With the likes of Robert Lewandowski and Erling Haaland, it’s no surprise that the Bundesliga is the top European league with the most goals per game – but they can’t do it alone. The Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund strikers have become deadly duos with Thomas Müller and Jadon Sancho respectively.
Yet they are only the tip of the iceberg for prolific partnerships in Germany’s top flight. bundesliga.com takes a look at the league’s most productive pairs…
Hardly a matchday goes by without Lewandowski setting a new record of some sort. He’s already on 35 goals for the campaign after only 26 rounds of fixtures to set a new personal best for a season, is the runaway top scorer, and is within reach of Gerd Müller’s single-season record of 40. He’s had the most shots of anyone in the league (112) and the most clear-cut chances (26), putting away 19 of them. On top of that, he’s got six assists to take his goal contributions up to 41 – that is more than 10 teams in the division.
Watch: Lewandowski's race to 40 goals
Even after winning nine Bundesliga titles and the UEFA Champions League twice, it’s still not easy to describe Müller’s style of play – but it is hugely effective. The Raumdeuter is again the league’s top provider with 14 assists, as well as chipping in with 10 goals, making this his best scoring campaign since 2015/16. He’s set up the most shots of any player in the league (75) and created eight clear-cut chances, of which five were for Lewandowski.
Europe’s deadliest partnership this season has been key to Bayern’s success for a number of years. In the league for 2020/21, they have a combined 65 goal contributions. At least one of them has either scored and/or assisted in 54 of the team’s (record-breaking haul of) 78 goals, which amounts to 69 per cent. They have combined 10 times, with the 2014 FIFA World Cup winner setting up the Best FIFA Men’s Player on seven occasions, and roles reversed three times. From their 21 Bundesliga starts together this season, Bayern have won 17 at an average of 2.6 points per game (D3, L1). In the five with one or both missing, it’s only 1.4 points (W2, D1, L2).
Watch: All of Müller's goals and assists in 2020/21
As with Lewandowski, Haaland’s scoring rate in the Bundesliga is phenomenal, netting 34 times in only 36 career appearances. He’s got 21 of those this season, coming from just 68 attempts on goal. Eighteen of those have come across eight braces or better – a Dortmund record for a season. One of those was even a four-goal salvo against Hertha Berlin. On top of all that, the Norwegian is the top scorer in this season’s UEFA Champions League with 10 (including four consecutive braces) as he’s guided BVB to the quarter-finals.
Watch: Analysing the half-man, half-machine Haaland
Sancho had a - by his standards - slow start to the season and reached the winter break without a league goal, but he’s made up for that in 2021. He’s since struck six times and now has nine assists to his name, having created the third-most shots of any player in the league (57). On the verge of his 100th Bundesliga appearance, the now 21-year-old has an astonishing haul of 36 goals and 43 assists to his name, coming at an average of one every 91 minutes.
As surprising as it sounds, Haaland and Sancho only combined once in the league in 2019/20 following the former’s January arrival, with the England international teeing up the Leeds-born Norway international’s first goal. That anomaly has been corrected this season, with six of Sancho’s squad-leading nine assists being for Haaland, including four since the turn of the year. At least one of them has either scored or assisted in 33 of Borussia’s 54 Bundesliga goals, which amounts to 61 per cent of the team’s total.
Watch: A closer look at Dortmund's dream duo
Silva is level with Haaland on 21 goals in second place on the scoring chart, but, like Frankfurt, seems to have flown under the radar this season. The Portugal international is only the second Eintracht player in Bundesliga history to reach that total in a campaign, and is now just five short of Bernd Hölzenbein’s club season record of 26 from 1976/77. Silva is also second only to Lewandowski for attempts on goal (86) and only behind him and Müller for Fantasy points. The 6’0’’ striker also got almost a quarter of his goals (five) with headers.
Watch: All of Silva's 2020/21 goals
That’s a particularly useful trait when you’ve got Kostic providing the supply from the left. The Serbian has delivered the most crosses from open play in the league (148) and has the assist for four of those headers. Like Sancho, Kostic’s form has exploded since the turn of the year. He’s second only to Müller for chances created (63) and overall assists with 10, but a league-leading nine of those have come in 2021.
Six of Kostic’s assists have benefitted Silva, with Frankfurt losing only once in 19 games when both have started (W10, D8). At least one of them has scored or set up 31 of Eintracht’s 53 goals (58 per cent), which is the club’s best total in 39 years and is the league’s third-best attack. The pair are also the main reason for the Eagles’ top-four push. They are on course for a first-ever Champions League qualification as they sit on 47 points after 26 matchdays, which is the most the club has ever had at this stage.
Watch: All of Kostic's 2020/21 goals and assists
Neither Kalajdzic nor Sosa were likely on many people’s radars ahead of this season, but few would’ve also backed promoted Stuttgart to be ninth, not once dropping below 12th place. The striker is their top scorer with 13 goals, putting him sixth in the league standings in his maiden top-flight campaign. Five of those have been from the bench, while a division-leading six have been from headers, which is a little less surprising when you consider the almost 6’6’’ Austrian is the tallest player in the Bundesliga and that 20 of his 50 attempts on goal have been with his head. He also recently equalled Fredi Bobic’s club record of scoring in seven consecutive top-flight games.
Life has been made easy for Kalajdzic by Sosa’s pin-point delivery from the left. The wing-back is Stuttgart’s top provider with eight assists, of which four have been for the big man up front – all in the year 2021 and all put away with his head. The Croatian is second only to Kostic in the division for crosses from open play (97).
Pellegrino Matarazzo's team are yet to lose when Sosa has provided an assist (W5, D2), while their record from 13 games when their deadly duo have both started is a strong six wins, four draws and only three defeats. The promoted side’s haul of 47 goals – of which 43 per cent have at least Kalajdzic or Sosa involved – is the fifth-best in the division and the club’s highest total after 26 matchdays in any league since the 1996/97 campaign under Joachim Löw.