The Bundesliga returns this weekend for the 54th season. The season kick off was a couple weeks ago as Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich squared off in the DFL–Supercup. Bayern Munich went on to win the game 2-0 thanks to goals from Vidal and Muller. This is a preview of what should be 1 and 2 in the Bundesliga.
This looks to be a two team race in the Bundesliga. The defending champions Bayern Munich have seen some changes this summer. Pep Guardiola has moved on to England and Carlo Ancelotti replaced him. Ancelotti has been brought in to help advance the team in the Champions League. Bayern Munich has won the last four league titles and the last 3 Pokal Cups, but they came up short in the Champions League under Guardiola. They brought in Renato Sanches from Benfica and Mats Hummels from Borussia Dortmund. Borussia Dortmund is looking to end Bayern Munich’s hold on the league. Last season they finished runners-up in their first season under Thomas Tuchel. They are hoping they can build on this season. Dortmund has done well using their earnings this summer to strength their team. They brought in Andre Schurrle, Mario Gotze, Ousmane Dembele, Sebastian Rode, Raphael Guerreiro, Marc Bartra, and Emre Mor and still have turned a profit this summer. One of the interesting things to watch will be how the new signings can gel and if they can push Munich. Bayer Leverkusen, Wolfsburg, and Schalke are all favorites for the other two spots in the Champions League places.
The Two Promoted Teams
Last season, two teams that have had long stints in the Bundesliga were relegated as Stuttgart ended a 39 year stint and Hannover 96 was in the Bundesliga for 14 years. The winner of the 2.Bundesliga last season was Freiburg. They came straight back up after being relegated in 2015. The second place team in the 2.Bundesliga was RB Leipzig. Leipzig is just 7 years old as a club and finds them in the top flight for the first time ever. Lastly, in the relegation play-off, Eintracht Frankfort, 16th place in the Bundesliga, defeated Nurnberg, third place in 2.Bundesliga, 2-1 on aggregate so they remained in the top flight for this season.
This section has to start and finish with Carlo Ancelotti. The Italian takes charges of the biggest club in the country after Pep Guardiola left Bayern Munich. Ancelotti has won the Champions League 5 times, twice as a player with Milan, twice as a manager with Milan, and once as a manager with Real Madrid. He will look to become the first manager to win the Champions League 4 times. The next coaching change happed as RB Leipzig appointed their manager, Ralf Rangnick to sporting director and hired FC Ingolstadt’s manager Ralph Hasenhuttl after he led Ingolstadt to a fantastic first season in the Bundesliga. Ingolstadt then signed Markus Kauczinski who had previously managed Karlsruher SC. Schalke 04 sacked their manager Andre Breitenreiter in May and then replaced him with Markus Weinzierl of FC Augsburg. Augsburg would go on to replace him with Dirk Schuster of SV Darmstadt 98. Darmstadt 98 then replaced Schuster with Norbert Meier. It has been an interesting summer of change in the Bundesliga. Which of these managers can make a big impact this season?
5 Big Incoming Transfers
Breel Embolo – Basel to Schalke (€22.5m)
Ousmane Dembele – Rennes to Borussia Dortmund (€15m)
Christoph Kramer – Bayer Leverkusen to Borussia Monchengladbach (€15m)
Kevin Volland – Hoffenheim to Bayer Leverkusen (€20m)
Marc Bartra – Barcelona to Borussia Dortmund (€8m)
5 Big Outgoing Transfers
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg – Bayern Munich to Southampton (€15m)
Henrikh Mkhitartyan – Borussia Dortmund to Manchester United (€42m)
Ilkay Gundogan – Borussia Dortmund to Manchester City (€27m)
Leroy Sane – Schalke to Manchester City (€50m)
Granit Xhaka – Borussia Monchengladbach to Arsenal (€45m)
My Pick – Borussia Dortmund
Brad’s Pick – Bayern Munich
Champions League Places
My Picks – Bayern Munich, Bayer Leverkusen, Schalke
Brad’s Picks – Borussia Dortmund, Hertha Berlin, Bayer Leverkusen
My Picks – Darmstadt, Freiburg, Ingolstadt
Brad’s Picks – Darmstadt, Leipzig, Freiburg
My Picks – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Borussia Dortmund
Brad’s Picks – Thomas Muller, Bayern Munich