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Will anyone stop Bayern Munich winning the Bundesliga for a 24th time?

Wednesday 17th July 2013
The 2013/14 season of the Bundesliga begins on 9th August, in the first of a three part series Mark Dannell takes a look on how each of the 18 teams that make up the league should fare.

I have done this alphabetically in 3 parts of 6, with a run-down of major transfers in and/or out, what the team may still be looking for, and what their realistic expectations should be for the season. Please bear in mind that (particularly the transfer section) could have changed between submission and publishing. I hope you enjoy the article; I welcome any feedback and any suggestions for what you might like to see in the weekly round-up I will be writing for itsroundanditswhite.co.uk for the upcoming season!

FC Augsburg- Season 2012/13 Position: 15th

Summary: Some decent early business for Augsburg who are going to be playing their 3rd consecutive season in the Bundesliga. Raphael Holzhauser reinforces the midfield and Halil Altintop brings experience and some welcome goals to a side that struggled in this department last time out. The target for Augsburg must be to kick on and consolidate their position in the Bundesliga this season, but without further reinforcements they look likely to struggle again this time.

Prediction- Relegation dog-fight

Bayer 04 Leverkusen-Season 2012/13 Position: 3rd 

Summary: Bayer 04 have moved quickly and decisively to replace the outgoing Andre Schürrle with the talented Korean international Hueng Min Son. He will fit in to Leverkusen's mobile forward line, along with leading light from relegated Dusseldorf, Robbie Kruse. Star right back Daniel Carvajal who returned to Real Madrid has also been quickly replaced with Italian prospect Donati, and the squad has been fleshed out in anticipation of a Champions League campaign with experienced campaigners Spahic , Hilbert and Palop. Leverkusen should have the depth to compete internationally and at home this year. Much will depend on how their forward line gels, Kießling guarantees goals and a midfield of German international Lars Bender and Simon Rolfes won't let much past.

Prediction- Champions League place scrap with FC Schalke 04

FC Bayern München- Season 2012/13 Position: Champions

Summary: Some would argue that despite the undisputed star quality of Mario Götze and Thiago Alcantara, the most important signing for Bayern was announced in February. However Pep Guardiola faces an almighty challenge this year, how to top a treble winning, record points totalling year from 2012/13? On the playing front, major transfers seem to have been accomplished, although don't be surprised if Robert Lewandowski pitches up in time for the new season. Jan Kirchoff is someone that has not been talked about much but has effectively been a Bayern player since January. A highly rated Central Defender, he will provide a serious challenge to the injury prone Badstuber and accident prone Boateng to partner Dante.

Prediction- Champions. Sorry people, this one is in the bag. Bayern will be much more interested in retaining the Champions League.

Borussia Dortmund- Season 2012/13 Position: 2nd 

Summary: A 3rd successive season of Champions League football is on the horizon for Dortmund, but a potential hammer blow was delivered by Bayern even before the previous season was over as they activated the release clause of shining light Mario Götze. Dortmund however moved quickly to rectify this, signing up first sought after Gabonese forward Aubameyang, and then snaffling highly rated Henrik Mkhitaryan under the noses of Liverpool if the press are to be believed.Dortmund also made a significant upgrade in back up in central defence, replacing Santana with Football Manager favourite Sokratis. Also interesting to see is that the talented Moritz Leitner has been loaned out to Stuttgart for development. Dortmund's chances in the Champions League will hinge on the retention of Lewandowski.

Prediction- those hoping for a title fight to be disappointed, a distant 2nd again for Dortmund.

Borrusia Mönchengladbach- Season 2012/13 Position: 8th

Summary: A summer more of goings than comings at Borrusia Park, but 2 of the comings are particularly exciting. Raffael, an unpredictable midfield schemer joins boss Lucien Favre for the third time and newly capped German talent Max Kruse will provide goal back up to record signing Luuk de Jong. After enduring an average season last time out, Mönchengladbach will be looking to take advantage of a relatively free calendar this time out, and the undoubted talent they have throughout the team.

Prediction- Europa League places scrap (5th-8th)

Eintracht Braunschweig- Season 2012/13 Position: 2nd (promoted from 2.Bundesliga)

Summary: With no star names, and none rumoured to be on their way, it seems that Eintracht Braunschweig could be set for a short stay in the Bundesliga. A signing of Simeon Jackson to fire the goals to keep you up does not spell out ambition, although it must be mentioned here that as recent as 2007/08 Braunschweig were playing in the Regional North leagues (think Conference level or below!) As with Greuther Fürth last year, the challenge for Braunschweig may be to avoid the ignominy of failing to win a single game in the campaign. Prediction- Unless something dramatic happens, Relegated and dead last I am afraid.

Parts two and three to follow....
Mark Dannell
Fan of most sports first and foremost, Tottenham fan born and raised. Currently living in Germany and married, avid follower of the Bundesliga and closet Dortmund fan since 1997 thanks to a very enthusiastic high school German teacher! Covering the Bundesliga in detail for itsroundanditswhite.co.uk, any questions, requests for features or general information required all welcome, either by mail or Twitter (@mdannell) preferable.

Total articles: 86

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