Good news Bundesliga fans, the season opener between Bayern Munich and Hamburger SV is only one day away and the entire year is accessible to watch in America for the first time on FOX. We have compiled the top five reasons of why this 2015/16 Bundesliga season will be one of the most thrilling, exciting years filled with highs and lows, and plenty of glory.
1. Bayern Munich’s World-Class Signings
The chances of prying away the title from Bayern Munich are practically slim to none. However, stranger things have happened in the past. The German Super Cup saw Wolfsburg snatch the cup from Guardiola’s grasp with only minutes left in regulation thanks to the late substitution of Nicklas Bendtner. Cause for concern? Probably not, given that it is the first competitive match of the season, and the arrivals of Douglas Costa and Arturo Vidal have already made such a strong impact on the few games they have played.
Douglas Costa, should his form continue, will be the future replacement for Franck Ribery on the left wing, and Arturo Vidal is the filler for Schweinsteiger’s position. The youthful additions of Costa and Vidal will be vital for Munich’s success in years to come. Youth and fresh legs can be the difference in Europe as Pep Guardiola continues to push for improvement in the Champions League. With the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid in contention as well, Munich will need to take on Europe at a faster pace than what they are used to. As all of the players regain full match fitness in the middle of the season, Munich will be a deadly squad that will rival any team who stands in their way.
2. Borussia Dortmund’s Change In Power
Borussia Dortmund begin their first post-Klopp era this Saturday with Thomas Tuchel now in charge of BVB. Tuchel has maintained a perfect record thus far in the three games he has been in charge of, and has performed so in confidence. Their most recent 5-0 win over Wolfsburg AC with a hat-trick from Henrikh Mkhitaryan is a good indicator that the best is yet to come.
Dortmund will compete in the Europa League this season and are used to success in multiple competitions. However, after suffering such a disappointing season last year, even facing a relegation scare, Thomas Tuchel will put all of his focus into the Bundesliga and making a top four charge. Their campaign begins with a Borussen derby against Monchengladbach who have regained traction in their recent years to compete at the top of the table. Marco Reus will face his former club at Signal Iduna Park looking to walk away with an early three points.
3. Fight for the Top
With the exception of Bayern Munich, the fight at the top of the table will be very tight between Wolfsburg, Borussia Dortmund, Borussia Monchengladbach, Bayer Leverkusen, and Schalke. It will take a lot for any of these clubs to steal the title away from Munich, but with three additional spots open for Champions League berths, there is still so much to fight for. Dortmund and Wolfsburg have been predicted to be favorites for the second placed position, but with Monchengladbach showing impressive form under Lucien Favre, they could prove to be a sleeper team by the end of 34 weeks.
Our prediction at The18 for the top four spots by the end of the Bundesliga season are: 1. Bayern Munich, 2. Wolfsburg, 3. Borussia Dortmund, 4. Borussia Monchegladbach.
4. The Rise of Wolfsburg
Wolfsburg are forming into the promising club that can take Germany by storm day by day with continuous success in all competitions. Kevin De Bruyne, Bas Dost, Ivan Perisic, and Luiz Gustavo, only to name a few, have completely changed the Wolfsburg club for the better. Once a club who strived to qualify for the Europa League has become a dominating force that is expected to be fighting in the round of 16 in the Champions League. As mentioned before, they’re come from behind win over Bayern Munich in penalties shows that they are stiff competition in every sense of the word.
Wolfsburg manager Dieter Hecking has brought in the services of Max Kruse this year to widen his options for striker. Kruse has already scored and provided two assists in the green and white shirt of Wolfsburg during the first round of the DFB-Pokal match against Stuttgart Kickers. His growing presence in Germany is coming somewhat late in his career, as he is 27 years-old, but according to Hecking, age will not be a concern.
Dieter Hecking said, “Max is a technically gifted, quick and potent forward. He’s improved year on year and is always one of the key members of his team. With him on board, we now have a top-drawer attack, which is going to be very important in view of our challenges in the league and in Europe.”
5. Young Players
Germany and the Bundesliga is home to some of the worlds best players of all ages. This season will showcase some of the leagues youngest talents and put them up against the strongest competition. Douglas Costa, Kevin De Bruyne, Thorgan Hazard, Julian Draxler, and Mario Gotze are all young players to keep an eye on throughout the season.
Thorgan Hazard, younger brother of Chelsea’s Eden Hazard, has officially completed his move to Borussia Monchengladbach after being loaned out from Chelsea every season. Last year he was a key player in Lucien Favre’s modified 4-4-2 formation appearing in 41 matches and scoring five goals with ten assists collectively amongst all competitions. As of right now he is no Eden Hazard, but at such a young age his potential is almost limitless after permanently signing to Monchengladbach.
Julian Draxler and Mario Gotze play in similar roles for their respective clubs, Schalke and Munich, but have been under a lot of scrutiny by they clubs and fans for not being the same player they were signed as. Mario Gotze struggles to make a strong impression on Guardiola’s side after being considered the next German prodigy, and Julian Draxler’s long term injury has cost him a lot of valuable experience at such a young age.
Douglas Costa and Kevin De Bruyne are the most promising players from this list, and have already become vital components in their squads despite their short time in Germany. Costa’s pace on the left wing will be the biggest asset for Munich this season to fill in for the aging Ribery. With Arjen Robben crashing down on the opposite flank, there is no telling how many goals will be scored between the two of them. Robert Lewandoski could have some friendly competiton now amongst his teammates.
De Bruyne was named German footballer of the year last season when Wolfsburg finished second in the Bundesliga. He was second to Bas Dost for most amount of goals and miles away from anyone else in assists with a grand total of 21. His fluidity in the center of the park creates endless goal scoring options for Wolfsburg, and when facing Bayern Munich in the league, he could get the better of the Bavarians and help earn three points for his club.