Bundesliga 2019-20: Why Omnisport's panel think it will be Dortmund's year

By Sports Desk August 16, 2019

Halfway through last season, Borussia Dortmund were in pole position to dethrone Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga.

The new year saw Lucien Favre's bright young side falter just enough for Bayern's know how to tell, with Niko Kovac's men claiming a seventh successive top-flight crown.

But it means the anticipation is for a memorable tussle once again this time around, with the processions of recent campaigns hopefully a thing of the past. Throw in an ambitious chasing pack and you have quite a spectacle.

Before the first ball is kicked, five Omnisport journalists have put their necks on the line with some top-four predictions.

We totted up the overall scores and here's what we came up with. Apologies in advance to all at Signal Iduna Park…

 

1st – Borussia Dortmund

Unlike our near-unanimous choice for Manchester City to be Premier League champions, the panel was understandably split down the middle over who will prevail out of Dortmund and Bayern. BVB just got the edge.

STRENGTHS: Wonderful attacking quality, expertly coached by Favre, which is now bolstered by the arrivals of Julian Brandt and Thorgan Hazard. The returning Mats Hummels – alongside the likes of the talismanic Marco Reus and Axel Witsel – ensures a pleasing blend between experience and future stars.

WEAKNESSES: Can they handle the pressure better than last time around? Hummels is a fine addition but has a significant job on his hands to shore up a vulnerable defence in front of the gifted but error-prone Roman Burki.

2nd – Bayern Munich

Despite an unconvincing close season in the transfer market, defined by the unseemly Leroy Sane saga, it remains hard to back against the Bundesliga's dominant force. But we have!

STRENGTHS: Supreme title-winning pedigree and, although lacking some of the depth they would like, the best collection of individual players in the league. Robert Lewandowski is going for a fifth Torjagerkanone, while there are signs Manuel Neuer might be back to his best.

WEAKNESSES: Light in attack after the departures of club greats Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben. Significant doubts remain over whether Kovac is the right man from the job, seemingly from the terraces to boardroom level. As such, Uli Hoeness' mooted departure as chairman could lead to turmoil.

3rd – RB Leipzig

German football's new kids on the block were the only other a unanimous choice to finish inside the top four.

STRENGTHS: Julian Nagelsmann has cast himself as a generational coaching talent and should be the man to take last season's beaten DFB-Pokal finalists on to the next level. They have bought shrewdly by bringing in the likes of Christopher Nkunku and Ademola Lookman.

WEAKNESSES: The distraction of star forward Timo Werner entering the final year of his contract. Adapting to Nagelsmann's detailed pressing system is likely to be a challenge.

4th – Bayer Leverkusen

Peter Bosz's time in charge of Dortmund might have ended abruptly but he is doing plenty to convince with a vibrant Leverkusen side.

STRENGTHS: Kai Havertz scored 20 goals in all competitions last season and is a superstar-in-waiting. They have bought well, with Moussa Diaby an exciting replacement for Brandt. The arrival of Hoffenheim duo Kerem Demirbay and Nadiem Amiri also strengthens Bosz's hand significantly.

WEAKNESSES: The coach's system is always likely to lead to defensive vulnerability and there is a lack of quality cover for Jonathan Tah and Sven Bender at centre-back.

Related items

  • Bayern injury blow as Alaba suffers thigh tear Bayern injury blow as Alaba suffers thigh tear

    David Alaba is set to miss the start of Bayern Munich's Champions League campaign after tearing a muscle in his left thigh.

    The 27-year-old suffered the injury in the warm-up before Bayern's 1-1 draw at RB Leipzig on Saturday.

    Jerome Boateng replaced him in the starting XI, with Lucas Hernandez moving to the left side of defence.

    Bayern did not confirm a timeline for Alaba's return but head coach Niko Kovac will have to weigh up his options for Wednesday's home clash against Red Star Belgrade.

    "Bayern will be without David Alaba for a spell after the Austria international tore a muscle in his left thigh while warming up for Saturday's top Bundesliga match away to RB Leipzig," the club confirmed in a statement.

    Linked to Barcelona during the close season, Alaba started each of Bayern's opening three Bundesliga fixtures and scored in the 6-1 thrashing of Mainz last month.

    The German champions remain two points behind leaders Leipzig, while Borussia Dortmund sit second.

  • Alcacer: People treated me very badly at Barcelona Alcacer: People treated me very badly at Barcelona

    Paco Alcacer accused "many people" of treating him badly at Barcelona ahead of a Champions League reunion with his former club.

    The Spain international left Barca for Borussia Dortmund on loan at the start of last season and made the move permanent in February.

    Alcacer quickly proved a hit in Germany, scoring 18 goals in his first Bundesliga campaign, and already boasts seven in all competitions this term.

    That form gives the striker the chance to prove a point to those who doubted him when Barca visit Signal Iduna Park on Tuesday.

    "I'll decide in the moment," Alcacer told SER Catalunya when questioned on whether he would celebrate scoring.

    "I have respect for many people there. Many peopled behaved very well with me but many people behaved very badly. My team-mates and the fans treated me well.

    "As in any job, if people trust you, you give your best, and if they don't trust you, you don't give it.

    "It's very important for me to see those signs of trust and in the end many people did not show it."

    Alcacer made 37 LaLiga appearances in his two seasons with Barca, 23 of them from the bench.

    The former Valencia forward generally served as Luis Suarez's understudy in an attack containing Lionel Messi, who has yet to feature this season due to injury.

    Alcacer was asked about Messi's influence at Camp Nou and said: "It's clear that a player of that level is important for the team and for the club.

    "You will always ask for his opinion and listen to him.

    "Hopefully he will play next weekend, against Granada, and not against us!"

  • Manning Cup rookies thrashed, Excelsior returns to winning ways Manning Cup rookies thrashed, Excelsior returns to winning ways

    Excelsior High school recovered from their opening-day loss to defending champions Kingston College to comprehensively defeat Dunoon Technical in action from Saturday’s games.

    In other games on Saturday St Andrew Technical were the biggest winners, handing Northern Technical a 12-0 beating that wasn’t the best welcome they could have envisioned to the competition.

    St George’s College, perennial contenders, also started well, destroying Ardenne High 5-1, while St Catherine High were massive 8-1 winners over Oberlin.

    Cumberland edged St Jago High 1-0 in a St Catherine derby, while Kingston High and Charlie Smith played out a 1-1 draw. Denham Town were not in the mood to give anything away, beating Ascot 1-0, while the Kingston College train kept rolling with the 5-0 schellacking of Pembroke Hall.

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.