Born in the south east of Ireland, Simon put his life-long love of football to good use when he started a successful independent blog in 2010. That opened up an alternative route to a career in journalism, and having had work published across a number of sites and publications, Simon joined the staff at Spotlight Sports Group in 2018.
The Bundesliga has been given the green light to resume after a lengthy coronavirus-induced shutdown, and Germany’s top-flight will make a welcome return to pitches and screens this weekend.
With over a quarter of the season left to contest, there is plenty to play for in the 2019/20 campaign, and the battle for points and places between now and the end of the season promises to be equal parts thrilling and tense.
Ahead of the action, we’ve put together a two-part Bundesliga team by team guide to give you some quick-fire information detailing what you should expect from each of the competing clubs from here on in.
First up, we’re taking a look at the division’s current top nine. Check it out below.
You can read part two of our Bundesliga guide focusing on the league’s bottom nine teams here.
Remember – we’ll be covering all the the German top-flight action extensively with match previews and tips on our Bundesliga predictions page.
Manager: Hansi Flick
Top Scorer: Robert Lewandowski (25 goals)
Key Player: Robert Lewandowski – The Polish international continues to be Bayern’s main man and star performer, hitting an eye-watering 25 league goals in just 23 appearances this season.
- The defending champions were in blistering form before the club football hiatus, winning 10 out of 11 matches in all competitions.
- The rapid-firing Bavarians are averaging a little under 3.0 goals per 90 minutes of Bundesliga action so far this term.
- Over 2.5 goals were registered in an impressive 84% of Bayern’s total Bundesliga fixtures in 2019/20 to date.
- Bayern quite often take a little while to get going at home against the tightly packed defences deployed by visiting teams. In fact, the Bavarians scored 68% of their Bundesliga goals at home in the second half of their games in Munich.
- Serge Gnabry is Bayern’s only other player in double figures for the season in the Bundesliga (11).
Manager: Lucien Favre
Top Scorer: Jadon Sancho (14 goals)
Key Player: Marco Reus – Young hot-shots Jadon Sancho and Erling Haaland get most of the headlines, but Marco Reus remains an equally vital player for Lucien Favre. The 30-year-old has contributed 11 goals and five assists in only 18 Bundesliga starts this season.
- Dortmund have built a reputation as one of Germany’s most attacking teams, however, defensively they are also surprisingly strong. At home, they have won to nil this season in 58% of their games – that’s the highest figure in the Bundesliga.
- When der BVB are on the road, the goals usually flow. Over 2.5 goals were scored in 93% of their away matches in the Bundesliga since August, with over 3.5 goals registered in 75% of those games.
- Dortmund hold the Bundesliga’s only unbeaten home record so far this season. However, four defeats in 13 away games points to a slight weakness on the road.
- Dortmund tend to do most of their damage in the second half of their games. 66% of their 68 Bundesliga goals this season were plundered in the second period.
- With just 25 yellows and one red card, Dortmund are statistically the best-behaved team in the Bundesliga this season.
Manager: Julian Nagelsmann
Top Scorer: Timo Werner (21 goals)
Key Player: Marcel Sabitzer– the versatile 26-year-old midfielder packs a punch from deep areas for RB Leipzig and has provided Die Roten Bullen with 15 goals in all competitions this season.
- With just five points between RB Leipzig and top spot, Die Roten Bullen are firmly in the title race.
- RB Leipzig have been good value against the league’s bigger teams this season, taking 12 points in total from games against their main rivals.
- Only Bayern Munich (26) have taken more points on their travels than RB Leipzig (25) this term.
- RB Leipzig have been the late-goal experts this season, registering 18 times in the last 15 minutes of their league games in 2019/20 – more than any other team in the division.
- Interestingly, both teams scored in 83% of RB Leipzig’s Bundesliga home contests since the campaign got under way in August 2019.
Manager: Marco Rose
Top Scorer: Alassane Pléa (8 goals)
Key Player: Denis Zakarai – The glue that holds the Gladbach midfield together, Swiss international Zakaria is rumoured to be on the radar of a number of Premier League clubs.
- Having just missed out on Champions League qualification last season, 4th placed Gladbach will be determined to go one better this year.
- Die Fohlen have a number of quality young players to keep an eye out for alongside Zakaria, including Marcus Thuram, Laszlo Benes and Nico Elvedi.
- The stats suggest Gladbach tend to play much more aggressively at home. They picked up 33 cards in their games at the BORUSSIA-PARK this season and just 27 away.
- The numbers also show that one in four of Monchengladbach’s goals this season have come via a set piece.
- Marco Rose’s men have performed quite poorly against other members of the Bundesliga’s top six this season, taking just eight points from eight games in matches versus their nearest rivals.
Manager: Peter Bosz
Top Scorer: Kevin Volland (9 goals)
Key Player: Prized asset and schemer Kai Havertz remains in demand and one to watch, though the 20-year-old’s output has been less impressive this season. He’s notched six goals and five assists in 2019/20 compared to 17 goals and three assists last term.
