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Bundesliga Returns - Spin Sports
12 May 2020
Following the confirmation the German Bundesliga will return on May 16, the eyes of the footballing world will be focused on Germany in the coming weeks.
The German top-flight is the first major European league to restart following a lock down, with the 2019-20 campaign set to be completed behind closed doors.
With nine games still to go as part of the current campaign there is still plenty to play for in the title race, European qualification and the relegation battle. Spin Sports mobile-sports will give you a decent insight to news, fixtures and events following its return.
Bundesliga – big guns
The Bavarian giants are the undisputed kingpins of German football, with 28 Bundesliga titles since the league’s creation back in 1963.
FC Hollywood, as they are known, are currently in the middle of their most successful ever streak, with seven consecutive league wins, and an average winning margin of 14.4 points during the current run.
Hans-Dieter Flick’s side have built up a loyal fan base from across Germany, however their success has drawn an equally large set of staunch rivals – made up of a host of other German clubs eager to curtail their relentless success.
An early season stutter of five wins from their first 10 league games persuaded the club to sack manager Niko Kovac, and promote assistant boss Flick to the top job.
The former midfielder, a title winner under the illustrious Jupp Heynckes in the 1980s, has steadied the ship and edged the club back to the top of the table.
Dortmund have emerged as Bayern’s most consistent rival in recent years, reigniting their successes of the mid 1990s with back-to-back Bundesliga title wins in 2011 and 2012, both under Jurgen Klopp.
Despite establishing themselves as the nearest challengers to Bayern, BVB still retain a slight underdog status – which successive managers have been happy to utilise to their advantage.
The club itself still retains a core association with a primarily working-class fan base rooted in the industrial areas in and around the Ruhr/Northern Rhine area, with a majority fan ownership structure also in place at the Westfalenstadion.
RB Leipzig have emerged as the ‘new’ Dortmund in recent seasons, as a plucky challenger to the Big Two in Bundesliga football.
The East German side were only established in 2009 but their rise from non-league football has been dramatic, with an incredible five promotions inside seven seasons.
Their adaptation to the Bundesliga has been equally impressive, with Europa League qualification followed by a Champions League finish at the end of 2018-19.
Controversy over the running over the club remains, but the board have continued to back successive managers with sizeable transfer budgets, following their arrival into the top tier.
The concern for the club will be towards resisting the advances of European powerhouses from bidding for their rising stars, if they are unable to break Bayern’s Bundesliga hegemony in the near future.
Bundesliga – key men
Robert Lewandowski /Thiago Alcantara – Bayern Munich
Much of Bayern’s success in recent seasons have been propelled by the superhuman goal scoring statistics of Polish international Lewandowski.
Lewandowski has netted 40 goals or more in all competitions in the last five seasons, including the current campaign, winning three of the last four Bundesliga Golden Boot awards.
Spanish midfielder Alcantara has established himself as not just an ever-present figure for Bayern, but also as one of the most consistent midfielders in European football.
The Catalan native has consistently been linked with a return to Barcelona, but his vital role with Bayern has kept him motivated and away from the clutches of La Blaugrana.
Erling Braut Haland/Jadon Sancho – Borussia Dortmund
The partnership of Haland and Sancho has the potential to be the most potent in Europe – if Dortmund can keep hold of them in the coming seasons.
Lucien Favre secured the signing of Norwegian international from RB Salzburg in the January transfer market, despite reported interest from both Real Madrid and Juventus.
The teenager has exploded into life in Germany, alongside England international Sancho, as Dortmund look to chase down Bayern in the title race.
Sancho’s move to Germany from Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City in 2017 was labelled as a ‘risk’ within Premier League circles, but the London-born winger has elevated himself to one of the hottest transfer prospects in world football.
It is still early days for the partnership, but their raw talent alone already looks to be a frightening prospect for opposition defences.
Dayot Upamecano/Timo Werner – RB Leipzig
Leipzig have earned a reputation for developing elite players following their rapid ascension to the top-flight, but just like Dortmund, they always face a battle to keep hold of their stars.
France Under-21 international Upamecano has popped up on the radar of Barcelona, Arsenal, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City after emerging as one of the calmest and most consistent centre-backs in this season’s Champions League.
German forward Werner has been a long-term target for Klopp’s Liverpool, with a summer move rumoured to be a formality prior to the coronavirus lockdown.
However, the uncertainty over transfers this summer could lead to him staying at the club. Despite not hitting the same numbers as Lewandowski in terms of goals, his all action style marks him out as one of the Bundesliga’s top players.
Bundesliga – derbies
Bayern Munich v Borussia Dortmund – Der Klassiker
Clashes between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund are rightly billed the Bundesliga’s version of El Clasico, often serving as a title decider.
The rise of Dortmund in recent seasons has injected a renewed level of competitiveness back into the games, with 31 meetings in the last nine seasons in league, DFB-Pokal Cup and European competition.
Despite their title successes, Dortmund generally ensure these clashes are tight, with just one home league defeat in their last six meetings.
Borussia Dortmund v Schalke 04 – Revierderby
Dortmund’s traditional rivalry with Schalke is rooted in both sides connection with the industrial Ruhr region, in North West Germany.
Dortmund have edged ahead in terms of profile in recent seasons, with Schalke dipping in and out of the Top Four.
However, derby clashes between the two clubs still have plenty of spice and goals, with 19 goals and four red cards across the last two seasons.
Bundesliga betting markets
Bayern look well placed to secure another Bundesliga title, due to their four-point lead at the top of the table, and in truth, there is little value in that, with a price of 1.20.
The only real stumbling block looks to be their trip to Dortmund on May 26, which could see their lead cut, if Favre’s side can check their title charge.
A positive result for the home side would reopen the battle for the title, with Dortmund at 4.5 for a first league championship win since 2011 as it stands.
The race to top the goal scoring charts is, as expected, to be a two-horse race between Lewandowski and Werner in the remaining nine games of 2019-20.
Lewandowski has 25 so far, with Werner on 21, and both will be hoping to return to action refreshed in the coming weeks.
The clear favourite in this Lewandowski, priced at 1.2, but given Leipzig’s slightly easier run in, with only one game against a rival in the coming weeks, Werner could be an option at 3.0.
Bundesliga – 2019-20’s key games
That crucial Der Klassiker derby clash is likely to be the title clincher for the 2019-20 campaign, however there are number of other vital games in the coming weeks that will have a huge impact on the final table.
The top five of Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, RB Leipzig, Borussia Monchengladbach and Bayer Leverkusen are all virtually assured of a European spot.
However, Schalke 04, VfL Wolfsburg, SC Freiburg and 1889 Hoffenheim are set for a four-way battle for the final spot, with favourites Schalke facing crunch games against three of their rivals.
Down at the bottom, SC Paderborn and Werder Bremen are almost certainties to slip down into the second tier, with a significant respective gap between themselves and safety.
The interesting battle still to be sorted out involves the relegation play-off place, with Fortuna Dusseldorf and Mainz the main names in contention to finish 18th.
The Bundesliga automatically relegates two sides, with the 18th placed club facing the third-place side from the Bundesliga 2 – which also restarts before the end of the month.
As it stands, either top-flight side could face a tough fight to maintain their status, with former Bundesliga clubs VfB Stuttgart and Hamburg SV the favourites to reach the promotion play offs.