The third top European Championship starts today! Following England and France, the new season begins in Germany. The best team in Europe, Bayern Munich and Schalke, will play on the Allianz Arena pitch in the evening.
Let’s figure out what intrigues await us during the season, and which teams will be the most interesting to follow.
Borussia kindergarten D will not be able to overtake Bavaria
Spoiler: there will be a championship race, but Borussia D will not be able to win it. And not because the people of Dortmund are weak. No, on the contrary, the strongest team since the days of Jurgen Klopp has gathered at Signal Iduna Park. Just what is the Sancho – Holland link, which no top club in Europe would refuse.
The fact is that the current “Bavaria” plays in some of their league. To compete with her on a long distance, you need to be at least a team of the level of Manchester City or Liverpool. And for that you need a Klopp-level coach, not Lucien Favre.
Borussia’s Twitter D. Jadon Sancho and Erling Holland
In addition, all the stars of Borussia D are too young. And the same Giovanni Reyna, Reinier and Jude Bellingham, on whom the stake will be made this season, are still children. Very talented children, but nonetheless.
The same goes for RB Leipzig. For all the coolness of Nagelsmann, Upamecano and company, they cannot fight Bayern for the title.
The only chance for the rest is an epidemic of injuries at Bayern. If Lewandowski, Kimmich, Sane, Gnabry or Neuer suddenly fly out for a long time, this will become a problem for the Munich people. But in their optimal state, “record masters” should not lose points more than five to six times in a season.
The fight for the top 4 promises to be hot
The first and second places, with a high degree of probability, will again be behind Bayern Munich and Dortmund. But for the other two league-champion positions, an incredibly serious struggle is expected. RB Leipzig is, of course, considered a favorite for one of the seats, but the bulls will have to get used to life without Timo Werner. I am sure that during the season Dani Olmo and Hwang Hee Chan, who came from Salzburg, will be able to replace Timo, but there will definitely be problems at the very start.
Borussia M.’s prospects look very good before the start of the season. The Stallions have strengthened only pointwise: Valentino Lazaro has rented the right lateral from Inter, and attacking midfielder Hannes Wolf from RB Leipzig. But most importantly, Gladbach retained all of his leaders. Markus Thuram, Alassane Plea, Jan Sommer, Matthias Ginter and Dennis Zacaria did not even think about leaving in the summer. This means that the team of Marco Rose prepared for the season with the optimal composition and without any nerves, which is very important for such a team.
Bayer’s situation is much more complicated. The team lost Kevin Folland and Kai Havertz, two backbone players. Patrick Schick was bought to replace Folland from Roma, but 17-year-old Florian Wirtz will be playing instead of Havertz. The teenager really liked him after the restart of last season, but he is hardly ready to fully replace Kai. But all the same, Leverkusen’s squad looks very solid, and the factor of Peter Bose, who knows how to set the team up for matches with big clubs (victories over Bayern and Borussia D in last season) should have an effect.
In addition to the above, the real contenders for the fourth place look like “Hoffenheim”, “Wolfsburg”, “Eintracht” and “Hertha”.
Hoffenheim is the dark horse of the season. After all, Hoeness himself came there!
One of the main news of the summer in German football, for me personally, was the change of the head coach at Hoffenheim. Alfred Schreuder’s team was downright raw and boring. The “peasants” getting into the Europa League at the end of the season was only a consequence of the regular misfires of competitors, and not some incredible breakthrough of the team itself.
Now “Hoffe” was received by an insanely interesting coach – Sebastian Hoeness. I answer the question right away: yes, a relative. Sebastian is the nephew of the legendary head of Bayern Munich, Uli Hoeness. Sebastian’s father is former Bayern striker Dieter Hoeness.
Last season, Sebastian Hoeness led the second team of Bayern, with which for the first time in the history of the club he managed to take first place in the third league in Germany! In the Second Bundesliga, according to the regulations, duplicate squads cannot play, but still a very serious achievement.
In Bayern II, Hoeneß was forced to play football in the same way as the main team – 4-2-3-1. However, at Hoffenheim he plans to use the same 3-5-2 that he had under Nagelsmann. At least with this arrangement, he played in the German Cup against Chemnitzer (2: 2, on pens – 5: 4).
The German press often compares Sebastian to Nagelsmann, which means it will definitely be interesting to watch this team.
What about the middle peasants?
Freiburg suffered very serious losses. Christian Streich’s team lost two players of the German national team at once: forward Luka Waldschmidt moved to Benfica, and center-back Robin Koch went to conquer the Premier League with Leeds. Emir Demirovich from Alaves has moved to replace Waldschmidt, and nobody has been bought instead of Koch. But Freiburg issued their record transfer, having bought the centerhave Baptista Santamaria from Angers for 10 million euros.
But the most fun of all summer spent Berlin “Union”. The club that spoke the loudest about financial problems due to the pandemic signed nine new players. Most of them, of course, are free agents, but the club’s payroll has increased solidly. The most famous of the newcomers is the former German national team striker Max Kruse, who played 7 + 7 in Turkey last season. But at the same time, the team lost their top scorer Sebastian Andersson. The Swedish forward moved to Cologne.
Hertha spent the summer interesting as well. The club, which unexpectedly had big money last winter, bought a very sensible goalkeeper Alexander Shvolov from Freiburg, and center forward John Cordoba moved from Cologne. But the main reinforcement is the central midfielder Luc Touzard, who came from Lyon.
