By News Team
Last Updated: 15th May 2020
The Bundesliga makes its big return this weekend as Germany’s top flight resumes to finish the remainder of the 2019-20 season.
Ahead of the action, which gets under way on Saturday afternoon, we’ve taken a look at some of the key talking points to keep an eye out for.
Bayern to go marching on?
It’s rather tight at the top of the Bundesliga. While there’s a 25-point gap between the Premier League’s top two, in Germany just six points separate the top four – with Bayern Munich four points clear of Borussia Dortmund at the top and RB Leipzig and Borussia Monchengladbach a respective one and two points adrift of second.
It’s certainly been a competitive title race so far, with Leipzig and Monchengladbach trading places at the top earlier in the season before Bayern usurped them both in recent months following an early-campaign slump that saw Niko Kovac sacked in November. Now, though, they’re well and truly in the driving seat.
Bayern and Dortmund, having won five of their last six, will be looking to pick up where they left off; Leipzig and Monchengladbach, meanwhile, will hope to take advantage having won just two of their previous six each.
Given Bayern’s current lead at the top and traditional dominance of the Bundesliga – they’re chasing a 29th title and their eighth on the bounce – their rivals simply can’t afford a slip-up. While Bayern are away at mid-table dwellers Union Berlin on Sunday, Dortmund return to action on Saturday with a tough clash at home to bitter rivals Schalke. A tricky way to restart any season.
Should Lucien Favre’s side drop points there and Bayern record a victory 24 hours later, the title race could arguably be over by May 26 – if Bayern come out on top when these two meet at the Westfalenstadion.
As favourites for the title, Bayern – fuelled this season by the performances of the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Thomas Muller and Serge Gnabry – will take some stopping. Dortmund may also stand a chance – but only if Jadon Sancho, Erling Braut Haaland and Co are able to start with a bang on Saturday and, ultimately, get a result on May 26.
Can Werner topple Lewandowski?
Key to Bayern’s performances this season have been the aforementioned Lewandowski. One of the world’s leading strikers, Lewandowski has so far netted 25 goals in just 23 Bundesliga games this season, contributing a goal every 82 minutes in the league for Bayern. The Poland international, in fact, is responsible for 34.25% of Bayern’s 73 Bundesliga goals this term.
Such form means the striker sits four goals clear at the top of Bundesliga’s top scorer charts, and as the favourite for the crown, it would take a brave man to bet against Lewandowski in this kind of form.
In Timo Werner, however, there could be a player capable of toppling Lewandowski. Four goals behind his rival, with 21 goals from 25 games for Leipzig, he has netted a goal every 98 minutes. Overcoming such a deadly talent as Lewandowski is a tough ask, but with odds not stacked against him and Werner arguably playing for a future big-money move to the likes of Liverpool or Chelsea, it’s certainly not out of the question.
Augsburg might be in for the drop
When it comes to relegation, the bottom three of Paderborn, Werder Bremen and Fortuna Dusseldorf are, quite rightly, all potentials for the drop.
Automatic relegation may be a push but Augsburg are just five points off the relegation/promotion play-off spot, currently held by Dusseldorf. And with just one win in their last nine games, as well as tricky fixtures to navigate at both ends of the division, Augsburg may be playing their football in Germany’s second tier come next season.