While we wait for official word that the Premier League is returning here in the UK, sport is beginning to resume across the world in the hope that the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic is behind us. One of the first football leagues to return is the German Bundesliga.
Suspended after Matchday 25, the Bundesliga is set to return, barring any unforeseen circumstances, this weekend with the aim of completing the final nine Matchdays of the season by the end of June. With that in mind, we at Grosvenor Sport have taken a look at the key player to watch for each Bundesliga team ahead of Saturday’s return to action.
Key Player to Watch: Robert Lewandowski, Striker
Probably the best player in the entire division, Robert Lewandowski has been one of Europe’s elite strikers for the best part of a decade now, with 233 goals across all competitions for Dortmund and Bayern Munich since 2010. With 25 goals in 23 games before the league was suspended, the 31-year-old was on course to secure his fifth Bundesliga Golden Boot and third in a row.
Key Player to Watch: Jadon Sancho, Winger
The 20-year-old winder has rapidly become one of the finest young talents in world football with Europe’s biggest clubs chasing his signature. Capped 11 times by England, Sancho’s 15 assists ranks second-highest in the Bundesliga this season, while also contributing 14 goals to Dortmund’s title challenge.
Key Player to Watch: Timo Werner, Striker
One of the most in-demand strikers in Europe right now, Timo Werner has already notched his second 20-goal campaign of his career with 21 goals in 25 games prior to the season being postponed. The 24-year-old has been linked with Liverpool and Chelsea to name a few and will be looking to end the season with a flourish if he is to secure a summer move.
Key Player to Watch: Alassane Plea, Striker
Currently leading the ‘best of the rest’ race for the final Champions League qualification spot, Monchengladbach are led by French striker Plea who has eight goals and seven assists to his name this season. The 2018 recruit from Nice is knocking on the door of a return to the France international squad.
Key Player to Watch: Kai Havertz, Midfielder
The 20-year-old creative midfielder enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2018/19 where he tallied 17 goals and four assists in the Bundesliga, but has seen a dip in his production this season, with just six goals and five assists for Leverkusen in their Champions League push. Havertz has been linked with a big money move to the Premier League off the back of his displays.
Key Player to Watch: Amine Harit, Midfielder
With no player amassing more than seven goals across all competitions, Schalke truly are a team that are greater than the sum of their parts, but one of their bright young talents is at the heart of their success. 22-year-old Amine Harit has contributed six goals and four assists in 24 Bundesliga appearances this season.
Key Player to Watch: Wout Weghorst, Striker
As Wolfsburg look for a return to European football sitting just one point behind sixth-placed Schalke, the goals of Wout Weghorst will surely go a long way towards them securing that Europa League spot. With 11 goals in the Bundesliga already, Weghorst is establishing himself as one of the best finishers in the division.
Key Player to Watch: Robin Koch, Defender
The 23-year-old has enjoyed a breakthrough season with Freiburg anchoring the defence, scoring twice in 26 games across all competitions thus far. Koch’s displays attracted the attention of Joachim Lowe who included him in his last two international squads prior to the season being suspended.
Key Player to Watch: Andrej Kramaric, Striker
Despite being ninth, Hoffenheim are just two points back of sixth-placed Schalke and have it all to play for down the stretch. Having missed the first seven league games of the season due to injury, former Leicester striker Kramaric hit the ground running, with seven goals and three assists in the 14 Bundesliga appearances he’s made this season and his goals will be the defining factor of their season.
Key Player to Watch: Jhon Cordoba, Striker
Just five points back of Schalke, Koln have an outside sniff of making Europe next season but need to rediscover the form they found prior to the season being suspended, winning four of their last six games. The goals of Jhon Cordoba have been instrumental in that run, with the 27-year-old sitting on 10 for the campaign to date.
Key Player to Watch: Sebastian Andersson, Striker
Enjoying their debut season in the Bundesliga, Union Berlin are comfortably mid-table, eight points clear of the relegation play-off spot and seven back of a Europa League qualification position. Striker Sebastian Anderson has been undoubtedly their star player this season with 11 goals in 25 appearances.
Key Player to Watch: Filip Kostic, Winger
Frankfurt qualified for the Europa League last season but have been unable to replicate the success this season, not for the want of trying from star winger Filip Kostic. The 27-year-old has nine goals and 11 assists across all competitions so far this season and could be the latest player on the move in the summer after both Luka Jovic and Sebastien Haller left a year ago.
Key Player to Watch: Matheus Cunha, Striker
Just six points above the drop, Hertha Berlin are at risk of being sucked into a relegation dogfight when the Bundesliga returns, and they will be hoping that Matheus Cunha can guide them up the table. The 20-year-old Brazilian joined from Leipzig for £16m in January and was only able to make four league appearances for Hertha prior to the season being suspended, but scored twice and provided an assist in those appearances.
Key Player to Watch: Philipp Max, Left-back
Three-time German international Max remains one of Augsburg’s most important players as they look to avoid relegation. Having failed to win any of their last five Bundesliga games prior to the season being suspended – losing four – Augsburg are trending in the wrong direction. Max has five goals and seven assists on the campaign thus far and is key to providing leading striker Florian Niederlechner with opportunities to score as well, with the 29-year-old already boasting 11 goals this season.
Key Player to Watch: Robin Quaison, Striker
Just one place and four points above the relegation play-off place, Mainz are the most at risk of being drawn into a scrap at the bottom. The one shining light of their season has been the performances of striker Robin Quaison. The 26-year-old Sweden international has 12 Bundesliga goals this season and will be relied upon to maintain that record if they’re to beat the drop.
Key Player to Watch: Erik Thommy, Winger
Four points adrift of safety and only four points clear of an automatic relegation spot, Fortuna Dusseldorf have their work cut out for them. 26-year-old winger Erik Thommy has been their best performer this season with five goals and four assists in 25 Bundesliga appearances, but they will need more if they are to beat the drop.
Key Player to Watch: Milot Rashica, Winger
Without a win in six Bundesliga games, losing five, Bremen are eight points adrift of Mainz and safety. In a season of few bright spots, 23-year-old forward Milot Rashica has offered some cause for optimism. His seven goals and four assists this season are the best in both categories for the entire squad.
Key Player to Watch: Dennis Srbeny, Striker
Without a win in six and boasting just one league win since the turn of the year, Paderborn, 10 points adrift of safety, look resigned to returning to the 2. Bundesliga next season. Two years after leaving the club for Norwich, striker Dennis Srbeny returned to Paderborn in January and has bagged four goals in eight games. If they are to survive, they will need Srbeny to replicate that form and then some.
Are you excited for the return of the Bundesliga this weekend? Who do you think will win the league and who do you think will be relegated? Let us know in the comments below.