Top 4: Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, RB Leipzig, Schalke 04
- Bayern Munich – The champions may have lost two of the best players of their generation to retirement – Philipp Lahm and Xabi Alonso – but have done some smart business this summer. Niklas Süle is seen as the next big central defender in Germany and they’ve managed to convince him to leave Hoffenheim to compete against Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng. The capture of Sebastian Rudy was also great business as the 27-year-old looks very much like Toni Kroos. He brings calmness, assurance as well as class to their play and his discipline to sit in front his defensive unit is top level. The Bavarians also added one of the top French midfield prospect in Corentin Tolisso whose stamina, technical qualities and power gives them another dimension. The five-time European champions and five-time defending league champions are no doubt odds on favourites to successfully defend their title.
- Borussia Dortmund – BVB enters another season without their star attraction, Marco Reus, due to injuries but Mario Götze is back following muscular dystrophy. They’ve added more young players to their set-up with Mahmoud Dahoud, Dan-Axel Zagadou and Max Philipp as well as experienced Turkish defender Ömer Toprak at the back. They may have lost French starlet Ousmane Dembélé to Barcelona, but the Yellow Wall’s heroes should still have enough firepower to challenge the Bavarians and could also add another option before the transfer window shuts.
- RB Leipzig – Last season’s surprise packages are set for a much tougher sophomore campaign due to Champions League commitments. Despite their strong financial muscles, Die Bullen has chosen to add more young players to their squad in the form of Portuguese winger Bruma, Ibrahima Konate and Jean-Kévin Augustin from PSG. Last season’s runners-up haven’t lost any of their stars and will be looking to push on this season however their inexperience in Europe and balancing their domestic ambitions may be a struggle for them.
- Schalke – With no European distractions this season, Schalke will make the top four after a quiet but smart summer of business. The addition of exciting French U20 midfielder, Amine Harit, is a much needed boost and fresh impetus in attack. Should the 20-year-old link up well with Leon Goretzka, the Bundesliga could be in for a treat. They’ve also added a solid replacement for Sead Kolašinac with Bastian Oczipka and promising Spanish defender, Pablo Insua, will push Benedikt Höwedes, Thilo Kehrer and Matija Nastasić for a place in central defense. The Gelsenkirchen club has definitely improved from last season and they will welcome Swiss striker Breel Embolo back into the team; very much like a new signing after his nightmare last season due to injuries.