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Bundesliga - Football: Season preview

03 August 2022 12:35:20 EST
Patrik Schick scored 24 Bundesliga goals last season

The 2022/23 Bundesliga starts on Friday as Bayern Munich bid to extend their decade of dominance in the German top flight.

 

Bayern won their 10th consecutive Bundesliga title last season but this term they will have to cope without star striker Robert Lewandowski, the top goalscorer in Germany in each of the past five campaigns, who has joined Barcelona.

Sadio Mane has arrived from Liverpool to bolster the Bayern attack and the champions are 1.16 to retain their title, with 9.00 Borussia Dortmund and 34.00 RB Leipzig leading the chasing pack.

What:Bundesliga 2022/23
Where:Germany
When:5th August 2022 - 27th May 2023
How to watch:Selected fixtures live on Sky Sports
Odds:Bayern Munich 1.16, Borussia Dortmund 9.00, RB Leipzig 34.00, Bayer Leverkusen 81.00, Borussia Monchengladbach 81.00

Defensive improvement key to Dortmund title bid

Bayern won the league by 12 points from Dortmund last season and their record against their closest challengers was outstanding.

The champions took 34 points from a possible 36 against the rest of the top seven, scoring 41 goals in those 12 matches, but four of their five league defeats came against bottom-half teams and they also suffered a shock Champions League quarter-final defeat to Villarreal.

Youthful coach Julian Nagelsmann will demand more ruthlessness from his team this season and his forwards need to step up after the departure of Lewandowski, who scored 34, 41 and 35 league goals in his last three seasons in Munich.

As well as Mane, Juventus centre-back Matthijs de Ligt and Ajax talents Ryan Gravenberch and Noussair Mazraoui have joined the German champions while Dortmund lost star man Erling Braut Haaland to Manchester City.

BVB, runners-up in three of the past four seasons, are 9.00 to claim their first title since 2011/12 and 1.90 to win the Bundesliga without Bayern.

They averaged 3.06 goals per game at home but they may have to temper their gung-ho approach after Haaland's exit and focus on tightening up in defence.

Dortmund kept only seven clean sheets in 34 league matches last term, conceding six goals in home and away defeats to Bayern and suffering heavy home losses against Leipzig (4-1) and third-placed Bayer Leverkusen (5-2).

The signings of centre-backs Niklas Sule from Bayern and Nico Schlotterbeck from Freiburg should help coach Edin Terzic strike a better balance between attack and defence and BVB look the main dangers to an 11th straight championship for Bayern.

Leverkusen forwards look full of goals

RB Leipzig finished third in the Bundesliga in 2018/19 and 2019/20 and second in 2020/21 but a difficult start to last season left them in fourth position with a modest total of 58 points.

They picked up well after Domenico Tedesco succeeded Jesse Marsch as coach in December, securing Champions League qualification, winning the DFB-Pokal, and reaching the Europa League semi-finals, where they were surprisingly beaten by Rangers.

Much depends on whether Leipzig's French forward Christopher Nkunku maintains his superb form of 2021/22. They are 2.00 to finish in the top four again but progressive Bayer Leverkusen make more appeal in that market at 4.00.

They played some excellent football under coach Gerard Seoane last term, despite losing brilliant youngster Florian Wirtz to a knee injury. Wirtz will miss the start of the season but Czech striker Patrik Schick and France winger Moussa Diaby are classy attackers and big things are expected of Schick's 20-year-old compatriot Adam Hlozek.

Last season's top four are expected to dominate the race for Champions League places again although Eintracht Frankfurt, who beat Rangers on penalties in last season's Europa League final, are 5.50 to crash the party.

Related Bundesliga News

Bayern lay down marker with Mane move

Mane tipped for prolific debut campaign

With Lewandowski and Haaland heading off to terrorise defences in La Liga and the Premier League, Mane is 6.00 to be the Bundesliga's top scorer in his first season at Bayern.

That price looks a little short for a player who may need time to settle after eight seasons in England and who will also have a major role to play for Senegal at the mid-season World Cup in Qatar.

Leverkusen's Schick, joint-top scorer at Euro 2020, fired in 24 Bundesliga goals in just 27 appearances last season and he appeals at 11.00 to top the scoring charts in 2022/23.

Schick, Leipzig's Nkunku and Cologne's Anthony Modeste all reached 20 Bundesliga goals last term despite scoring only one penalty apiece so punters should not be afraid to back players who are not on regular spot-kick duty.

Dortmund fans will be hoping they have unearthed another superstar in 20-year-old Karim Adeyemi, who scored 19 goals in 24 league starts for Salzburg in Austria last season.

Adeyemi scored his first goal for Germany in a World Cup qualifier against Armenia in September 2021 and could be worth an each-way bet at 51.00 to be top scorer in the Bundesliga. He is 3.25 to score at least 20 goals in his first season in the German top flight.

Promoted pair aiming to prolong top-flight stay

Schalke and Werder Bremen return to the Bundesliga this season and the promoted clubs are prominent in the relegation betting.

Schalke are 2.50 to go straight back down and Werder are 13.00 to have a one-season stay in the top flight but Bochum at 1.25 look the most vulnerable team, despite finishing 13th last season.

They lacked firepower in 2021/22, averaging just 1.12 goals per game, and given that 10-goal top scorer Sebastian Polter has left for Schalke it is no surprise to see them rated as favourites for the drop alongside 2.20 Augsburg.

Hertha Berlin, who beat Hamburg 2-1 on aggregate in last season's relegation playoff, are 3.25 to go down. However, it is a competitive heat and even last term's overachievers Union Berlin 101.00, Freiburg 67.00 and Cologne 10.00, who finished fifth, sixth and seventh in 2021/22, cannot take their top-flight status for granted.

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