It’s back. After 65 days without it, football finally returned in the shape of the Bundesliga over the weekend.
Yes, it wasn’t quite the same as usual. No fans were allowed either inside or outside the stadium, substitutes had face masks on and goal celebrations had to incorporate social distancing measures, but it meant we were able to see some football after over two months without it.
In terms of the top five leagues in Europe, the Bundesliga is one of the most exciting. The title race is set to be a close-run one between Der Klassiker duo Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, while Borussia Monchengladbach and RB Leipzig remain very much on their coattails.
The battle for a European place, both for Champions League and Europa League remains incredibly close, while at the wrong end of the table Werder Bremen are hoping their 39th consecutive season in Germany’s top tier doesn’t end in relegation.
Following a weekend that contained live football, here’s what’s happened on the Index.
Friday 15th May Media Day Winners:
- First Place: Lionel Messi (5p)
- Second Place: Harry Kane (3p)
- Third Place: Neymar (1p)
- Fourth Place: Jadon Sancho (1p)
- Fifth Place: Troy Deeney (1p)
Saturday 16th May Silver Match Day Winners:
- Star Player: Raphael Guerreiro (4p)
- Top Defender: Jordan Torunarigha (4p)
- Top Midfielder: Raphael Guerreiro (4p)
- Top Forward: Vedad Ibisevic (4p)
FIVE-Place Media Winners:
- First Place: Erling Braut Haaland (5p)
- Second Place: Jadon Sancho (3p)
- Third Place: Timo Werner (1p)
- Fourth Place: Fred (1p)
- Fifth Place: Paul Pogba (1p)
Sunday 17th May Bronze Match Day Winners:
- Star Player: Benjamin Pavard (2p)
- Top Defender: Benjamin Pavard (2p)
- Top Midfielder: Joshua Kimmich (2p)
- Top Forward: Robert Lewandowski (2p)
FIVE-Place Media Winners:
- First Place: Wayne Rooney (5p)
- Second Place: Cristiano Ronaldo (3p)
- Third Place: Mohamed Salah (1p)
- Fourth Place: Jadon Sancho (1p)
- Fifth Place: Nani (1p)
Borussia Dortmund Earn Derby Day Spoils
Despite the two-month layoff, it didn’t look to effect Borussia Dortmund as they ran out 4-0 winners against Schalke in the Revierderby.
The honour of scoring the first goal back fell to Erling Haaland (£8.29), who has done what he’s always done this season and be on hand to finish a cross from Thorgan Hazard (£1.77) for his 10th Bundesliga goal in just nine games.
Hazard also managed to get himself on the scoresheet, with his goal sandwiched between a brace for Raphael Guerreiro (£1.70).
Said brace meant the Portuguese international took home the day’s Star Player and Top Midfielder Dividends following a fine display down the left flank for BVB, while his price in the last seven days has increased by 20p.
It was an important win for Lucien Favre’s side in the race for the Bundesliga title, especially as Bayern Munich won the following day, with the pair set to face one another in little over a week’s time.
Easy 40 for Robert Lewandowski
Goalscoring milestones have become the norm for Robert Lewandowski (£2.46) such is his potency in front of goal. The Pole got back to what he does best on Sunday when he netted from the spot to open the scoring for Die Roten in their 2-0 win over Union Berlin.
His 26th Bundesliga goal of the season was, in fact, his 40th in all competitions this season, meaning he’s now reached that tally in each of the last five campaigns. Add to that the Top Foward Dividends he earned, then Sunday proved to be a fruitful one for the 31-year-old.
The day, in general, was exclusively Bayern in terms of Match Day Dividends, as Benjamin Pavard (£2.07), who has enjoyed a 16p price increase in the last 24 hours took home the Star Player and Top Defender Dividends.
Meanwhile, Joshua Kimmich (£4.16), whose price has risen by 9p earned the Top Midfielder Dividends as he helped Bayern Munich restore their four-point lead at the summit of the Bundesliga.
Fine Run for Mark Uth Continues
Mark Uth (£1.03) has been a revelation for FC Köln since his arrival on loan in January after a less than enjoyable start to the season at parent club Schalke.
The 28-year-old maintained his record of either scoring or assisting in every game for his new club with a converted penalty against Mainz at the weekend in their 2-2 draw.
It means he now has five goals and four assists in eight games, while a 6p increase in his price over the last 24 hours suggests Traders are hoping his run of form continues.
Some Individual Bundesliga Brilliance
The return of football over the weekend meant we got to see some high-quality goals once again, although two pieces of individual brilliance stood out above the rest.
The first came on Saturday, as Hertha Berlin’s Matheus Cunha (£1.89) managed to outmuscle and outfox Hoffenheim’s Kevin Akpoguma (£0.31) near the corner flag, before finishing to add some gloss to his side’s 3-0 win.
The 20-year-old has seen his price increase by 5p in the last 24 hours, and by 26p in the last week, so he could be one to keep an eye on.
If that was good, then Sunday’s effort from Pierre Kunde (£0.40) for Mainz may eclipse it. After picking up the ball just inside FC Köln’s half, he found a direct route through them before calmly finishing past Timo Horn (£0.25) to rescue a point.
Like Cunha, Kunda has also experienced a price rise of 4p in the last 24 hours.
Hopefully, there are many more goals like these to come over the next few weeks.
Premier League Trio Chase Talented Italian
It wouldn’t be Inside the Index without some transfer news, with some of today’s column inches decided to AS Roma’s talented Italian midfielder Nicolo Zaniolo (£2.54).
The 20-year-old, who has four goals and one assist in Serie A this season, is attracting the interest of Premier League sides such as Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur, with the Italian side set to sell one of their major assets to offset their reported £250m debt.
Zaniolo, who tore his anterior cruciate ligament in December, is a forward-thinking midfielder and deemed by many as one of the future stars of Italian football.
His price has risen by 2p in the last 24 hours following the speculation and could be a name to keep an eye on once the transfer window opens.
*All Share Prices, rises and falls accurate at time of writing