And just like that, a little semblance of normality was restored for football fans over the past few days following the return of the Bundesliga.
Becoming the first of Europe’s Top 5 leagues to return following the two-month hiatus due to coronavirus, it meant we got to enjoy some top-level football over the weekend that bled into our Monday evening as well.
Yes, it’s not quite the same as we’d like it. Fans make the sport what it is so without a packed stadium it does make the occasion feel somewhat odd and lacking, but the fact that we do now have some football to shout about during these times is a testament to both Germany and the Bundesliga.
Match Day 26 certainly was a historic one, so let’s see how it played out:
Match Day Dividend Winners
With six Bundesliga games taking place on Saturday, that meant it was a Silver Match Day, and with Borussia Dortmund in Revierderby action against Schalke 04, Jadon Sancho and Erling Haaland would’ve been expected to trouble Match Day Dividend Standings.
Despite the latter’s goal – the Bundesliga’s first since they returned – it proved to be another Dortmund star that took home Match Day Dividends in the shape of Raphael Guerreiro.
His brace and all-round performance down the left flank for BVB saw him take home both Top Midfielder and Star Player Dividends – £0.08 in total.
Other big winners on Saturday were Borussia Mönchegladbach – 3-1 away to Eintracht Frankfurt – and Herth Berlin – 3-0 away to Hoffenheim – although the remaining two Match Day Dividend winners came from the latter game.
As mentioned in yesterday’s Inside the Index, Sunday’s Bronze Match Day proved to be a Bayern Munich shutout following their 2-0 win against Union Berlin. Robert Lewandowski‘s 40th goal of the season in all competitions saw him earn him Top Forward Dividends, while Joshua Kimmich took home Top Midfielder Dividends.
The day’s big winner was Benjamin Pavard. His third league goal of the season meant he earned both Top Defender and Star Player Dividends, as the Die Roten freight train rolls on into the weekend.
Monday saw the Bundesliga’s final game take place, as Bayer Leverkusen saw off Werder Bremen with consummate ease in the shape of a 4-1 victory.
Despite netting a brace, to take his tally in the league to eight this season, Kai Havertz narrowly missed out on Top Midfielder and Star Player Dividends.
That honour fell to teammate Kerem Demirbay, whose goal, assist and general play in the centre of the park – including an 89% passing accuracy and creation of two chances – saw him earn £0.04 in Match Day Dividends.
A fixture of Peter Bosz’s Bayer Leverkusen side is their attacking dynamism, so it wasn’t so surprising seeing full-back Mitchell Weiser pop up inside the area to head home his side’s third goal, which helped him win Top Defender Dividends.
Bundesliga Top Risers
As the Bundesliga is currently the only one of Europe’s top five leagues in action, then it comes as no surprise that plenty of Traders have looked to Buy Shares in those players prior to the weekend and beyond.
While the usual suspects such as Haaland and Havertz appear in the top 10 in terms of biggest risers by percentage, there are a few interesting names on this list worth noting.
Since arriving at FC. Köln on loan in January, Mark Uth has either scored or assisted in all eight of his games for the Billy Goats. A converted penalty at the weekend means he now has five goals and four assists for his temporary club, with his Share Price increasing by £0.12 over the weekend.
Next is one of the Bundesliga’s signings of the season in Ramy Bensebaini. The versatile full-back was back at it on Saturday with a goal and assist in his side’s 3-1 win as he continues to make a name for himself in Germany’s top tier. And Traders seem to have liked what they saw in the Algerian international, with his Share Price also going up by £0.12.
Finally, it’s Hazard. Not Eden, but his younger brother Thorgan, who has been one of the league’s most creative forces this season. A goal and assist against Schalke represented a good afternoon’s work for the Belgium international, who himself has seen his Share Price increase by £0.09 over the weekend.
As one of five players in the league with 10+ assists this season – 11 to be precise – then he could be a must-have for Traders between now and the end of the season.
We haven’t had In-Play Dividends since March, so it was nice to see this return over the weekend also.
Of all the players to accrue this type of Dividends, only 12 players managed to earn £0.02 or more.
Only Bensebaini managed to earn £0.03 thanks to an assist and goal from the penalty spot.
With him being Gladbach’s designated penalty taker, he might be another player that will tempt Traders into purchasing Shares in him for the next month.
The majority of the list is made up of the big winners over Match Day 26 – Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen – as those sides fight it out at the right end of the table for Champions League places and the title.
What It Means for the Bundesliga Table
There was no change for the top two, as both Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund ran out winners on their return to action, meaning the gap between the two remains just four points.
In fact, four of the Bundesliga’s top five picked up maximum points, with RB Leipzig the only exception following a lacklustre 1-1 draw with SC Freiburg, meaning the gap between themselves in fourth to Bayer Leverkusen in fifth is just one point.
Leverkusen, who have now won seven of their nine games in the Rückrunde (D1 L1), have the chance to enter the top four this weekend when they face an in-form Borussia Mönchengladbach in what is the standout game of Match Day 27, barring the Berlin derby on Friday.
In terms of the bottom end of the table, none of the bottom seven managed to win, with Mainz, Paderborn, and Fortuna Düsseldorf (with the latter two playing one another) securing a point.
For one of the league’s most established sides, time is running out for Werder Bremen. Their 39-year stay in Germany’s top tier looks set to be coming to an end if their 4-1 defeat to Leverkusen is anything to go by, and would need a quick turnaround if they’re to avoid the drop.