After another testing summer without league football, the 2017/18 Bundesliga campaign is set to get underway on August 18th 2017, a week after the season kicks off with the DFB Cup.
The campaign will remain largely the same as previous years, with three newly promoted teams joining the ranks, as they set about securing themselves a future in the top flight. In total, 18 teams will begin the season with high hopes, each playing against each other once at home and once away over the course of the campaign. Like previous years, the league will disperse on December 18th 2017 for the month long winter break, before finally coming to an end on 12th May 2018.
There will be one notable difference to previous seasons. For the first time in its history, the league will be using video assistance to help referees make the correct call if they are unsure about a decision. This FIFA-backed technology, which has been implemented in very few competitions so far, will allow referees to inspect video footage when making a decision regarding goals scored, awarding penalties, issuing red cards and identifying a player.
Aside from that exciting change, Bundesliga fans can expect much of the same next season. But which teams are most likely to dominate proceedings?
The Munich club have dominated German football throughout its history and are unlikely to relinquish control of the Bundesliga any time soon.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side were shaky at times throughout the 2016/17 campaign following the departure of star manager Pep Guardiola. However, they never looked likely to fall away. The arrival of RB Leipzig has certainly provided them with something else to think about, but with the budget available to them, they are likely to remain Bundesliga favourites for some time.
In what was a whirlwind 2016/17 campaign, Dortmund suffered some of their worst form in a number of years. However, they recovered well and showed why they are still one of German football’s best sides.
The current squad is packed with quality, yet they still appear to be some way off of Jurgen Klopp’s 2010/11 and 2011/12 title winning team. They will need to sort out their inconsistencies and bring somebody in to plug up their leaky defence if they are to challenge for the title next season, but if any side can compete with Bayern Munich, it’s Dortmund.
Tipped to finish in a mid-table position, Bundesliga newbies RB Leipzig had a phenomenal first campaign in the top flight, challenging for the title throughout.
Known as Germany’s ‘most hated club’, due to their affiliation with energy drink giants Red Bull, Leipzig winning the 2017/18 Bundesliga title is unlikely to go down too well with opposition fans, but if they continue to progress as they have, they will undoubtedly be near the top once again next season.