The 2014-2015 Bundesliga season will kick off on August 22 with Bayern Munich playing VfL Wolfsburg in the first German soccer that’s being played since Bayern Munich beat VfB Stuttgart on May 10 to win the Bundesliga. In anticipation for the season, we prepared an overview of every Bundesliga team, as well as a ranking of the top five players in the Bundesliga.
Top Five Players
5: Philipp Lahm- Defender, Bayern Munich
When you think of Bayern, you think of offense. But Bayern’s strikers get the ball because the team is so good defensively. Lahm has been the team’s captain for several years, and has led his defense to be one of the best in the world. Lahm is one of the main reasons Bayern is so great, and he will surely maintain this level of play this season.
4: Franck Ribery- Midfielder, Bayern Munich
While some may say that Ribery is getting old and will soon be worthless, that is false if you look at his stats. On a Bayern team where there are so many goal scorers that it is difficult to to get your shot, Ribery posted 10 goals and 10 assists. He is still a crucial part of this team, and he will keep up his scoring this season.
3: Roberto Firmino- Midfielder, Hoffenheim
Normally, when one thinks of the Bundesliga, they think of Bayern and Dortmund, nobody else. Firmino is underrated because of this, but he is absolutely one of the best assets of the league. Firmino put up 16 goals and 11 assists last year, and while his team didn’t support him much, if he keeps it up, the team could be dangerous in the near future.
2: Robert Lewandowski- Striker, Bayern Munich
Lewandowski is a goal-scoring machine. The fact that he put up 20 goals last year was amazing, and if you count his six assists, he has proven that he can fit into any offense, which will be good for Bayern Munich. If Lewandowski plays like he has been playing with Dortmund for Bayern, they will easily win the Bundesliga for the third year in a row.
1: Marco Reus- Midfielder, Borussia Dortmund
Reus is one of the best offensive weapons in the entire world, it’s that simple. He may not have put up the most goals, but having 16 goals and 13 assists led the Bundesliga in points. His ability to always generate offense and make magic happen is why he is the best player in the Bundesliga. If Dortmund wants to win the title, Reus needs to play even better next year.
Team by Team Overview:
Augsburg: Augsburg was very happy with their eighth place finish last season, yet has undergone several improvements. After losing Andre Hahn, manager Markus Weinzierl added four new strikers, and is ready to slowly, but surely improve. Expect Augsburg to have a very similar, solid finish.
Bayern Munich: Bayern Munich will win their third title in a row. Period. This is one of the greatest football teams in recent history in all the world, and the loss of Mario Mandzukic means nothing to the team, who added an even better striker, Robert Lewandowski. The team has one of the best goaltenders in the world, one of the best defenses in the world, one of the best midfields in the world and some of the best strikers in the world. This team is indestructible. Bet on Bayern to possibly even win the Champions League.
Bayer Leverkusen: Bayer added great new coach Roger Schmidt, who has made several very good signings, such as Hakan Calhanoglu, Wendell and Vladlen Yurchenko. The problem is that the team still lacks depth in nearly all other places. Expect a solid finish from Bayer, but also expect them to barely miss a Champions League berth.
Borussia Dortmund: While Dortmund is a fantastic team, for the team being they will have to deal with being the Scottie Pippen to Bayern’s Michael Jordan. Dortmund has arguably the best player in the Bundesliga with Marco Reus, and other great players like Mario Gotze, Mats Hummels and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The problem is that Bayern just has too much depth at every position for Dortmund to compete. Expect Dortmund to have a great finish, but come up just short in second place.
Borussia Moenchengladbach: Borussia Moenchengladbach is a perennially well-rounded team, and they have added to that with the stellar signings of Fabian Johnson and Andre Hahn. Borussia Moenchengladbach will have an even better season this year, and will be fighting very hard to get that last Champions League berth. Keep your eye on Borussia Moenchengladbach this season.
Eintracht Frankfurt: After a terrible end to the season last year, Frankfurt has a lot to prove. With new coach Thomas Schaaf at the helm, the team is surely going to gain experience with their new signings, and climb out of the bottom of the Bundesliga.
FC Koln: Koln won the 2.Bundesliga last season, and is ready to continue their success on the biggest stage in Germany, a place that they are hoping to stay. The teams has tons of new signings, and is preparing to be inching towards the middle of the Bundesliga in years to come.
Freiburg: Freiburg is definitely going to struggle this season, as they have been known for solid defense, and have just lost their two best defenders, Matthias Ginter and Oliver Baumann. While the team has added some new players, watch this season be a battle.
Hamburg: Hamburg is looking to have another stable season, as they have made some very sensible signings in Pierre-Michel Lasogga and Johan Djourou. Watch Hamburg do well, but do nothing special in the middle of the standings this season.
Hannover: Under the continually solid guidance of Tayfun Korkut, Hannover will again have a good season, finish right in the middle of the Bundesliga. The addition of Joselu will definitely help the team to keep up the moderate success.
Hertha Berlin: Hertha Berlin is definitely a dark horse to make the Champions League this season. They had a good eleventh place finish last season, and will definitely improve upon that greatly this season. They have made some fantastic signings in Roy Beerens, Valentin Stocker, Johnny Heitinga and Julian Schieber. This team is definitely going to have a good season.
Hoffenheim: Hoffenheim finished ninth last season, and will finish even higher this season, as they retain star goal scorer Roberto Firmino. In addition, the team also signed Adam Szalai, who will put more balls in the net. Watch Hoffenheim closely, they will be very interesting to watch this season.
Mainz: Thomas Tuchel was an extremely reliable and successful manager for Mainz, but since he has left, it will be interesting to see what happens to them this season. The team has made some small signings, but they lost Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, which is a huge blow to the team. Expect a drop in the standings this season.
Paderborn: Paderborn barely earned a promotion into the Bundesliga last season, and is sure to struggle this season. While the team added ten new players, there is no way that these players can compete with the rest of the Bundesliga, and they will surely finish dead last.
Schalke: Schalke is known for being streaky, which is something that could keep them out of the Champions League this year. The team has made several great signings, such as Kevin-Prince Boateng, Sidney Sam and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting. If Schalke plays like they are capable of playing, they could be looking at a third place finish, but you never really know with them.
Stuttgart: Stuttgart is going to be relegated. There is really nothing that new manager Armin Veh can do for the team, they just don’t have the talent. Unfortunately for Stuttgart, there are no players in their price range that are good enough to compete with the rest of the Bundesliga. Don’t bet on Stuttgart this season.
Werder Bremen: Manager Robin Dutt barely saved them from being relegated last season, and had them finish in twelfth place. That was a miracle, and will not happen again. The already weak team lost Aaron Hunt, and has no bright spots. Don’t expect anything from Werder Bremen this season.
Wolfsburg: Wolfsburg suffered heartbreak last season after barely missing a Champions League berth with their fifth place finish. That will not be the case this season, as the star-studded team retained Ricardo Rodriguez and Luis Gustavo and added Kevin De Bruyne, Sebastian Jung and Aaron Hunt. Watch them close in on Dortmund near the end of the season for the second place, but come up just short and finish in third, yet still qualify for the Champions League.