With such a selection of players, Hertha has every chance to compete at least for getting into the European cups.
What about newbies?
Since 2009, Arminia has not played in the Bundesliga, but at the end of the last season won the Second Bundesliga and improved in class. In the second-strongest division, the team from Bilifeld was remembered for the most attacking football – 65 goals, as well as an amazing ability to save matches – 14 draws and only 2 defeats.
In the summer, Arminia did not buy anyone: it only rented and took free agents. Of all the transfers, only a loan from PSV of the winger of the Japanese national team Ritsu Doana can be distinguished. Otherwise, the newcomers of the Bundesliga have an extremely weak line-up. The leader and top scorer is Fabian Clos, who has 21 goals and 10 assists last season. But there is one problem – by the age of 32, he had not spent a single season in the Bundesliga. The same goes for 60-year-old head coach Uwe Neuhaus.
But “Stuttgart” looks much more solid. Pellegrino Matarazzo, the former assistant of Nagelsmann at Hoffa, is in charge of the team’s game, with whom the Swabians played a good second half of last season and beat Hamburg and Heidenheim in the fight for a direct promotion.
Stuttgart also managed not only to retain all the leaders, but also to strengthen the squad quite well with ex-Hanover captain Waldemar Anton, Japan national team center-back Wataru Endo and Greek center-back Konstantinos Mavropanos rented from Arsenal.
Who will qualify for departure?
By default, both newcomers will be fighting for survival, and there is no belief that Arminia will be able to stay in the Bundesliga. The club from Bilifeld is very much like last year’s Paderborn, which played brightly against any opponent, but they absolutely lacked class. The same is with Arminia. It simply won’t have enough resources.
But “Stuttgart”, I think, is unlikely to fly out. The Swabians have enough experienced and intelligent young footballers to maintain their position in the elite.
One of the main candidates for relegation, paradoxically, now looks like Schalke. Last season, the Gelsenkirchen team ended up with a 14-game streak without a win, and in the summer they lost their key center-back Weston McKinney, who moved to Juventus on loan. Well, the main goalkeeper Alexander Nübel, according to the old Gelsenkirchen tradition, moved to Bayern for free.
But the main trouble for Schalke is the club’s financial problems, which do not allow it to at least somehow increase. For example, Vedad Ibishevich, a veteran, transferred from Hertha as a free agent, who admitted that he would not receive a salary, and that he could receive his only payments only in the form of bonuses for certain successes. Apart from him, the Cobalt were only strengthened by the Eintracht forward Gonçalo Pasiencia. Of course, we are only talking about renting here.
Everything is so bad that the main goalkeeper, in the words of head coach David Wagner, will be Ralph Fermann, who returned from rent at Norwich and the Norwegian Brann. But he left Schalke with obvious excess weight, and last season he played as many as 3 matches.
For the third season in a row, I predict the departure of “Mainz”. From year to year, the “carnivals” do not change anything at all, and the general level of the team and the head coach is lower than that of the competitors. I think Mainz will not get away from relegation or transition zone this season.
As for Werder Bremen, which miraculously escaped at the end of last season, that is, all the prerequisites for the team to fight for survival in the new campaign. But so far everything looks as if Bremen has worked on the mistakes and managed to bring the team to a good level by the start of the season.
Obviously, Union will also fight for survival. This is evidenced by the absolutely wild transfer campaign, and the syndrome of the second season, which has not been canceled.
Which prospect can shoot?
84 matches, 128 goals and 26 assists! Such crazy statistics at the youth level is possessed by the 15-year-old humanoid of Borussia Dortmund, Yussuf Mukoko. He has already held a training camp with the first team, and on November 20, when he turns 16, he will be eligible to enter the field in the Bundesliga matches. Borussia is already openly saying that during the season Mukoko will replace Holland. And the hopes for this guy are huge.
In Bayern, we can highlight the signing of PSG pupil Tanguy Kuassi. The 18-year-old defender is a free agent and looks like a great boost for the Munich side: tall, with good heading and a great first pass. Tanga has everything to go out well instead of Süle or Boateng.
Too much has already been said about Jude Bellingham and Giovanni Reyna. Get used to the fact that they are now the players of the main clip of Borussia D.
It is also worth paying attention to the central midfielder of RB Leipzig Lazar Samardzic. In the summer, the bulls bought the 18-year-old talent from Hertha, and he is already working with Julian Nagelsmann’s team. Samardzic is the leader of the German junior national team, and in 2019 was named the best footballer in the country in the U-17 category. Quite a sensible prospect with good play in midfield. In addition, he ended up in a club where they just work great with talented youth.
Bonus from the Ministry of Health
Bundesliga matches will be played with spectators! Not all, but most! At least, this will be the case at the start of the season, and then everything depends on the level of spread of the infection that has enslaved this world.
The German Ministry of Health allowed clubs to admit 20% of the fans from its capacity to the stadium. But, for example, today’s opening match of the season will be held with empty stands, since the level of infection in Munich has exceeded the bar in 30 cases per 100 thousand population. Everyone else is planning to play with the fans for now.
True, most ultras still refuse to come to the stadium until all restrictions are lifted. Well, that’s already their problem.