Bundesliga Fantasy Game Predictions – Round 4

Reus

Criticised for being a one team league, the Bundesliga may well be that but there’s no denying it’s one of the most exciting in Europe. With 34 goals across nine league games, round three had it all.

Looking ahead, here’s three important games to keep an eye on this weekend. Continue reading

Renato Sanches proves he has Bayern Munich future

Two years after joining Bayern Munich, Portugal international Renato Sanches finally looks like the €35 million midfielder they were getting back in 2016. The 21-year-old was awarded his first start under head coach Niko Kovac against former club, SL Benfica. Sanches played his part in Robert Lewandowski’s opening goal while he started and finished the move for Bayern Munich’s second. Continue reading

Bayer Leverkusen remain pointless after three games

After an impressive campaign last season, it’s fair to say that Bayer Leverkusen look as though they’re still in pre-season. For the first time in their Bundesliga history, they’ve lost their opening three league fixtures which sees them rooted to the table.

Granted, they’ve had a tough start to the season with Borussia Monchengladbach, VfL Wolfsburg and Bayern Munich but many of them had predicted Heiko Herrlich’s side to be up there with the reigning champions this season. Continue reading

Jadon Sancho must start for Borussia Dortmund

Borussia Dortmund and England youth international Jadon Sancho once again propelled himself into the headlines with a sublime performance against Eintracht Frankfurt on Friday night.

Introduced on the hour mark, it took Sancho just 12 minutes to assist Marius Wolf to put Dortmund back in the lead. The 18-year-old played a key role in the goal with just three touches. Marco Reus dropped deep, bringing the defender with him which allowed Sancho space in behind. One first touch, a Ronaldo chop and a cross within seconds, Sancho found Wolf at the far post to fire past Eintracht’s Kevin Trapp. Continue reading

Paco Alcacer set for Borussia Dortmund debut

alcacer

Summer arrival Paco Alcacer is set to make his Borussia Dortmund debut on Friday night following his one-year loan signing from La Liga’s Barcelona. The Spaniard will add much needed fire power to BVB’s frontline following the departure of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to Arsenal in January while they were unable to sign Michy Batshuayi on a permanent deal. Continue reading

Bayer Leverkusen’s season isn’t going as planned

Consecutive defeats for Bayer Leverkusen to start their 2018/19 Bundesliga campaign isn’t something head coach Heiko Herrlich had in mind. Many had predicted Die Werkself to challenge Bayern Munich for the title after a strong summer of recruitment following a successful campaign last season.

The 46-year-old brought European football back to the BayArena, finishing fifth and just missing out on a return to Champions League football on goal difference to Borussia Dortmund. Europa League football will have to do but the vibe around Leverkusen playing in Europe once again is positive.

Continue reading

Bayern Munich must win the Champions League

As one of the world’s biggest clubs, Bayern Munich ought to have more Champions League trophies to their name than they do. It was 2013 when the German giants lifted the competition, against their Klassiker rivals, Borussia Dortmund. The last time they lifted the competition, Sir Alex Ferguson was still in charge of Manchester United, which now seems an age ago.

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Kai Havertz, Thilo Kehrer and Nico Schulz deserving of Germany call-ups

It was a summer to forget for Germany and their national team. Failure to advance from their World Cup group which included Mexico, South Korea and Sweden, Joachim Löw’s managerial skills came into question following sub-par performances.

Unlike four years ago, there was a sense of uncertainty around this Germany squad once the squads had been announced. Löw once again put faith in his old guards, such as Sami Khedira, Thomas Müller and Mario Gomez while the likes of Leroy Sané were left at home, a decision that angered fans. Continue reading

Normal service resumes for Bayern Munich

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Normality resumed for Bayern Munich on Saturday. The reigning Bundesliga champions were under pressure following a poor display against Hoffenheim on Matchday 1 and a trip to Stuttgart followed, facing a team they had struggled against in the past.

Arjen Robben replaced Kinglsey Coman in the only forced change while there was a first Bundesliga start for Leon Goretzka. The former Schalke midfielder opened the scoring for Bayern Munich in the first half in a team performance that set the tone for 90 minutes. Continue reading

Ranked: How Bundesliga’s top teams fared in the transfer market

Now that the transfer window is shut, clubs can focus on football on the pitch rather than recruitment off it. There’s been a total of 208 departures (£452m) and 247 arrivals (£441) which makes the Bundesliga one of the most profitable, and most entertaining, leagues when it comes to transfers.

