going through something of an overhaul this summer.
Indeed, Bayern Munich said goodbye to both Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben over the summer, leaving Niko Kovac with the task of imposing a new identity on a team that relied so heavily on the two wingers for so long. Dortmund themselves said goodbye to a winger in the form of Christian Pulisic, but they were better equipped to do so. Might this be their year?
1u - Back Borussia Dortmund To Win @ +450
There is, of course, one name that immediately comes to mind when discussing who might finish the 2019/20 Bundesliga season as top goalscorer. Robert Lewandowski has been the most prolific striker in Germany for a number of years now, but he heads into the new season without his usual service of Ribery and Robben. Might that affect him? Elsewhere, Paco Alcacer and Timo Werner might be good bets. Alcacer in particular might challenge Lewandowski in the goal stakes once again after his impact in the second half of last term.
0.75 - Back Paco Alcacer Top Goalscorer @ +1000
EXCITING TEAM/NARRATIVE - Can David Wagner turn Schalke into a force once again?
Traditionally one of the superpowers in the German game, it was jarring to see Schalke scrapping down near the foot of the Bundesliga table last season. Domenico Tedesco lost his job as they scrambled to save their top flight safety. Now, David Wagner has been hired to turn the club around. Wagner, of course, arrives having taken Huddersfield Town to the Premier League and kept them there. But this will be a very different type of challenge. With a squad lacking any great young talent and any real big names, can he pull it off?
PLAYER TO KEEP AN EYE ON
There have been a number of interesting signings across the Bundesliga this summer. Ethan Ampadu has joined RB Leipzig on loan from Chelsea, Moussa Diaby has signed for Bayer Leverkusen from Paris Saint-German and, of course, Lucas Hernandez became the most expensive player in the league’s history by joining Bayern Munich. However, it’s Dortmund’s signing of Thorgan Hazard that is most compelling. Can the brother of Eden continue his development at the Westfalenstadion?