The Bundesliga starts the 2020/21 season stronger than any of the other big European leagues.
Germany’s top division gained a lot of respect & admiration for showing the world how leagues can compete post pandemic. The teams have had some semblance of an off season with six weeks to rest & recuperate (excluding the clubs who played European football).
They are the first to sign a new TV deal in the current financial climate at $4.4 billion (slightly less than the previous 4.64 billion). Finally, they start a new six-year partnership with ESPN that will raise their profile stateside.
Here’s to the 2020/21 Bundesliga season lets hope it’s one for the ages.
CAN ANYONE CHALLENGE BAYERN MUNICH?
Quite simply no.
Bayern are probably the best team in Europe & only Liverpool could compete with them in this moment. Die Roten have not only managed to keep all of their star players but upgraded as well with the addition of Leroy Sane.
Seven of Hansi Flick’s first choice eleven are 25 or younger & they have two top class options for nearly every position. The only weakness they have is a proven backup for Robert Lewandowski with 19 year old Joshua Zirkzee the current understudy. Despite this small flaw, I believe the treble win is the start of something special & anything short of a domestic double will be a failure this season.
The only team who might challenge is Borussia Dortmund. So far they’ve kept hold of Jadon Sancho. If he stays it’ll be the best piece of transfer business they do all summer. In Erling Haaland they have the only player in the league who can challenge Robert Lewandowski for the Golden Boot. Thomas Meunier is a great addition but overall I feel their squad is too young & inexperienced. The manager Lucien Favre doesn’t fill me with much confidence either & he last won a trophy; The Swiss Super League back in 2007. BVB have a chance but they need everything to go right for them, be fortunate with injuries & a whole lot of luck.
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE QUALIFICATION
Timo Werner has moved to Chelsea & it will be impossible for RB Leipzig to find a ready made replacement for the 26 goals & 8 assists he provided last season. They passed on making Patrick Schick’s loan deal permanent which I strongly believe will be something they’ll regret. It’s not all doom & gloom as Julian Nagelsmann managed to convince Dayot Upemacano to sign a contract extension & with Ibrahima Konaté due back from injury, they could have the best CB partnership in the league. Angeliño has returned on loan from Manchester City & he’ll be a key player adding width down the left. Dani Olmo looks very promising & he’ll have a much bigger role to play this season. Leipzig are still the 3rd best team in the league & will finish comfortably in the Top 4.
I’m backing Bayer Leverkusen to take 4th spot. They’ve sold Kai Havertz & Kevin Volland but the signing of Patrick Schick is a great piece of business & they have their next homegrown star in 17 year old Florian Wirtz. Moussa Diaby, Leon Bailey & Wendell are all developing into excellent attacking options. I’m still a huge fan of January signing Exequiel Palacios. He’s had a few months to settle now & I think the Argentinian international will develop into one of the leagues best Central Midfielders.
EUROPA LEAGUE QUALIFICATION
Borussia Mochengladbach came out on top in last years battle for the Top 4 but I think they’ll fall short this season. They have European football added to an already condensed domestic schedule & the only signing of note is Valentino Lazaro on loan from Inter Milan. Alassane Pléa & Marcus Thruam were one of the most exciting strike partnerships in the world last season & they’ll be key to any success they have this year.
Hoffenheim have finished in the Top 6 three times in the last four seasons & have a new manager, Sebastian Hoeneb. He cut his teeth at Leipzig & Bayern’s youth teams & last season took charge of Die Roten’s reserve side leading them to the 3.Liga title. He has a lot of promise & Andrej Kramarić will be key to his success. The Croatian international is arguably the 3rd best striker in the league behind Lewandowski & Haaland & if they can keep him fit he’ll easily score 20 goals.
THE FIGHT FOR SURVIVAL
I think Schalke are a side who could really struggle this year as the financial repercussions of COVID-19 take effect. Two of their brightest stars Alexander Nubel & Weston McKinnie have left the club & they have introduced a wage cap of 2.5 million Euro’s for all players. David Wagner is in for a long, hard season & I can see him being the first manager sacked if they start badly.
Arminia Beilefeld are my favorites to finish bottom. Uwe Neuhaus has done really well to get the club here but they don’t have the resources or squad to compete at this level. Back in 2018 they sold their stadium to make the club debt free & they won’t overspend to survive relegation. The newly promoted side will be here for a good time not a long time.
The final relegation & relegation playoff spot is tough to call. Union Berlin, Augsburg, Köln, Stuttgart & Mainz are all in the mix & neither side have strengthened significantly. A lot will depend on how these sides start the season & we’ll have a clearer picture in a few weeks. One thing I’m sure of is Werder Bremen won’t struggle like they did last year & will finish comfortably in mid table.
One of England’s most exciting talents in recent years, Jude Bellingham has joined Borussia Dortmund in a 25 million Euro deal. He had his pick of Premier League’s clubs to move to but opted to follow in Sancho’s footsteps. At 17 it’s hard to see him getting any substantial minutes but he’s definitely a star in the making.
Marcel Sabitzer is Leipzig’s new captain & I think this will be the season he truly announces himself as one of the worlds best. The Austrian showed his class in their Champions League KO victories over Tottenham Hotspur & Atletico Madrid. I’m going to enjoy watching him whilst I can as I think he’ll be moving on next summer.
For USMNT fans the future looks bright with Josh Sargent, Gio Reyna, Tyler Adams, Ulysses Llanez, Taylor Booth & Chris Richards all looking to establish themselves at their respective clubs. It’s not just players who are making their way in Germany. Stuttgart’s manager Pellegrino Matarazzo was born in New Jersey & he done an excellent job getting last season them promoted at the first attempt. He is the second American to manage in the Bundesliga behind Schalke’s David Wagner & it will be interesting to see how he fares in the top tier.
My favorite this season is the Home Kit of newly promoted Arminia Bielefeld. The white & blue trim around the sleeves & neck are on point. I’ve been really impressed by most of Macron’s offerings on a whole & they’ve definitely outperformed Adidas, Nike & Puma this year.
All three offerings from Borussia Dortmund have been poor this season & this yellow & black home jersey is by far the worse. It came out a few weeks ago & as soon as I saw it, I thought of the Pokemon Electrobuzz. I didn’t think anyone could do any worse but RB Leipzig stepped up to the challenge.
This is Leipzig’s Champions League Jersey & their carrying on Julian Nagelsmann’s tradition of terrible wardrobe choices for the competition. The suit he wore for the Semi-Final defeat to PSG back in August was poor at best & it gave a sense that he felt they’d gotten as far as they could. On Leipzig’s website this kit is described as “All-over dynamic print inspired by the energy of the bull“. That’s a very imaginative way to describe this ridiculous print that’s far too busy. If only the kit designer was as talented as the Marketing Department.
If you’re after something from outside of Germany’s top flight look no further than 3.Liga side TSV 1860 Munchen’s away kit. This is one of my favorite designs for the season & I’m days away from receiving mine in the post.
BUNDESLIGA 2020/21 SEASON PREDICTIONS SUMMARY
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE QUALIFICATION
EUROPA LEAGUE QUALIFICATION
RELEGATION PLAYOFF SPOT
FC Union Berlin
DFB POKAL WINNERS
PLAYER OF THE SEASON
YOUNG PLAYER OF THE SEASON
ROOKIE OF THE SEASON
FIRST MANAGER SACKED
WHERE TO BET THE BUNDESLIGA IN THE US
In the US, you can legally bet on soccer in New Jersey, Indiana and Pennsylvania.