Last weekend was marked by the start of the 2020/21 edition of the German Bundesliga, considered as one of the leagues where football is most played, mainly due to the offensive posture that most teams like to assume. Bayern, the big favorites to revalidate the title, started at full speed and toasted Schalke 04 with a not so friendly 8-0.
GOAL RECORD AT THE START AND FANS IN THE STANDS
Is the over tendency to maintain? The 1st round of the new Bundesliga had a total of 36 goals scored in the nine matches played (exact average of 4.0 goals/game) between last Friday and Sunday. In all of the German league history, never a strating round was so prolific.
The highlight goes to the 8 goal rout applied by Bayern Munich in the reception to Schalke, in the opening of the championship. The other “Champions” main contenders also confirmed their favoritism without any problems: Dortmund beat M’Gladbach 3-0 at home and RB Leipzig beat Mainz 05, as visited, 3-1.
In a round where six of the nine games had goals from both teams and seven ended with more than 2.5 goals, it is curious that the only 0-0 occurred in the last match of the round for the first time in the history of the clashes between Wolfsburg and Bayer Leverkusen (two offensive DNA teams).
Besides that, highlight to the presence of a moderate amount of fans in the stands of some games in this 1st day of the Bundesliga.
The decision is related to the fact that some regions are being less threatened by the pandemic than others.
Is this a good way to balance things? On the one hand, it’s a reason for joy that the Germans can return to the stadiums at a time when, for instance, games are still being held behind closed doors in Portugal.
On the other hand, I think this is a situation that undermines the fairness of the competition between the teams, since not all of them will be able to count on their fans support…
WHO WILL HAVE ARGUMENTS TO DENY BAYERN’S FAVORITISM?
The start of the last season indicated what could be a period of less competitive spark in the giants Bayern Munich, but with the entrance of Hans-Dieter Flick for the place of Niko Kovac everything changed.
To the incredible campaign that led, with all naturalness, to the conquest of the double (Bundesliga and DFB Pokal), the “new Bayern” added marvelous exhibitions and the conquest of the last edition of the Champions League, whose “final four” took place in Lisbon.
With almost no changes (Thiago Alcântara left and Leroy Sané as well as the goalkeeper Alexander Nübel arrived), Hansi Flick’s team are the big favorites to revalidate the title in the German championship, but there are still two teams that dream of dethroning the Bavarian hegemony.
I’m talking about Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig, who have ongoing projects that already have a considerable consolidation (Favre was near the exit, but received a vote of confidence, while Nagelsmann seems to have resisted the harassment of some “sharks”).
In the last season, both of them have showed ability to produce good football and win consistently, but have not been able to last in this particularity.
Something they intend to change, feeding with some fairness the dream of the title. Yes, dream. Even because Bayern have continuously proved that they are on a different quality level.
ONLY ONE OF THE 18 CLUBS HAS CHANGED COACHES
Amazing. In a current global scenario in which psychological lashes are more and more common and usual at the slightest stumbling – in Brazil and even in Portugal sometimes, the issue reaches unbelievable proportions – , the bet made in the market by the Bundesliga was in the continuity.
The overwhelming majority of the teams (17 out of 18) saw their main coach who closed the 2019/20 season continue for this new sports year.
Only Hoffenheim took a new direction in terms of technical leadership with the hiring of Sebastian Hoeneß to replace the interim Mathias Kaltenbach.
The 38 year-old jumped straight from Bayern Munich‘s reserve team to Hoffenheim’s first team command after spells in the Bavarian club formation and even in RB Leipzig (between 2014 and 2017).
2020/21 BUNDESLIGA’S ‘POWER RANKING’
If the title win seems to be in the hands of one of the three clubs mentioned above (Bayern, Borussia Dortmund or RB Leipzig), there are many other reasons to look forward to a highly competitive Bundesliga edition with potential to surprise.
The main candidates in a first row for a European position will be Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Mönchengladbach, who are aiming for a possible Champions League access.
In a second row, teams like Wolfsburg, Hoffenheim, Hertha Berlin or Eintracht Frankfurt also seem to possess enough arguments to believe in a route that may allow them to fight for at least an European League qualification.
Historical sides who had unfavourable seasons in 2019/20, Schalke 04 and Werder Bremen (who fought until the play-off to escape relegation to the 2nd Bundesliga) seek to cement their position in the top level of German football and fuel the dream of making campaigns that may allow them to stay in the first half of the league table and therefore be able to run on the outside in the fight for the Europa League.
Given the market value of their respective squads, the newly promoted Arminia Bielefeld and Union Berlin (who put up a good campaign in their debut year in the 19/20 Bundesliga), emerge as the main candidates for the relegation.
However, the list of teams that will have to find strength and prepare for a predictably difficult year does not stop there. Mainz 05, Augsburg and Stüttgart (another historic, which celebrates the return to the Bundesliga) close the lot.
Two other teams remain to be mentioned, which, as far as I am concerned, from what they showed last season, will be able to aspire to quieter walks, although their main goal, of course, is to avoid relegation. We are talking about Freiburg and FC Köln.
For the next weekend, starting on Friday (with an European candidates duel between Hertha and Eintracht Frankfurt), the 2nd matchday of the Bundesliga will have its bookmakers main event on Saturday afternoon.