August is upon us and all of the major European leagues are kicking off for the 2018/19 season. After a dramatic and exciting World Cup, the biggest stars in the game have returned to their clubs hungry for success in the new campaign. Despite Germany’s poor showing at the World Cup, the Bundesliga remains one of the best leagues in the world. It is the world’s most attended football league with a weekly average attendance of 44,646 in 2017/18 – it is only beaten in sport by American Football’s NFL which has a weekly attendance average of 67,405.
We know that you are planning your perfect European football trip for 2018/19 and football tours to Germany remain hugely popular. Before you book, here is our preview of the 2018/19 Bundesliga season which will help you decide on your destination this season.
Who will challenge Bayern Munich in 2018/19?
Bayern Munich are the keepers of the Bundesliga. Last season was Bayern’s 27th league title and their sixth consecutive championship. 12 out of the last 18 titles have been won by the Bavarian side with only Borussia Dortmund’s three titles and one each from Wolfsburg, Stuttgart and Werder Bremen breaking up the dominance. Led by 29 goal Robert Lewandowski, Bayern looked unstoppable under the guidance of manager Jupp Heynckes. With Niko Kovac taking over, his success last season with Eintracht Frankfurt has left him hungry for even more trophies – his Frankfurt side even beat Bayern in the DFB-Pokal cup final in May 2018.
With the 2018/19 Bayern squad still brimming with supreme quality, the question on everybody’s minds is can any team topple their dominance?
Borussia Dortmund have been the usual challengers to the crown. The Black and Yellows had a magnificent start last season winning the first seven games. Form escaped them after that and they just about finished fourth, clinching a Champions League spot on goal difference. With new manager Lucien Favre, the Dortmund fans are hoping he brings his defensive solidity from Nice to the Signal Iduna Park. However, it is in attack where Dortmund need to strengthen if they want to win the Bundesliga. They are still missing the goals of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and these need to be found in order to be genuine contenders.
Schalke were last season’s runners-up. This was an incredible achievement, considering the club has lost star players such as Leon Goretzka, Leroy Sane and Joel Matip in recent years. This exodus has continued with Max Meyer moving to Crystal Palace on a free transfer this summer. Despite all this, Domenico Tedesco has made the team competitive again. He is eager to keep this going and Schalke will certainly be near the top again this season.
Red Bull Leipzig had a disappointing campaign, as they narrowly missed out on a Champions League place last season. 2016/17 saw them push Bayern Munich all the way, so the squad is very capable of making a big challenge. With Ralf Rangnick returning to the club as manager a few years after he got them into the league in the first place, Leipzig fans are hoping he can bring success back to the club. Their squad still contains Timo Werner, Yussuf Poulsen, Emil Forsberg & Marcel Sabitzer so they have the talent available to challenge the top of the table.
Who are the new Bundesliga teams and how will they fare?
At Football Road Trips, we are excited to see the promotion of Fortuna Dusseldorf to the Bundesliga. A popular football trip abroad with our customers, now you will be able to watch the club take on the best that German football has to offer. Their stadium the Esprit Arena has a capacity of 54,600, and deserves the biggest stage. Their coach Friedhelm Funkel set a new record for a sixth promotion to the top flight as a manager. His stabilising of the club after recent troubles will serve them well in the upcoming season. Star striker Rouwen Hennings will be hoping to bring his form to the Bundesliga to keep his side up.
FC Nurnberg return to the Bundesliga after their relegation back in 2014. They are one of the most successful teams in Germany having won the German Championship nine times (including one Bundesliga title) as well as four DFB-Pokal titles. Michael Kollner’s young squad has mostly been retained with few new faces. Some new transfers will be needed if they hope to stay in the top flight.
Teams to Watch in Bundesliga 2018/19
Hoffenheim finished third last season and will be looking to surprise the big teams once again. The loss of Mark Uth is huge and his 17 goals will be missed. However, 31-year-old manager Julian Nagelsmann is desperate to continue their success before he joins RB Leipzig next year.
Bayer Leverkusen finished 5th last season, just missing out on the Champions League but will be in the Europa League this season. They have added good additions to their squad including Mitchell Weiser and Lukas Hradecky and Paulinho as they aim to return to the Champions League or even challenge for the title.
Eintracht Frankfurt’s DFB-Pokal win has them hungry for more success. The transfers of Felix Wiedwald and Goncalo Paciencia will help support the likes of Ante Rebic and Sebastien Haller as they hope to challenge for Champions League positions this term.
Our Bundesliga Prediction
Bayern Munich look unstoppable. The signing of Leon Goretzka has only added to their plethora of talent. With James Rodriguez staying on loan from Real Madrid, it is hard to look past Bayern for retaining their league crown again. Dortmund, Schalke and Leverkusen should make up the rest of the top four.
- Bayern Munich
- Borussia Dortmund
- Bayer Leverkusen
Without quality additions, the newly promoted clubs will struggle. Fortuna Dusseldorf have a better chance as their squad has just enough quality to survive at least the relegation play-off. Freiburg were just above the relegation places last season, but they lack the squad required to survive this season.
- Fortuna Dusseldorf
- FC Nurnberg
Football Tours to Germany
You can find all of our Football Road Trips to Germany in our packages. With trips added to watch Schalke and Borussia Monchengladbach this season, there is no better time to watch top quality German football than now.