Nas’ Musings #1: Bundesliga Predictions, 2016/17

Woohoo! The new Bundesliga season is on the horizon; there are lots of exciting things to look out for this season. Undoubtedly, this season’s Fußball will be jam-packed with irresistible mouth-watering clashes and most importantly, goals - goals galore (hopefully)!  Every season - as normal fans of the Bundesliga - we all tend to make early season predictions. Therefore, I decided to make my early predictions in my first column for FutbolPulse.

1 - Champions: Borussia Dortmund

Yes, I am anticipating a very electric, entertaining and tense title challenge from Die Borussen. Last season, it was Thomas Tuchel’s first season in charge and quite clearly, he rejuvenated his Borussia Dortmund side. In a year, Tuchel improved the positioning of the players (which was a big negative under now Liverpool manager Klopp), improved combination play in Dortmund’s threatening attack and most importantly, Tuchel’s tactics allowed last season’s front three - Reus, Mkhitaryan and Aubameyang - to start scoring goals again, something which they lacked towards the latter stages of Klopp’s managerial era at Borussia Dortmund.

Moreover, despite the loss of several key players in Hummels, Mkhitaryan and Gündoğan, Dortmund have brought in plenty of reinforcements such as Bartra from Barcelona, Portuguese left-back Raphaël Guerreiro, German duo Schürrle and Götze, plus more as well! This is the most indestructible, vigorous and well-built squad Die Schwarzgelben have ever had.

Additionally, Borussia Dortmund fan Jordan is very pessimistic about Borussia Dortmund’s success in the league this season:

“I think you can expect a lot of rotation from Tuchel this year, with eight new players there will be a lot of different formations to try out, however I think 4-2-3-1 will be our go-to formation. And I think ‘hopeful’ would be the right word for Bundesliga champions! Leverkusen will be our closest competitors (excluding Bayern). Made two good signings in Baumgartlinger and Volland and haven’t lost any key players.”

2 - Top Goalscorer: Lewandowski

Last season’s top goalscorer and Bayern Munich’s star striker Robert Lewandowski has recently expressed his desire to improve under new manager Carlo Ancelotti. After the Polish international helped Bayern Munich progress to the second round of the DFB Pokal via a hat trick against fourth division side Jena, Lewandowski was quoted saying Ancelotti’s system will more than enable him to get more goals:

“We do things better in every match. We want to go into one direction with Carlo, and follow his ideas.”

Lewandowski scored 30 league goals last season. That is a lot, yes. Howbeit, due to his strong unique goalscoring mentality and prowess, I feel Big Lewa can get more - more than any other striker in the league. Most certainly, Lewandowski will finish as the league’s top goalscorer at the end of the season, even if the quality of strikers in the league get better and better.

3 - One to Look Out For: Mario Gómez

After weeks of intense speculation, Mario Gómez finally managed to secure a return to the Bundesliga. Former Bayern Munich striker Gómez - who appeared for Germany in the Euros - expressed his desire to return to Germany after a failed coup in Turkey. Although the player was wanted by a number of Spanish and English clubs, Gómez has opted to resurrect his career in Germany with Wolfsburg. Blatantly, Gómez is a star striker that no one needs an introduction to. Although many pundits and managers have criticised Mario’s style of play, the 31-year-old will undoubtedly score 10-15 league goals per season. Further, it will be intriguing to discover how Wolfsburg utilise Gómez, and whatever tactics Hecking decides to utilise, all eyes will be on Mario Gómez throughout the season.

In addition, Bundesliga expert Max Riegel presumes Gómez is just the player Wolfsburg have been missing:

Mario Gomez’s return to the Bundesliga has certainly excited a lot of Bundesliga fans. The German international joined the Wolves and will definitely be their player to watch this season. After a hard time in Munich and an even harder time in Florenz, Gomez was the key in Besiktas’ title win last season.

Coming back to the Bundesliga after a strong season and a great performance at the Euros, Gomez could be the bargain of the summer. After Kevin De Bruyne’s departure last summer and Draxler’s failure to directly replace him, Mario Gomez excites the Wolfsburg fans. Considering that Mario Gomez wanted to join a Champions League club underlines his belief in the project. The fact the Julian Draxler will stay in Wolfsburg and Gomez’s arrival will allow the coach to form a strong attack.

Without European competition, Mario Gomez could be a strong contender for the”Torjägerkanone.” Wolfsburg wanted to improve their weakest position and it’s fair to say that after Bendtner’s failure, Gomez is the man to replace Bas Dost. The German will most likely add more goals and could be the game changer Klaus Allofs was looking for. Gomez could be the player that helps to unlock deep-sitting teams and to score the important goals. It’s his last chance to prove himself in the Bundesliga and he will do everything to relive his outstanding seasons in Stuttgart.

 4 - Relegation

Finally, this season’s Bundesliga - in my opinion - will be the best ever mainly because the quality of the squads are improving day-by-day. Unfortunately though, as per each season, two teams will certainly face relegation, and one other potentially. Below are my relegation predictions:

16 - Freiburg | 17 - Ingolstadt | 18 - Darmstadt