Soccer: Bundesliga Season Preview 2022-23

Bayern Munich Favorites to Win an 11th Straight Title

Bayern Looking to Extend Record

The 2022-23 Bundesliga season is fast approaching. It opens on August 5th with a Friday night opener between Eintracht Frankfurt and Bayern Munich. Bayern is ten-time defending Bundesliga champions and is in relentless pursuit of extending their record. Perhaps it won’t be a walk in the park for them, as the Bundesliga has its fair share of strong teams. In fact, it’s the only league with five teams participating in the 2022-23 UEFA Champions League. We’ll review the odds for the major contenders in our Bundesliga season preview.

New Look Bayern, Same Odds

Winning the Bundesliga has become the norm for Bayern Munich. Anything short of a record-extending 11th consecutive Bundesliga title would be a disappointment. Yet, the Bavarians have undergone some significant roster changes this Summer.

Second all-time Bayern leading scorer, Robert Lewandowski, is off to Barcelona and he’s still one of the best strikers in the world. The Bavarians also lost key defender Niklas Sule to Borussia Dortmund. Regardless, they still have goalie Manuel Neuer, playmaker Thomas Muller, and jack-of-all-trades Joshua Kimmich.

While Lewandowski is nearly irreplaceable, Bayern did sign former Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt to replace Sule. Most notably, they signed African Footballer of the Year Sadio Mane from Liverpool, who should bag a lot of goals. Bayern Munich opened the Summer at -500 Bundesliga betting odds to win the title and the line hasn’t moved.

Their biggest competition could come from Borussia Dortmund, who finished second last season. Dortmund had all sorts of problems defending last season but their Summer signings should help. Former interim coach Edin Terzic has Nico Schlotterbeck and Sule at his disposal at center back. Schlotterbeck helped SC Freiburg have one of their best-ever Bundesliga seasons.

At the other end of the pitch, Erling Haaland’s departure to Manchester City initially left a big gap, however, they invested the windfall into signing the promising Karim Adeyemi and former Ajax star Sebastien Haller. Unfortunately, Haller is currently in the process of having a testicular tumor treated and is out until further notice. The Ivorian ranked third in Champions League goals last season, with 11.

Whether Dortmund takes a step up this season rests heavily on the performances of their 19-year-old stars. Jude Bellingham is back for another year and the midfielder will have to be a leader on the pitch. Winger Gio Reyna dealt with injuries nearly all of last season but has played well when healthy. Dortmund’s title odds are also unchanged from the beginning of Summer, at +800.

Dark Horse Contenders

RB Leipzig has been regular in the Champions League since first getting promoted to the Bundesliga in 2016. The Bundesliga title has eluded them in that time despite two second-place finishes. They did win their first major trophy at the end of last season, the DFB-Pokal, to build some momentum under Domenico Tedesco.

Leipzig has an exciting young talent, Christopher Nkunku, who scored 20 Bundesliga goals last season. Andre Silva is just one year removed from a 20-goal season of his own. The pieces of a championship-level team are there but consistency has often been an issue. This season, they’re priced at +1200 odds to win the Bundesliga for the first time. They’re also -300 favorites to make the top four for a fifth season running.

Bayer Leverkusen is the only other team with shorter than +10000 odds of winning the Bundesliga title. There are certainly reasons to be excited about them, after finishing last season in third. Patrik Schick, who scored 24 Bundesliga goals last season, signed a contract extension to stay in Leverkusen. This is one of the youngest teams in the Bundesliga and they should certainly get better as time goes on.

Moussa Diaby tallied 13 goals and 12 assists last season and he’s only 23. Florian Wirtz established himself as one of Bundesliga’s best playmakers as a teenager. He’s in the process of recovering from an ACL tear and he should elevate the team when he returns. Bayer Leverkusen sits at +2500 odds to win the title and -140 odds to make the top four again.

Top Four Contenders

While last year’s top four is expected to be the same this season, there are certainly other contenders. Our Bundesliga season preview certainly wouldn’t be complete without a mention of Eintracht Frankfurt. They finished in the bottom half last season but made a surprising run to win the Europa League.

With Champions League competition to contend with, it’s not surprising that they’re +350 underdogs to make the top four. The potential is there, though, and they’ve made some interesting signings this Summer. They brought in Mario Gotze, who scored Germany’s World Cup-winning goal in 2014, and former Leverkusen striker Lucas Alario.

Borussia Monchengladbach was one of the league’s most disappointing teams in 2021-22. They brought in veteran manager Daniel Farke to try to right the ship this season. They won just four away matches last season and that goes a long way toward explaining their +400 odds to make the top four.

Wolfsburg hovered around the relegation zone for parts of last season and they’ve overhauled the club as a result. Niko Kovac, who won the 2018-19 Bundesliga title as Bayern Munich manager, is their new coach. Meanwhile, they’ve made six Summer signings to bolster a squad that was thin last season. They’re priced at +450 odds to make the top four and it certainly wouldn’t be surprising if they finished much higher than last season’s 12th place.

Hoffenheim sits at +500 odds to finish in the top four, something they did in both 2017 and 2018. They brought in former Liverpool defender Ozan Kabak to shore up their defense but goals seem to be an issue. No TSG player scored more than eight Bundesliga goals last year.

Who Will Fill the Lewandowski Void?

We’re excited to announce, in our Bundesliga season preview, that there will be a new top scorer this season. Robert Lewandowski, who won the award the last five seasons, is off to La Liga. With Erling Haaland also gone, this is suddenly a very competitive race.

Patrik Schick, as Leverkusen’s main man, is the favorite. The Bundesliga top scorer odds price him at +300 and he was the Bundesliga’s second-leading scorer last season.

RB Leipzig’s versatile Christopher Nkunku was the breakout star of the 2021-22 season and he’s drawn a lot of interest from abroad. He scored 35 goals in all competitions last season and had never scored more than seven in a season previously. He sits at +450 odds and will be out to prove he’s not a one-season wonder. Teammate Andre Silva, who scored 11 Bundesliga goals last season, is priced at +800 odds.

Sadio Mane, at +600, is an interesting pick. Mane has already proved himself in the toughest league in the world and Bayern Munich is without a prolific striker. He and fellow forward/winger Serge Gnabry will certainly be called upon to shoulder the goal-scoring load. Bayern have been linked to Stuttgart’s Saša Kalajdžić, though. If the 6’7” striker joins Bayern, his +1000 odds may get shorter.

Karim Adeyemi is a bit of a wildcard here. The 20-year-old scored for fun in the Austrian Bundesliga but playing for Borussia Dortmund will be a big step up.  Remember, Sebastien Haller is out for the foreseeable future and Donyell Malen is often unconvincing, he could get a lot of opportunities. Adeyemi might be worth a flier at +1200.

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