- Leverkusen won seven of their 12 Bundesliga away games in the first part of the season, making them the third most threatening away team in the division behind Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig.
- Hertha Berlin and Gladbach are the only teams to have toppled Bayer on their own patch in the league so far this term. Leverkusen are yet to welcome Bayern Munich to the BayArena, though they have already beaten Borussia Dortmund there (4-3).
- Bayer like an early goal. Die Werkself have scored 10 times already this season inside the first 15 minutes of their Bundesliga games. Only Bayern Munich (15) have scored more.
- Leverkusen forward Kevin Volland might not hit stellar goal scoring numbers, but it isn’t for the want of trying. The 27-year-old ranks 4th in the Bundesliga this season for average attempts per game (3.1).
- Leverkusen won a sensational 12 out of 14 games in all competitions just before the enforced break.
Manager: David Wagner
Top Scorer: Suat Serdar (7 goals)
Key Player: Bastian Oczipka – a steady, reliable influence, the 31-year-old left-back has been an ever present in the Bundesliga for Schalke this season, and his performances were rewarded with an extended contract earlier this year.
- Schalke currently occupy the final European qualification place in the Bundesliga, but with just two points separating them in 6th from Hoffenheim in 9th, they have a real battle on to hold on to their position.
- With just 33 goals in 25 Bundesliga games, Schalke’s output in the final third has been modest. In fact, only Augsburg and Hertha have registered fewer attempts on goal per game on average this season.
- Under 2.5 goals were scored in 44% of Schalke’s league matches in 2019/20 – the joint highest figure in the division.
- Schalke are the only team in the Bundesliga that hasn’t scored inside the first 15 minutes of any game this season.
- It’s also worth noting that 69% of the total goals scored in Schalke’s league matches in 2019/20, were registered in the second half of their fixtures.
Manager: Oliver Glasner
Top Scorer: Wout Weghorst (11 goals)
Key Player: Maximilian Arnold – the home grown, classy midfield operator is Wolfsburg’s leading assists provider this season (five) and has played more key passes on average per game (2.4) than any of his teammates.
- Only six Bundesliga clubs have scored fewer goals than Wolfsburg so far this season (34 goals).
- Die Wölfe have been solid in defence however, and carry the Bundesliga’s joint 3rd best defensive record into the final weeks of the season.
- Wolfsburg’s performances at the Volkswagen Arena have been disappointing this term. They won just four of their first 13 Bundesliga matches there earlier this season.
- Over 2.5 goals were scored in just 44% of Wolfsburg’s Bundesliga fixtures in 2019/20 – that’s the lowest figure in the entire competition.
- Wolfsburg scored one or fewer goals in 16 different Bundesliga matches this season.
Manager: Christian Streich
Top Scorer: Nils Petersen (8 goals)
Key Player: Robin Koch – 23-year-old centre half Koch has anchored Freiburg’s three-man defence for much of the season. the ex-German under-21 international has missed just one Bundesliga game all year.
- After a season littered with inconsistencies, Freiburg still have a shot at achieving qualification for European football this season. The Breisgau-Brasilianer are currently 8th, just a point off Schalke in that all-important 6th place.
- Freiburg’s home matches generally start at a snail’s pace. Remarkably, just three goals have been scored inside 30 minutes in Bundesliga matches at the Schwarzwald-Stadion this season.
- Christian Streich’s side has lacked oomph at home for much of the season, averaging just 1.33 goals per 90 minutes in front of their fans overall this season. Freiburg scored one or fewer goals in six of their last seven Bundesliga assignments on their own patch.
- Holding midfielder Nicolas Höfler has been the team’s designated hatchet man this term. The 30-year-old has been shown yellow seven times in the Bundesliga this term, five of which were picked up in away games.
- Nils Petersen has proved a talismanic figure on the road for Freiburg this season, hitting six of his eight Bundesliga goals in his team’s away contests.
Manager: Alfred Schreuder
Top Scorer: Andrej Kramaric (7 goals)
Key Player: Robert Skov– Denmark’s answer to Gareth Bale, Skov has enjoyed a steady start to life in Germany during his first campaign with Hoffenheim, notching three goals and four assist in 21 league starts.
- Hoffenheim are in 9th spot ahead of the final weeks of the season, though they are just two points shy of Schalke in the Bundesliga’s last European qualification place (6th).
- If you’re looking for action, then Hoffenheim’s matches at the Rhein-Neckar-Arena are worth checking out. 85% of Bundesliga games there this season have seen over 2.5 goals.
- Hoffenheim (10) have scored fewer first half goals than any other Bundesliga club so far in 2019/20 however.
- Die Kraichgauer have taken more points on the road (19) than they have amassed at home this term (16).
- Hoffenheim have had a nose for the big occasion in 2019/20. Alfred Schreuder beat Bayern Munich, Schalke, Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen earlier this season.
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