December was a busy month in the Bundesliga, with some “English weeks” where teams played two games in a week, which isn’t an ordinary occurrence for the majority of the calendar. The delayed start to the season means more games have to be fit into a shorter window, causing many teams to play on Tuesday or Wednesday as well as at the weekend.
More games meant plenty of excitement in Germany’s top flight in the run up to Christmas before the teams took a short break (the winterpause) to get a bit of rest ahead of the new year.
Bayern Munich, RB Leipzig, and Bayer Leverkusen look to be in the battle for the Bundesliga this season, with Borussia Dortmund stuttering and deciding to change coaches due to inconsistent performances from Lucien Favre.
Bayern had another good month in December, with Robert Lewandowski ending the year as The Best Men’s Player in the world at the FIFA awards and would have lifted the Ballon d’Or had that award not been cancelled. His December saw him score five times in four games and he is currently on track to break Gerd Müller’s record of 40 Bundesliga goals in a season.
Kingsley Coman has been one of Bayern’s best performers recently and provided five assists in December. The pressure of new arrival Leroy Sané has seen him up his game and he looks every bit the player that helped the Bavarians win the Champions League final last year.
Leon Bailey looks to have rediscovered his best form for Bayer Leverkusen and is involved in more chances than last season, providing two assists and scoring two goals himself in an impressive December.
Stuttgart have been one of the biggest surprises this season, and that is very much a team effort. However, Silas Wamangituka deserves to be singled out for his own December, scoring four goals as his pace caused problems to opponents of all levels.
Freiburg tend to overachieve every season thanks to head coach Christian Streich. Vicenzo Grifo has proven an astute signing, and the Italian was impressive over the last month with three goals and two assists for SCF.
January is usually a key month in the Bundesliga title race and features a few key fixtures around the top of the table. The winter break also sees some players recover from injuries and a couple of key names are back for the new year.
Borussia Dortmund are boosted in January by the return of Erling Haaland, who has been their best player over the past 12 months since joining from Red Bull Salzburg. Haaland has been linked with a move away due to his prolific scoring record at every level he has played at, but Dortmund are determined to keep him beyond the summer despite the likes of Real Madrid being interested.
After Robert Lewandowski, Bayern Munich’s key player is probably Joshua Kimmich, and they are a much better side when he is in the team – whether it is in midfield or right-back. The Germany international is a leader on the pitch and is back from injury after missing time in December.
RB Leipzig’s title aspirations will be helped by their new signing – yet another transfer from sister club Red Bull Salzburg. Dominik Szoboszlai was one of the best players outside the top five leagues but can now prove himself at the top level in the Bundesliga and the Champions League with the Red Bulls after helping Hungary qualify for the European Championships.