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It's all set up to be another big year in the Bundesliga. - © DFL
It's all set up to be another big year in the Bundesliga. - © DFL
bundesliga

5 reasons to look forward to the year 2023 in the Bundesliga

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The title race, football's best young players and Europe's finest fans - it promises to be another year to savour in the Bundesliga. bundesliga.com has five reasons as to why...

1) Big games, big ambitions

The Bundesliga resumes with a bang on 20 January, when record champions Bayern Munich go to third-placed RB Leipzig. With 15 games down and 19 still to go, the Bundesliga leaders have a slender four-point cushion on a chasing pack headed by surprise package Freiburg. UEFA Europa League holders Eintracht Frankfurt, Union Berlin and Borussia Dortmund complete an ultra-competitive top six, while only six points separate fourth from ninth.

Among the bevy of additional Rückrunde highlights to watch out for are: the Berlin derby (Hertha vs. Union, Matchday 18), the Revierderby, which pits Dortmund against Schalke (Matchday 24), and Der Klassiker between Bayern and Dortmund (Matchday 26). Bayern clinched their 10th consecutive title in last season's meeting - is this the year their remarkable streak comes to an end?

2) Bellingham, Musiala and the teen titans

As ever in the Bundesliga, if you're good enough, you’re old enough. Teenagers have scored 25 Bundesliga goals so far this season - more than their U20 counterparts in any of Europe's four other leading divisions per UEFA coefficient. Unsurprisingly given that fact, two of the five youngest scorers in Europe this term can be found at Germany's top table: Bayern's Mathys Tel (second, 17 years and 136 days), and Dortmund's Youssoufa Moukoko (fourth, 17 years and 265 days).

Jamal Musiala is the top-scoring teen, and indeed Bayern player, with nine Bundesliga goals. The 19-year-old has taken the football world by storm, much like friend and former England youth International teammate Jude Bellingham - already BVB's midfield talisman and one of the stars of the 2022 World Cup. Expect the twinkle-toed brilliance of Giovanni Reyna and Florian Wirtz to shine, too.

Watch: Jude Bellingham and Jamal Musiala - calm under pressure

3) Bun-goals-liga

The Bundesliga also boasts a Europe-leading quota of 3.19 goals per game, based on the first 15 rounds of fixtures of the current campaign. France’s Ligue 1 - home to 2022 World Cup finalists Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe - is next on the list with 2.96 goals per 90 minutes. That eye-watering strike rate is the result of another continental gold standard, with the Bundesliga top dog for shots per game (25.8).

Leipzig's Christopher Nkunku is the leading scorer (12), while Frankfurt counterpart Randal Kolo Muani is out on his own for assists (nine). Nkunku is one of a handful of star names set to return from injury in the months ahead, along with the likes of Sadio Mane and Timo Werner. Great news for their respective teams, and the goals market.

Watch: The Bundesliga is finally back!

4) European gold

The Bundesliga's collective nose for goal has translated onto the European stage, where no other league is so well represented in the UEFA competition knockouts. Bayern, Dortmund, Leipzig and UEFA Europa League holders Frankfurt are through to the UEFA Champions League last 16, and Freiburg the Europa League equivalent.

Union Berlin - surprise Bundesliga leaders for much of the autumn months - and Xabi Alonso's Bayer Leverkusen have the chance to join them via the play-offs. So don't be surprised if a Bundesliga club is on at least one of the podiums come May.

Sadio Mane helped Bayern Munich record a perfect UEFA Champions League group stage. - IMAGO/Pressefoto Rudel/Robin Rudel/IMAGO/Sportfoto Rudel

5) By the fans, for the fans

Frankfurt's fans followed them far and wide on their unforgettable European odyssey last season. A visual and aural spectacle for the uninitiated, such impassioned support is par for the course in the Bundesliga - a league where club members - i.e. the fans - hold a 51 percent voting majority. In short, the 50+1 rule is the reason club traditions are upheld and respected, flags, banners and choreos permitted in grounds, alcohol is sold on the terraces, ticket prices remain low and Germany’s pioneering top tier is habitually the best-attended division in Europe.

Watch: Best fan moments of the 2022/23 season so far

After such an lengthy break - some 68 days stand between the last round of fixtures and the restart - the Bundesliga-loving masses will be raring to go in the new year.