It will be a relief for so many people when the Bundesliga gets back underway. After such a long period of time without any football being played, fans of the beautiful game around the world were left delighted when it was announced that the Bundesliga would be resuming on May 16th. Of course, games will be played behind closed doors for now, but it’s a chance to enjoy the once taken for granted treat of live football on television.
And it will be a treat indeed, because the Bundesliga title race is looking like it’s going to be a close-run thing. Bayern Munich lead the way – as you would expect given that they’ve won the title for seven years running – but Borussia Dortmund are just four points behind in second place.
Sitting in third, however, are RB Leipzig, who perhaps would never have anticipated being involved in a title race when the season began. Indeed, they led the league for a while at the beginning of the season, and have fought tooth and nail to stay in contention throughout the campaign. The current Bundesliga football odds reflect the fact that they are third favourites to win the title, but stranger things have happened in football.
Before the league was suspended as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, Leipzig had hit a bit of a rough patch, with a couple of draws meaning that Dortmund were able to leapfrog them in the table. But the return of football after such a long absence means that form essentially goes out the window, with all teams starting at square one as far as match readiness is concerned.
It’s not only the Bundesliga where Leipzig have made waves this season. Before the Champions League campaign was suspended, they knocked out last season’s runners up Tottenham Hotspur to secure a quarter-final berth. With the competition up in the air for the time being, it would be a shame if Leipzig were to be denied the chance to compete in the last eight of Europe’s premier club competition. That said, the experiences this Leipzig side have gained this season will stand them in good stead for another deep run in the Champions League in the future.
Whether they can oust Bayern Munich from the helm of the Bundesliga is another question. There’s no denying the talent in their squad with players like Christopher Nkunku, Marcel Sabitzer, Emil Forsberg and Timo Werner. Indeed, Werner has been the subject of many transfer rumours linking him with a move to Premier League champions-elect Liverpool. His goals have been one of the keys to Leipzig’s success in the Bundesliga this season, and they’ll be hoping he can hit the ground running once the action gets underway again.
In Julian Nagelsmann, they have a manager who looks to be the real deal. He has consistently proven his talents over the last few years, and while some may take a cynical view of the club’s ownership structure, it still requires a talented coach to bring it all together and create a winning team. Nagelsmann has done a fine job thus far, but you can bet that his eyes will be firmly set on a maiden Bundesliga title. If Leipzig could achieve that feat, and knock Bayern Munich off their perch, then it would perhaps be time to herald the arrival of a new force in European football.