The German season has already begun with the Bundesliga 2 and 3.Liga already underway. The German Super Cup takes place tonight however the ‘big’ competitions start next week with the Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal cup kicking off.
To get people in the mood for the new Bundesliga campaign here are some pretty amazing team posters designed by Maciek Marc.
Unfortunately the Bundesliga has become a one-horse race in the last few seasons. It is still (I think) the best league in Europe but the title race is pretty much a forgone conclusion with Bayern Munich almost crowned champions before the start of the season. This year will be a big challenge for Borussia Dortmund having lost Lewandowski to Bayern Munich but they have brought in reinforcements to offset his loss. They have signed Adrian Ramos and Ciro Immobile to try to fill the void left by their star man but it remains to be seen if they can actually replace a player of such quality.
Dortmund might struggle a bit this year, especially if they lose any more big players but they should still be ‘the best of the rest’.
Elsewhere it will be interesting to see the development of Schalke’s young side and if they can actually challenge the likes of Dortmund. Players like Max Meyer and Julian Draxler are outstanding prospects and it will be a huge task for Schalke to keep a hold of them. If they do and the team can continue to develop then they could be challenging for 2nd place.
The other contenders for the remaining Champions League places will be Leverkusen, Wolfsburg and Borussia Monchengladbach.
At the bottom of the table there is a collection of clubs that have possibly over-achieved in the past few season and might suffer this year. Hertha Berlin have performed very well in the last couple of years but they have lost their best two strikers and this could cost them dearly. Expect Hannover, Mainz, Freiburg and the newly promoted Paderborn to be fighting it out for survival. On a side note it is a wonderful story regarding Paderborn’s promotion. They are a very small club with a 15,000 seater stadium who are set to play their first ever season in the Bundesliga this year. They will undoubtedly be relegated but what a wonderful season ahead for their fans.
Players to look out for –
There are plenty of obvious candidates like Lewandowski, Robben, Ribery and the other Bayern superstars but lets look a little deeper at some new signings and some young players that might be in for a big season in Germany. Here are 7 players to look out for this year –
1. Max Meyer
Meyer is a wonderfully talented midfielder. He is still only 18 but has already drawn comparisons with players like Mario Götze and Lionel Messi given his style of play. Technically he is very gifted and this has already been spotted at senior international level despite his young age. Expect him to be one of Schalke’s stars this season.
2. Maximilian Arnold
Maximilian Arnold is a tall, physical and talented attacking midfielder who has been linked with huge moves away from Wolfsburg this summer. These transfer bids have not materialised and the Wolfsburg fans will be delighted that the 20-year-old remains with them. He has drawn comparisons with André Schürrle given his physical style of play and he will no doubt become a feature of the German national team before too long.
3. Josip Drmic
22-year-old Drmic featured this summer for Switzerland in the World Cup. Just before the tournament started it was announced that he was to leave his old club Nurnberg and move to Bayer Leverkusen. Last season he scored 17 goals for a team that were eventually relegated so expect him to add to his tally this year, especially as he will be joining up with Leverkusen’s already very prolific goalscoring side.
4. Kevin Volland
Volland is one of those players that has been around for some time but is still very young. The 22-year-old was previously with 1860 Munich but was signed by Hoffenheim three years ago. A striker with an eye for goal he is only getting better as the years go on. He found himself part of the German World Cup squad which was fine recognition for a striker that should be aiming for an impressive goal tally this season.
5. Niklas Süle
Potentially the future of German central defenders. At only 18 Niklas has already established himself as one of Hoffenheim’s key men at the back. An imposing figure and a committed defender, Süle has already impressed at German youth level and it might only be a matter of time before he makes the leap to the full international squad.
6. Bernd Leno
There is seemingly a never-ending conveyor belt of world-class German goalkeepers and here is another one. At 21 Leno is already an established Bundesliga player and Bayer Leverkusen’s number one. He is probably a bit unfortunate that he has so much competition in front of him for the German national team, otherwise there is no doubt he would feature regularly.
7. Granit Xhaka
It is actually a tad surprising that Xhaka is still at Monchengladbach. He was a key player for Switzerland at the World Cup and his performances would have undoubtedly alerted clubs across Europe. Still only 21 he has a huge future ahead of him and is one of those complete midfielders that clubs love to have. He can defend well, he can press forward and he has a fantastic passing range.
Fully expect Bayern to romp the title this year but also expect an exciting and intriguing league. The Bundesliga is one of the most competitive leagues in world football and with some of the best fans on the planet it is always an exciting season in Germany. The nation will still be on a huge high after this year’s World Cup so that should add to an already fantastic league.
To finish, here is a snapshot of the home kits that will be worn by each top-tier team this year –