Bundesliga 2019/20 – Can Bayern Munich triumph again?Published on: July 4, 2019Author: Sam F
Last season’s Bundesliga ended in familiar fashion. With Bayern Munich picking up their seventh successive Bundesliga title, it may have looked like it was business as usual in German football. But the 2018/19 season was very unpredictable and Borussia Dortmund gave Bayern Munich a real run for their money in the title race that was only decided on the final matchday.
As a result, there’s a real sense of expectation that the 2019/20 Bundesliga season could be even more tumultuous. Not only have Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund made some very significant changes to their squads, but contenders like RB Leipzig, Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Monchengladbach will be itching to build on their strong form from last season.
Plus with FC Koln back in top-flight German football and newly promoted Union Berlin making their first appearance in the Bundesliga, it promises to be a fascinating year of German football.
Top fixtures in the 2019/20 Bundesliga season
This year the Bundesliga season kicks off on 16 August. This will see a gripping evening match between Bayern Munich and Hertha Berlin at the Allianz Arena. The following day, we’ll get to see Borussia Dortmund hosting Augsburg, whilst Schalke will be hoping to counter their disappointing form of last season by getting a decent result from their away match against Borussia Monchengladbach.
You’ll have to wait until early November to see the Der Klassiker derby where Bayern Munich host Borussia Dortmund. However, there’s an interesting DFL Supercup clash between the two rivals on 3 August to get you started. The first Rivierderby between Borussia Dortmund and Schalke takes place at the end of October.
If the 2019/20 season of the Bundesliga goes down to the wire like last season, then you should know that Bayern Munich travel to Wolfsburg, whilst Borussia Dortmund are home to Hoffenheim on the final game of the season.
Welcoming a new look Bayern Munich
For many fans, Bayern Munich were incredibly lucky to pick up their 29th national title last season. The legendary German team were trailing behind Borussia Dortmund for much of the year, and their new coach Niko Kovac was lucky not to get his marching orders before the winter break.
However things improved in the spring months, and Bayern Munich clinched the Bundesliga title and beat RB Leipzig in the DFB-Pokal Final to cap off a surprisingly successful year. Bayern Munich’s season was made all the more bittersweet when it was announced that the Dutch legend Arjen Robben and the French star Franck Ribery would be leaving the club.
Such moves weren’t a massive surprise, and many critics had stated that Bayern Munich were becoming too reliant upon their ageing stars. Despite this, it was still interesting to see that Mats Hummels would be rejoining his previous club, Borussia Dortmund, for a €33 million fee and there were many questions about what the 2019/20 Bayern Munich would look like.
Who have Bayern Munich signed for the 2019/20 season?
Bayern Munich started their spending early by picking up Lucas Hernandez from Atletico Madrid for a Bundesliga record-breaking fee of €80 million in March. Whilst there are still concerns about the central defender’s knee injury, he looks good to start the 2019/20 season and bolster the Bayern Munich defence.
Hernandez will join Bayern Munich’s other big signing, the French star, Benjamin Pavard in the back four. Pavard came from VfB Stuttgart for €35 million, but there’s every indication that Bayern Munich are still keen to use their chequebook in the coming weeks.
The German club have been linked with the current Juventus full-back Joao Cancelo, whilst there have even been wild rumours that Bayern Munich could swoop in to sign the Manchester City star, Leroy Sane.
Big changes at Borussia Dortmund
For Borussia Dortmund, 2018/19 was yet another hugely frustrating season in the Bundesliga. Despite having been top of the table for much of the year, they suffered from real inconsistency in the closing months that included a shocking 5-0 away defeat to Bayern Munich who eventually pipped them to the league title.
Lucien Favre’s team have recently been undergoing some significant changes in their squad as they make real efforts to pick up their first Bundesliga title since 2012. The German side will be welcoming back Mats Hummels from Bayern Munich and he’ll hopefully help shore up the Borussia Dortmund defence so that they don’t throw away the title like they did last season.
Joining Hummels in the defence will be the ex-Hoffenheim star, Nico Schulz, who will be pivotal on the left side and could even play a valuable role in the midfield. But it’s up front where Borussia Dortmund will look most different.
With Christian Pulisic signing to Chelsea for €64 million, there were big worries about how Borussia Dortmund would replace such a key player. Thankfully, Lucien Fevre has been shopping around and has picked up Thorgan Hazard from Borussia Monchengladbach, as well as Julian Brandt from Bayer Leverkusen.