With the Bundesliga season now in full swing, let’s rank the transfers from Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Schalke and Bayer Leverkusen.

Bayern Munich

Perhaps what is surprising from the Bundesliga champions is their failure to sign a winger despite cries from fans of the club to splash the cash even with the recent contract renewals of Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben. The experienced duo are not getting any younger and with the departure of Douglas Costa to Juventus on a permanent deal and the recent injury to Kinglsey Coman, Bayern find themselves short in wide areas.

Alphonso Davies will arrive from Vancouver Whitecaps in January and although this is an exciting signing, it’s not someone who’s expected to contribute to straight away. And considering Bayern Munich were linked with the likes of Julian Brandt and Leon Bailey, it’s perhaps a tad disappointing from the reigning champions.

That said, Bayern’s hierarchy did a remarkable job in convincing Leon Goretzka to join the club with Liverpool and Manchester United showing an interest in the Germany international, who joined Bayern Munich from Schalke after an impressive campaign. C.

Borussia Dortmund

Like Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund have a new head coach at the helm. Lucien Favre swapped sunny Nice for Dortmund which sees him return to Germany after a two year absence. With the appointment of the Swiss tactician, a revamp of the squad followed.

Andre Schurrle, Sokratis, Gonzalo Castro and Nuri Sahin were all high-profile departures but there’s no doubting that Dortmund have made some brilliant acquisitions. Thomas Delaney arrived from Werder Bremen, adding much needed stamina in midfield while Belgium international Axel Witsel followed. These summer arrivals make BVB midfield one of the most impressive in the Bundesliga with either Mahmoud Dahoud or Mario Gotze complementing the duo.

Abdou Diallo also arrived from Mainz as Sokratis’ replacement. The 22-year-old Frenchman had an outstanding season with Mainz last campaign and early signs suggest he’s worth the €22 million spent on Diallo. And just 48 hours before Friday’s deadline, Borussia Dortmund got the striker they desperately needed in Barcelona striker Paco Alcacer. The Bundesliga club were calling out for a No. 9 which will allow both Marco Reus and Max Philipp to play in their preferred positions.

A remarkable summer window from Borussia Dortmund. A.

Schalke 04

It is always going to be hard to replace players such as Max Meyer and Leon Goretzka but it’s fair to say that Schalke have done so rather well. Suat Serdar, Omar Mascarell both arrived to shore up the midfield before Bayern Munich’s Sebastian Rudy’s arrival later in the window.

Domenico Tedesco and sporting director Christian Heidel also did well to convince central defender Salif Sane, who was statistically in the top five defenders last season, to join the Royal Blues. 20-year-old Hamza Mendyl also adds further youth to Schalke’s defence while the left-back can also add quality going forward.

Finally, Schalke announced the signing of Mark Uth on a free transfer before the transfer window had even opened. The former Hoffenheim striker finished the Bundesliga last season as the highest scoring German in 2017/18 while the 26-year-old will certainly provide a different threat to Guido Burgstaller and Breel Embolo. B.

Bayer Leverkusen

Unhappy with playing time, Bayer Leverkusen said goodbye to highly-talented Benjamin Henrichs who joined AS Monaco for €20m. The Bundesliga club have adequate cover with the arrival of Hertha BSC right-back Mitchell Weiser who is much better defensively. Like Uth, it was also announced before transfer window opened that Vasco da Gama forward Paulinho would join the club for €18m. At just 18, the Brazilian adds pace to Leverkusen’s frontline while early signs show that Paulinho is yet another impressive South American import for the Bundesliga side.

One of the Bundesliga’s best goalkeepers last season, Lukas Hradecky, joined the club from Eintracht Frankfurt on a free transfer following the departure of Bernd Leno to Arsenal, while the loan signing of Isaac Kiese Thelin adds depth up top following the resignation of Stefan Kiessling.

Despite lack of arrivals, it has been a good summer for Leverkusen who have also renewed the contracts of Julian Brandt and Leon Bailey. B.

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