From the title race to unsung heroes, this is all you need to know about the 2019/20 Bundesliga season. - © DFL
From the title race to unsung heroes, this is all you need to know about the 2019/20 Bundesliga season. - © DFL
bundesliga

Bundesliga 2019/20 season: all you need to know

The 2019/20 Bundesliga season is set to resume from 16 May with Matchday 26 kicking the campaign off again. Most of the season is behind us with just nine more to go, and after over a month of break in play, maybe there are some things you've forgotten.

To help remind you of what has already happened this season, bundesliga.com has compiled a list of everything you need to know on 2019/20 from the title race to relegation, young stars and unsung heroes…

Title race

While Bayern Munich have won seven Bundesliga titles on the trot, last season was a sign of the changing times in the German top-flight. The title race went down to the final day after an enthralling campaign which saw Borussia Dortmund push the eventual champions all the way, as well as leading by as many as nine points in January. In 2019/20, more teams have joined the chasing pack on the hunt for Bayern's top spot.

Watch: All you need to know about the Bundesliga title race!

Dortmund are second once again as things stand, four points off the pace set by Bayern at the top. The chasing pack is tightly grouped with just three points separating RB Leipzig, Borussia Mönchengladbach and Bayer Leverkusen from third to fifth. With 27 points still on offer, there are sure to be several twists and turns before a champion is crowned not least with the number of fixtures still to be played between the top sides themselves.

League leaders Bayern will face three of the top four in the space of four weeks as they will travel to both Dortmund (MD 28) and Leverkusen (MD 30) before playing host to Gladbach (MD 31). Bayern suffered back-to-back defeats against Gladbach and Leverkusen in the first half of the season. Meanwhile, Leipzig and Dortmund will battle out at the Red Bull Arena on the penultimate weekend of the season. If there incredible 3-3 draw in December is anything to go back, that will be an unmissable game.

Push for Europe

With a 10-point gap already separating Schalke in sixth from Leverkusen in fifth, it looks likely that the four UEFA Champions League qualification spots on offer will go between the current top five. However, the race for the final UEFA Europa League qualification spot in sixth – and a potential further spot in seventh, dependent on the winner of the DFB Cup – are still very much up for grabs.

Schalke and Wolfsburg are in pole-position to battle out for the final European qualification spot in the 2019/20 Bundesliga season. - imago

Just seven points separate the Royal Blues in sixth and Bundesliga first-timers Union Berlin in 11th, with Eintracht Frankfurt – who have a game in hand to play against 17th-placed Werder Bremen - and Hertha Berlin only two points further back. With so few points between them and so many still left to play for, twists and turns are a near certainty in the battle for European places.

The teams in the thick of the battle are Schalke, Wolfsburg, Freiburg, Hoffenheim, Cologne and Union. The latter pair both being promoted to the Bundesliga this season adds another storyline to their tales, while Schalke are bouncing back from a disappointing mid-table finish last season. With only one place a certainty and at least six sides vying for it, this is a race that is sure to go right down to the wire.

Relegation battle

Some of the teams mentioned above hoping for a late push towards Europe will need to remain wary of what's happening over their shoulders, with dropping into a late relegation battle just as possible. As things stand, Paderborn sit 10 points adrift of safety at the bottom with Bremen two points ahead, and only four points behind Fortuna Düsseldorf in the relegation play-off spot of 16th.

There are small gaps between each side, just as there is from Fortuna to Mainz four points ahead of them. But only a single point separating Augsburg, Hertha and Frankfurt in the lower half of mid-table is where worry begins to creep in and hope for the likes of Paderborn can begin to grow.

For teams at the bottom, having a goalscorer in form can often be the difference between picking up points or being left empty-handed this late in a season. Promoted Paderborn have come unlucky there, with top scorer Streli Mamba ruled out for the rest of the season with a knee injury. While Bremen with Milot Rashica (seven goals, four assists), Düsseldorf with Rouwen Hennings (11 goals) and Mainz with Robin Quaison (12 goals) all have a goalscorer they can usually rely on. It could come down to which of those is most clinical in front of goal in the final nine games of the campaign.

Young stars

The Bundesliga remains the undisputed home of football’s next biggest stars, and some of them have already secured their 'star' status in 2019/20. Just some of the biggest culprits being Dortmund's Jadon Sancho, Bayern's Alphonso Davies, Leipzig's Timo Werner and Leverkusen's Kai Havertz who have all been performing at an elite level this season.

Watch: Kai Havertz's Roots!

Sancho's team-high 14 goals and 15 assists mean he has contributed to more goals this season than any other player in the league, including 25-goal Robert Lewandowski. Werner is one goal shy of a personal record in the Bundesliga with 21 so far, while Havertz has picked up where he left off from after last season's 17-goal campaign with six goals and five assists so far - four of those goals and as many of the assists coming in 2020 alone.

Davies has perhaps been the Bundesliga's biggest surprise this season, not only coming to Bayern's aid when defensive injuries added up to play at left-back but now making the position his own. Head coach Hansi Flick will already be scratching his head thinking of what to do when the likes of Lucas Hernandez and Niklas Süle are back to full fitness as to whether Davies keeps his position. Oh, and how could we forget Erling Haaland. The Norwegian teenager who has scored nine goals in his first eight league games since joining BVB in January, including a hat-trick off the bench on his debut against Augsburg.

Watch: Sancho and Haaland, Dortmund's teenage dream

And the wonderkids in the Bundesliga run deeper than just the top sides, with each and every club able to boast a rising talent of their own so make sure not to write-off any players because of their age.

Unsung heroes

Much like the wonderkids of the Bundesliga, there are a host of players whose hard work may not have been celebrated as much in the headlines as they deserve. The tireless defensive midfielders, dominant centre-backs or those playmakers who get more passes to an assist than the actual assist.

The likes of Konrad Laimer at Leipzig, who has been one of the best performers this season. The 22-year-old Austrian defensive midfielder is already in his third full season in the Bundesliga and is stamping his authority on every game. No midfielder has won more challenges than his 286, while Paderborn's Sebastian Vasiliadis - also 22 - shares the same total and is very much of the same ilk as Laimer. A tireless ball-winning midfielder who can say that only four players have covered more distance than him so far in 2019/20.

Konrad Laimer has been one of the biggest unsung heroes in the Bundesliga this season with RB Leipzig. - DFL

One of the worst kept secrets to Union's success in their debut Bundesliga season is their striker Sebastian Andersson. The Sweden international has 11 goals this season, of which six have come from his head which is more than any player across Europe’s top five leagues. He also boats the most duels won of any player both in the air and on the ground.

Five of his goals have been assisted by another unsung hero at Union, the Bundesliga's set-piece king Christopher Trimmel. Union's 33-year-old right-back and captain has seven assists in total, the most for an out-and-out defender. There are so many more out there among the Bundesliga's array of players, so keep your eyes out for those doing the hard yards to get their side crucial points in the business end of this season.