The Bundesliga returns this weekend for the 2020/21 campaign. Over the off-season, some of the competition’s biggest young stars traded Germany for England as Timo Werner and Kai Havertz moved to the Premier League.
However, there will still be plenty of exciting talent – and exciting young talent – on display as Germany’s top-flight returns with a limited number of spectators at approved grounds.
Bundesliga Game of the Weekend – Borussia Dormtund vs Borussia Mönchengladbach
The Borussen Derby is the Saturday evening kick-off for the first weekend of the season and Borussia Dortmund vs Borussia Mönchengladbach is usually a game which lives up to the billing. The big narrative around either team during the summer was whether Jadon Sancho would leave Dortmund for Manchester United, but BVB have stood firm on their €120 million asking price, meaning United’s negotiation tactics and discussions have so far failed.
Sancho will be Dortmund’s key player again this season, forming an exciting front trio with Erling Haaland and American teenager Gio Reyna as Dortmund look to ease Marco Reus back to full fitness. Haaland is the best bet to challenge Robert Lewandowski for top scorer.
Gladbach’s best attackers are ruled out for the game, meaning Patrick Herrmann could be chosen to start in attack by Marco Rose. He scored six goals as a winger last season, so a central role could see him get even greater returns.
Rest of the Weekend
Bayern Munich turned down the chance to postpone their opening game on Friday evening against Schalke. The DFB gave them the opportunity of further rest after the Champions League final, but Hansi Flick’s side are determined to start this season as strongly as they finished the last one. They are undefeated in 2020 and that should not change against a weakened Schalke side, who lost Weston McKennie to Juventus. Leroy Sané is set to make his debut and could hit the ground running against the Royal Blues.
2. Bundesliga champions Arminia Bielefeld face a tricky trip to Eintracht Frankfurt, who could be one of this season’s surprise packages as they do not have the burden of additional midweek games following their failure to qualify for the Europa League. The Eagles have gone deep into that tournament for the past two seasons so will enjoy the rest of not having to play in it in 2020-21. Andre Silva signed on a permanent deal from AC Milan after his loan spell and Daichi Kamada should be in good spirits after signing a new contract.
RB Leipzig lost Timo Werner to Chelsea and Patrik Schick joined Bayer Leverkusen, so Julian Nagelsmann will have to replace those goals somehow. Expect a lot more pressure on Christopher Nkunku and Dani Olmo who will have to step up, while Hwang Hee-chan has to prove himself at this level after moving from Red Bull Salzburg.
Bundesliga Player to Watch: Tahith Chong – Werder Bremen – £1.24
With Milot Rashica possibly on the way out of Bremen to join Aston Villa, a lot will be expected of young attacker Tahith Chong. The Manchester United loanee looked bright for Werder in pre-season but will finally get a taste of Bundesliga action against Hertha Berlin this weekend.
Hertha have continued to spend on new players, but with so many new faces in their team, may take a while to gel together, giving Bremen and Chong a good chance at a strong start.