Bundesliga season preview
MUNICH, GERMANY - MAY 18: Players of FC Bayern Muenchen celebrating after winning the Bundesliga match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Eintracht Frankfurt at Allianz Arena on May 18, 2019 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)

The 2019/20 Bundesliga season begins on Friday when Bayern Munich face Hertha Berlin at the Allianz Arena. The Bavarians are looking to defend their Bundesliga title for the eighth consecutive season. Lucien Favre’s Borussia Dortmund, meanwhile, have hopes of prying the Meisterschale out of Bayern’s hands. Who will round out the top seven in Germany? Who is in danger of relegation? And which new transfers are worth keeping an eye on?

2019/20 Bundesliga Season Preview: Who Will Chase Bayern and Dortmund?

The Top Seven

Realistically, only two teams stand any sort of chance of claiming the 2019/20 Bundesliga title. Perennial winners Bayern Munich and their fierce rivals Borussia Dortmund will both fancy their odds to finish the season as Deutscher meister.

As it stands, Borussia Dortmund perhaps have a slight advantage due to their squad depth. Bayern, however, are just a few moves away from reinstating themselves as firm favourites to win the league.

Both RB Leipzig and Bayer Leverkusen, however, could prove significant threats to Germany’s top two sides. The former club is bolstered by the addition of coaching wunderkind Julian Nagelsmann, while the latter will be hoping their slew of summer transfers and a whole off-season spent under coach Peter Bosz can elevate them to the next level.

Borussia Monchengladbach will be delighted to have coach Marco Rose on board, but they have not quite done enough to replace Thorgan Hazard. They could struggle without the Belgium international.

VfL Wolfsburg will hope for another solid Europa League finish after a great off-season, while Werder Bremen will hope youngsters Milot Rashica and Maximillian Eggestein can lead them back into European football.

Eintracht Frankfurt have been ripped apart this summer and have not made any significant moves to replace Luka Jovic or Sebastian Haller. Similarly, TSG Hoffenheim could struggle significantly with tactical genius Julian Nagelsmann no longer at the helm.

Expect the top 7 positions to look something like this at the end of the 2019/20 Bundesliga season:

  1. Borussia Dortmund
  2. Bayern Munich
  3. RB Leipzig
  4. Bayer Leverkusen
  5. VfL Wolfsburg
  6. Borussia Monchengladbach
  7. Werder Bremen

The Relegation Battle

FC Koln make their return to Germany’s top flight this season after a year-long sabbatical in the second division. The Billy Goats should have enough quality to fight relegation this year, but the other newly-promoted sides may not fair so well.

Union Berlin have never before played Bundesliga football, and their foray into Germany’s top division could very well be limited to just one season. However, their incredible fighting spirit and amazing home atmosphere might just be enough to buy them another season.

SC Paderborn could perhaps have the same said of them. Paderborn’s previous venture into the Bundesliga in the 2014/15 season ended with a disappointing 18th place finish. They will certainly hope to improve upon that this season but will likely find doing so difficult.

FC Augsburg and Mainz 05 should also be pessimistic about their chances to avoid relegation. Both sides have been flirting with a drop to the second division for a few years.

Any of those five teams could realistically find themselves in a relegation battle this season, but look for Paderborn and Augsburg to struggle the most.

16. Union Berlin
17. SC Paderborn
18. FC Augsburg

Ones to Watch

When it comes to big new additions to the Bundesliga, it does not get any more significant than Bayern’s Lucas Hernandez. The 2018 World Cup winner joined the German champions for a massive €80 million fee and will be responsible, along with Benjamin Pavard, for stitching up a leaky backline.

Julian Brandt has made the switch to Borussia Dortmund after several successful seasons with Bayer Leverkusen. The player and club could prove a perfect fit for each other. If so, that move will go down as arguably the steal of the summer, considering Dortmund paid only €25 million for the 23-year-old.

Leverkusen, meanwhile, have replaced their young star with former Hoffenheim duo Kerem Demirbay and Nadiem Amiri, each of whom should have a positive impact on the squad.

RB Leipzig’s most notable move of the summer was hiring young coach Julian Nagelsmann. Nevertheless, the Red Bulls have made a few solid additions on the pitch as well. Ademola Lookman has finally made his move from Everton, ending a transfer saga that has spanned over a year. Christopher Nkunku also made the swap from Paris Saint-Germain and could play a big role under Nagelsmann.

Finally, Dodi Lukebakio, one of the breakout stars of the 2019-20 season, has joined Hertha Berlin from Fortuna Dusseldorf. The young Belgian is certainly one to watch as Hertha Berlin look to elevate their game to the next level and potentially push for a European place.

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