The Bundesliga returns with its second round of fixtures with Borussia Dortmund playing SC Freiburg playing the first match of the weekend.
Dortmund started its campaign with a narrow 1-0 win against Bayer Leverkusen while Freiburg opened its campaign with a 4-0 thrashing of Augsburg.
Defending champion Bayern Munich does not seem to be missing Robert Lewandowski and started the season with unreal momentum after putting six past Europa league champion Eintracht Frankfurt in a 6-1 win. Sadio Mane marked his Bundesliga debut with a goal.
RB Leipzig dropped points in its opening match after settling for a 1-1 draw against VfB Stuttgart and will hope to get its first win of the season when it faces FC Cologne (FC Koln).
Bayern enters the second round of fixtures on the top of the table.
Bundesliga strikers target Lewandowski’s coveted ‘cannon’
Robert Lewandowski’s departure from the Bundesliga sure is good news for the rest of the league’s sharpshooters.
The coveted “cannon” — an artillery-shaped award given to the leading scorer in Germany’s top division each year — is back up for grabs.
Lewandowski had established a firm grip on the trophy by winning it for the last five years. The Poland star scored 35 league goals for Bayern Munich before opting for a switch to Barcelona in the offseason. He scored 41 goals the season before, breaking Gerd Muller’s old league record. Altogether, Lewandowski won the cannon seven times after finishing top scorer in 2014, when he was with Borussia Dortmund, and 2016.
Erling Haaland might have challenged for Lewandowski’s crown but the Norwegian is also gone – joining Manchester City to help Pep Guardiola’s team as it bids to finally win the Champions League.
But that leaves a host of players who could potentially shoot their way to the cannon this season – including Germany forward Timo Werner, who returned to Leipzig from Chelsea this week, and Anthony Modeste, signed by Borussia Dortmund as a replacement for the sidelined Sébastien Haller. Modeste scored 20 goals for Cologne last season. Dortmund plays at Freiburg on Friday.
Bayer Leverkusen’s Patrik Schick scored 24, finishing second in the charts behind Lewandowski. The Czech Republic forward might have been a target for other clubs, but he signed a new deal at Leverkusen to stay until 2027.
Leipzig’s Christopher Nkunku scored 20 goals last season and is already off the mark this season, scoring his team’s only goal in the 1-1 draw at Stuttgart last weekend. He also extended his contract amid reported interest from other clubs.
“We’re proud and happy that we could keep one of the best players in the world at the moment in Leipzig,” technical director Christopher Vivell said.
United States forward Jordan Pefok scored on his Bundesliga debut for Union Berlin last weekend. He also scored on his German Cup debut. Pefok, who has one goal in nine appearances for the U.S., was the Swiss league’s top scorer with 22 last season and clearly fits Union’s style of play.
Simon Terodde was top-scorer in the second division four times. After helping Schalke to promotion with 30 goals last season, the 34-year-old Terodde will hope to continue his form in the top division.
Some other forwards worth watching: Sasa Kalajdzic at Stuttgart, if he stays amid reported interest from Manchester United; Eintracht Frankfurt’s new signing Randal Kolo Muani, who scored on his debut against Bayern Munich; and Portugal forward André Silva at Leipzig, where he hasn’t yet settled since his transfer in 2021 from Frankfurt.
And what about Bayern, which hosts Wolfsburg on Sunday?
Sadio Mane joined from Liverpool to help make up for Lewandowski’s departure. But the Senegal forward is a different type of player and is not expected to match the Pole’s scoring prowess.
Still, Mane scored on his debut last weekend. Jamal Musiala got two goals and Joshua Kimmich, Benjamin Pavard and Serge Gnabry also scored as Bayern routed Eintracht Frankfurt 6-1 and showed no reliance on a certain former player.
Bayern also agreed to pay up to nearly $30 million to Rennes for French teenager Mathys Tel. The 17-year-old Tel didn’t score in nine appearances for Rennes, but Bayern is convinced he could be a future star.
Mane is more likely than Tel to challenge for the top-scorer cannon in the short term. The Senegal star scored 111 goals in 262 Premier League games, where he often played on the wing. Playing as a No. 9, he scored 19 goals in 29 games for Liverpool, an encouraging quota especially with the level of support he’ll get from Bayern’s attacking lineup.
Only one player managed to win the cannon in his first season in the Bundesliga — Bayern’s Italian forward Luca Toni with 24 goals in 2007-08.
Mane has a good chance of becoming the second. The league started with 33 goals across nine games last weekend with plenty of high-scoring rounds ahead.
Bundesliga matchday 2 fixtures list
|August 13||SC Freiburg vs Borussia Dortmund||12:00 am||Europa-Park Stadion|
|August 13||Bayer Leverkusen vs Augsburg||7:00 pm||BayArena|
|August 13||Hertha Berlin vs Eintracht Frankfurt||7:00 pm||Olympiastadion|
|August 13||Hoffenheim vs Bochum||7:00 pm||PreZero Arena|
|August 13||RB Leipzig vs FC Cologne||7:00 pm||Red Bull Arena Leipzig|
|August 13||Werder Bremen vs VfB Stuttgart||7:00 pm||Wohninvest WESERSTADION|
|August 13||Schalke 04 vs Borussia Monchengladbach||10:00 pm||VELTINS-Arena|
|August 14||Mainz vs Union Berlin||7:00 pm||MEWA Arena|
|August 14||Bayern Munich vs Wolfsburg||9:00 pm||Allianz Arena|
Where can you watch the Bundesliga matches?
The Bundesliga will be broadcasted on the Sony Sports Network. Sony Liv and JioTV will be available for online streaming.