Bundesliga Return: Three Battling Teams You Could Follow

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The Bundesliga return

Germany’s DFL have announced that football looks set to be back on our screens in May after the German government gives the 'green light'.

The Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 have revealed plans for a possible May 15th return to action for clubs in the top two tiers of football, with precautionary measures being put in place that include matches being played behind closed doors, with no fans in attendance.

Nevertheless, as Germany’s top tier clubs return to training, who will you be supporting? Here are three Bundesliga teams you can get behind, as the race for the European places, as well as the fight for league title itself, heats up when the Bundesliga returns to action.

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Borussia Dortmund close title race

It’s easy to get behind the almighty Bayern Munich, whose stranglehold on German football has seen them cruise to seven consecutive Bundesliga titles in recent times.

But when looking at the underdogs that could possibly overthrow the Bavarian bulldozers, Borussia Dortmund are the usual suspects. Adored by many across the world for their talented team and passionate Yellow Wall, Dortmund have been the closest to challenging Bayern’s dominance in recent years.

The Black and Yellow were the last team to win Germany’s top tier back in 2012 outside from Bayern, as Jurgen Klopp led them to glory with a domestic double and back-to-back titles. Not since then has a team managed to beat Bayern to the title, but Lucien Favre’s side have once again been the closest.

Last season, the eight-time German champions spent the majority of the season at the summit of the league table, even opening points gaps between themselves and Bayern on numerous occasions. Many criticised Dortmund for ultimately surrendering a title that was seemingly theirs to lose, and this year, they will be even more determined to finally get their hands on the famous trophy

Die Schwarzgelben had a dreadful start to the campaign this season, with just five wins from their first league games. Many of the problems arose from the formation and the form of the strikers that played in the 4-3-2-1 system. Fortunes have changed since the winter break, however, with a tweak by Favre to a three at the back formation that gets the best out of elite attacking wide men, Marco Reus and Jadon Sancho.

The English winger has been involved in an incredible 30 goals in 23 Bundesliga appearances, with 14 goals and 16 assists meaning nobody, even the great Robert Lewandowski, has been involved in more.

Another key factor to the resurgence of Dortmund’s form was the January signing of Erling Haaland. The Norwegian goal machine has hit an incredible 40 goals in 33 appearances this season, with 12 coming in his 11 appearances for Dortmund following his £18m switch. The combination of the young starlets such as Haaland and Sancho with the experience of talented players like Reus and Mats Hummels have made Dortmund a joy to watch as they continue to press Bayern for the title.

They’re now the leaders of the chasing pack, with four points separating them from the champions. Will you be part of the Yellow Wall as they look to finally end Bayern’s domination?

Borussia Monchengladbach's title charge still has legs

Just like any of Europe’s big leagues, a place in the top four and qualification to the Champions League is highly desired and contested. Borussia Monchengladbach set targets of reaching those illustrious top four spots at the beginning of the season, but after an impressive start, they may be capable of much more.

Die Fohlen finished three points adrift of fourth placed Bayer Leverkusen last season, with an array of clubs fighting it out to a tight finish. Eighth placed Werder Bremen finished 5 points off the top four last season, showing just how tight the race for European football was in the Bundesliga.

Marco Rose’s side have been the surprise title challengers for most of this year, with themselves and RB Leipzig starting well before the winter break whilst the regular two suspects got off to poor starts respectively. Gladbach’s narrow 4-3-1-2 set up has seen them become a compact and tough team to beat this season.

Since the winter break, however, the Foals have failed to maintain their impressive push at the top and have slipped a few places below RB Leipzig and the usual big two. Gladbach are still very much in control of a top four place though and aren’t completely out of the title race just yet.

The five-time German champions currently sit in fourth, a point below Leipzig, two points off Dortmund and six points behind Bayern. Borussia Monchengladbach’s favourable run sees five of the nine matches they have remaining against teams in the bottom half of the table, so it’s very possible they’ll finish with a Champions League at the very least, with dreams of a league crown not a million miles away.

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Bayer Leverkusen's fight for Champions League football

Just eight points sit between table topping Bayern and fifth place Bayer Leverkusen, showing just how exciting the title race and battle for European qualification is in Germany’s top tier.

If underdogs are your choice, then look no further than Leverkusen. The club have never won the Bundesliga, despite being runners-up on five occasions. Peter Bosz’s side have had a fairly inconsistent start to the season, but since the winter break, they’ve started to push on and fight for a place in Europe.

The form of young star Kai Havertz has been key to their performances. The 20-year-old is reportedly being chased by numerous European heavyweights, as his pace and creativity continue to impress the elites of the game.

Havertz has hit 10 goals and provided eight assists in 34 games across all competitions this season, eight of which have come since the season restarted in January.

Leverkusen have plenty of young talents such as Havertz and winger Leon Bailey, as well as the experienced veterans in captain Lars Bender and midfielder Karim Bellarabi, to name a few.

The 2002 Champions League runners-up look very unlikely to overturn the eight-point deficit and win their first-ever Bundesliga at this late stage, but a final sprint could land them a place back in the Champions League.

Leverkusen’s away form has been a huge strength this season, with only Leipzig and Bayern picking up more points on the road. They’ll hope to use it to their advantage and sneak into a top four spot as the season draws to a close.

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