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2012/13 German Bundesliga kicks off with Dortmund vs Bremen & Furth vs Bayern

August 24, 2012 By Samrin Hasib
If there was ever a time to begin watching the Bundesliga, it is now. The Bundesliga’s array of young talents is second to no other league and as usual, this league is all about the fans.

Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich are the German Bundesliga's top two teams.The Bundesliga is a rather new league compared to its counterparts. It is much younger than the first division in England (the Premier League currently), the Spanish La Liga and the Italian Serie A. It is also younger than Ligue 1 and the Dutch Eredivisie. The Bundesliga will embark this year on its 50th season with two of its founding members playing the opener.

Usually, everything in Germany is seemingly about Bayern, even when the champion of the previous season was a different side. This season, it is not all about the Bavarian side fans of other teams love to hate. The question on everyone’s lips is: can Dortmund win a third title in a row?

 

Every season, prior to the beginning, coaches are asked for the name of the champion. Last season, a majority answered Bayern; this year only five nominated Bayern for the title. Of-course, it is not all about Bayern and Dortmund as the players and coaches of both teams suggested; Schalke is a third team with a good chance of securing the title.

First of all though, let’s take a look at some of the new signings. Wolfsburg has signed Bas Dost and Ivica Olic to cover for the sale of Mario Mandzukic to Bayern and the injury to Patrick Helmes ruling him out for six months. Olic scored a hat-trick in the Pokal in his first competitive outing for his new side.

Leverkusen has continued to sign South Americans, fetching Junior Fernandez this time around. Tranquillo Barnetta, after a season blighted with injuries, head from Bayer 04 to Schalke and was joined by Roman Neustadter previously of Borussia Mönchengladbach. Gladbach also saw the exit of Dante to Bayern but they spent wisely in Luuk de Jong, Alvaro Dominguez, Granit Xhaka and Peniel Mlapa. HSV meanwhile signed Rene Adler.

The two largest transfers occurred in midseason; Marco Reus settled for Dortmund over Bayern while the stocky Swiss Xherdan Shaqiri decided to move to Bayern. Julian Schieber was purchased by Dortmund to cover for the loss of Lucas Barrios. Shinji Kagawa of-course left Dortmund.

The DFL Supercup saw Bayern triumph over Dortmund, 2-1. The game was lively and energetic, giving everybody a small taste of the season ahead.

Greuther Fürth will be in their first season after promotion. Their coach Mike Büskens promised attractive football; his team will have to play well to stand any chance of surviving.

It is anyone’s guess as to how this season will pan out; Werder Bremen beat both last season’s champions and runner-up in pre-season but lost to a lower division side, 4-2 in the German Cup recently. Leverkusen after the failed Robin Dutt experiment will go on to the season with two coaches of little experience in the art, Sami Hyppia and Sascha Lewandowski. Augsburg let go of their coach Jos Luhukay and are seemingly destined for the drop.

Hoffenheim has signed a load of players as has Fortuna Düsseldorf. Düsseldorf’s aim is of-course to survive while Markus Babel’s aim is to see his side to a higher finish than eleventh. Frankfurt has seemingly not strengthened the side as much as they should and neither has Mainz. Freiburg will be interesting to watch after miraculously surviving relegation last season as will HSV after flirting with a historic relegation in 2011-12.

Hanover is set for another consistent season both in Europe and in the Bundesliga while Stuttgart will be looking to achieve consistency by playing well in both halves of a season rather than just one. Gladbach will have the added pressures of Europe which Schalke and Bayern have dealt well with in recent years.

With Matthias Sammer, a former Dortmund man, now sitting in Bayern’s boardroom, can Bayern win the title again? Or will Dortmund take a historic third title matching Bayern and Gladbach’s records? Will Leverkusen, Schalke or Gladbach make a run for the ugly salad dish?

The action begins on Friday with Dortmund taking on Bremen. Keep up to date with this and more on our German Bundesliga page!


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