In addition to this, Borussia Dortmund have signed the promising Spanish defender, Mateu Morey, who will help maintain the German side’s reputation as one of the best places for developing young players’ talents. All of which should help stop Borussia Dortmund from frittering away another nine-point lead in the upcoming Bundesliga season.
Other contenders for the Bundesliga title
Whilst it’s tempting to think of the 2019/20 Bundesliga season as being little more than a two-horse race between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, it’s important to remember that there are plenty more promising sides in German football at the moment. Recently we have seen teams like RB Leipzig, Schalke and Hoffenheim putting in some decent challenges, and next season’s campaign is anything but a foregone conclusion.
RB Leipzig have gone from being one of the most hated teams in German football, to being a consistently strong team in the Bundesliga. Last season saw RB Leipzig claim a Champions League spot thanks to their third place in the league table, and hopes will be high that Julian Nagelsmann’s team can do even better this year.
Whilst there are fears that their star striker, Timo Werner, could be set to join Liverpool or Bayern Munich, there’s still plenty of quality players in the RB Leipzig ranks. Amadou Haidara has been in great form for Mali in the Africa Cup of Nations, and with the addition of Hannes Wolf in the attack from RB Salzburg, we think that RB Leipzig could do well in their 2018/19 campaign.
Bayer Leverkusen ended their 2018/19 season in fine style with five wins out of the last six games. This helped them earn a Champions League place, and it showed that new coach, Peter Bosz, was the right man for the job.
The team have recently signed Moussa Diaby from Paris Saint Germain to try and replace Julian Brandt on the left wing. Plus there’s hope that Kerem Demirbay will add strength to the Bayer Leverkusen midfield after his €28 million signing from Hoffenheim. Despite this, it’s still tough to imagine Peter Bosz’s team getting anything much more than a top-four finish.
Despite starting their 2018/19 campaign very brightly, Borussia Monchengladbach’s season stuttered towards the end. After a string of embarrassing defeats such as 0-3 home defeats by Hertha Berlin and Wolfsburg, the head coach, Dieter Hecking, was given his marching orders.
However, the side will welcome Marco Rose to the management role this summer. Rose proved that he can get results at his old club, RB Salzburg, and with promising players like Stefan Lainer and Breel Embolo joining the ranks, there’s hope that the team can improve on their form at the end of the last season.
Hoffenheim are another German club who have come on in leaps and bounds in recent years. They achieved an excellent top-three finish in the 2017/18 season, but will have been disappointed with their ninth place in the table last season.
The club will have real work to do in replacing recently departed stars like Kerem Demirbay and Nico Schulz. But with plenty of financial muscle, we can still expect to see Hoffenheim making more signings such as their recent purchase of Ihlas Bebou from Hannover.
2018/19 is a season that Schalke will want to forget as they plummeted to fourteenth place in the Bundesliga table and were lucky to avoid relegation. Whilst the side managed to get out of the group stages in the Champions League, their 7-0 thumping by Manchester City was another reminder that all is not well at the club.
After Domenico Tedesco was booted out as head coach in March, Huub Stevens fought hard as interim manager. Thankfully, Schalke now have David Wagner on board, and hopefully he can do a better job than during his tenure at Huddersfield Town. Schalke’s defence was a big worry last season, but with hugely promising 19-year old Turkish defender, Ozan Kabak, in their ranks, there’s hope that the team could be back to their best.
With the loss of star striker, Luka Jovic, to Real Madrid, Eintracht Frankfurt will seem like a very different team. Thankfully, the €70 million move has given Adi Hutter plenty of money to play with, and he recently snapped up Erik Durm from Huddersfield Town, as well as Dominik Kohr from Bayer Leverkusen.
These signings will boost the Eintracht Frankfurt defensive and midfield areas respectively, although it’s going to be difficult to fill Luka Jovic’s shoes. Hopefully the new 19-year old striker, Dejan Joveljic, can boost Eintracht Frankfurt’s chances of getting better than the seventh place in the Bundesliga 2018/19 season.
Wolfsburg managed to claim a Europa League place last season, but they’ll be hoping for better than sixth place in their 2019/20 campaign. All eyes will be on their Dutch dynamo, Wout Weghorst, in the attack, and Wolfsburg have also signed the promising youngster, Xaver Schlager, from RB Salzburg to boost their midfield strength.
Wolfsburg will also welcome Oliver Glasner as the club’s new manager after the departure of Bruno Labbadia. Glasner previously worked with LASK Linz and it’s hoped that he can guide Wolfsburg to glory in the next Bundesliga season.