Bundesliga 2019/20: 6 talking points so far
- The Bundesliga is set to return to action this Saturday, and here are 6 talking points from the season so far.
- Bayern Munich have a 4-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga table.
After almost two months of hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bundesliga is set to return this Saturday. The news was confirmed last weekend after the German Football Association were given the green light by the government.
However, the games are set to be played behind closed doors. Regardless, fans are absolutely excited, and are really looking forward for the league to recommence.
The Bundesliga has already completed 25 rounds of games, with Bayern Munich once again leading the pack. Both the top scorer and top assist provider are from that team too, but the likes of SC Freiburg and FC Koln are putting in good performances slightly lower in the table.
January signing Erling Haaland is the talk of the town after his peerless prowess sent waves across the top-flight. At the other end of the spectrum, the likes of Werder Bremen and Paderborn were truly hoping for the league to be cancelled after what has been an atrocious season for them.
We take a look at the six major talking points from the season so far, ahead of the Bundesliga's impending return.
6 major talking points from the Bundesliga so far:
#6 Freiburg looking to inaugurate new stadium with European football
Freiburg will bid adieu to the Schwarzwald Stadion at the end of the season and move to a new home ground, which they are looking to inaugurate by securing European football. As things stand, Christian Streich's men are just a point off Schalke for the Europa League qualifying place, and very much in contention for the same.
Freiburg last participated in the competition in 2013 when they went out in the group stages, and what better way to usher in the new era by bringing it back? The south-west club though, have tough fixtures against Bayern (A), Leipzig (A), Leverkusen (H) and Monchengladbach (H) still to negotiate, so Freiburg's European ambitions are sure to be put through a wringer.
#5 Cologne's turnaround of fortunes is spectacular
FC Cologne was an absolute disaster until December. After just 2 victories and 10 defeats from the opening 14 games, they were rock bottom in the table and staring at another drop.
Fast forward 11 games, and the Billy Goats are safe and sound at 10th! They have improved spectacularly since the turn of the year under new manager Markus Gisdol, who's now aiming to push his side further up the table.
His arrival has inspired top form in the likes of Mark Uth, Sebastiaan Bornauw ,and especially Jhon Cordoba, who has netted eight times in the last 11 games. This has coincided with an excellent run of results in that same span, including some big victories against Frankfurt, Freiburg, Berlin, and Schalke, as Cologne turned the tables with aplomb.
They are now just five points off the European places, a gap that can be bridged if the club finishes the season in a similar vein.
#4 Fortuna Dusseldorf battling 'second season' syndrome once again
An interesting fact about Fortuna Dusseldorf is that the club has not survived in the Bundesliga for more than one season in a row since 1992! And it looks like history is repeating itself once again.
With just 22 points from 25 games, the newly-promoted Flingeraners are 16th in the table and four points off safety, as another relegation looms large.
Uwe Rosler, who took charge at the end of January this year, has made an encouraging start to his tenure after overseeing just a single defeat from seven games. However, that run yielded just a solitary win too.
So, even though there has been improvement, there's still a lot left to be desired. With daunting clashes against Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig still to come, retaining top-flight status is going to be an equally daunting task for Rosler and co.
#3 Is David Wagner's honeymoon period at Schalke over?
David Wagner was doing well in his seemingly herculean task of reviving Schalke, and moreover without any marquee additions. A series of positive results saw the Royal Blues climb as high as up to third in the table, and a Champions League return appeared likely.
However, their fortunes changed once more. They are without a win in the last seven games and have won only once in the last 10. This decline in form has also seen Schalke drop down to sixth in the standings, with Wolfsburg and Freiburg breathing right below their neck.
Wagner's honeymoon period looks to be behind him. With the club's European ambitions now in limbo, the trip to Signal Iduna Park will be a litmus test as to how far the Miners still have to go to secure European football for next season.
#2 Borussia Dortmund must maintain defensive solidity to keep up title charge
Borussia Dortmund have to be the most exciting team in the league. Spearheaded by the best young players in Jadon Sancho and Erling Haaland, Der BVB have played with great flair and flamboyance.
The only sore note, and one that's holding them back in the title race, is their leaky defence. They've conceded 33 times from 25 games - only Schalke have let in more from the top seven sides!
This propensity to concede has hurt Dortmund badly. They have dropped more points from winning positions than anyone in the top seven, and have also conceded two or more goals on 10 different occasions!
With only nine games left in the season and Dortmund still four points off the top, Lucien Favre's side must tighten up the back-line before it's too late.
#1 Bayern Munich are still the team to beat
Despite a few bumps along the way, Bayern Munich continue to rule the roost. They still occupy the pole position and enter the home stretch of the campaign as clear favourites.
The Bavarians have looked more menacing under Hansi Flick, who succeeded Niko Kovac at the helm. With several players in top form too, most notably Thomas Muller and Robert Lewandowski, this juggernaut appears unstoppable.
The runaway leaders still have trips to Dortmund and Leverkusen which could be potential banana skin, but Bayern still have the momentum in their favour right now.
Already through to the league cup semi-finals and with one foot in the Champions League quarter-finals, the Bundesliga behemoths are well on course for another treble. It would take some stopping to prevent an eighth consecutive league triumph too.