Robert Lewandowski is the man to beat for the Bundesliga's brigade of goal-getters in 2018/19. - © DFL DEUTSCHE FUSSBALL LIGA
Robert Lewandowski is the man to beat for the Bundesliga's brigade of goal-getters in 2018/19. - © DFL DEUTSCHE FUSSBALL LIGA

Bundesliga top scorer 2018/19: The challengers to Robert Lewandowski's crown

Robert Lewandowski claimed his third top scorer's prize with 29 goals last season - but who heads the 2018/19 Bundesliga scoring charts after Matchday 18? has the lowdown on the runners and riders...

Luka Jovic (Eintracht Frankfurt)

Appearances: 16 (11 starts)
Goals: 13
Goals per game: 0.81

After a slow start to the season, Jovic has been in excellent form of late, scoring in three consecutive games for the first time in his career after finding the net against Hannover and Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga and Lazio in the UEFA Europa League. His display against Fortuna Düsseldorf on Matchday 8 had something of a coming-of-age feel about it though, with the Serbia international unstoppable in a 7-1 win on home turf, scoring five before being substituted off to a standing ovation. He netted a double against Schalke on Matchday 11, a consolation in the surprise Matchday 13 defeat to Wolfsburg, another brace in the 2-2 draw at Mainz on Matchday 16 and struck again against Freiburg on Matchday 18.

Luka Jovic turned on the style with Eintracht Frankfurt on Matchday 8, scoring five past Fortuna Düsseldorf in a 7-1 win. - © 2018 Getty Images

Paco Alcacer (Borussia Dortmund)

Appearances: 13 (5 starts)
Goals: 12
Goals per game: 0.92

The summer arrival from Barcelona has breezed into the Bundesliga and hit opponents like a hurricane. Just ask Matchday 7 opponents Augsburg: they were leading 1-0 until Alcacer came off the bench, completing a second-half hat-trick with a 96th-minute matchwinner in a 4-3 Dortmund win for the ages. He continued his epic run with a goal against VfB Stuttgart - his first Bundesliga start - and scored the winner, again as a substitute in Der Klassiker against Bayern Munich. Dortmund rewarded him by transforming his loan into a permanent move, and he paid them back with goal-scoring cameos against Mainz, Freiburg and Düsseldorf to set a new single-season Bundesliga record for substitute strikes (10), and take his tally to 12. The Spain striker is currently averaging a goal every 43 minutes!

Paco Alcacer goals-per-minutes ratio is in a league of its own. - © 2018 Getty Images

Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund)

Appearances: 17 (17 starts)
Goals: 11
Goals per game: 0.65

If you don't love the sight of Reus in full flight, you can only be a Schalke fan. Fit again and bang in form, the Dortmund captain has been the fulcrum of Lucien Favre's attack, prompting teammates and punishing opponents in equally effective measure with his Matchday 5 display in the 7-0 dismissal of Nuremberg one of his all-time best. He added to his tally in a narrow win at Wolfsburg, grabbed a brace in the comeback victory over Bayern Munich on Matchday 11 and struck again in wins against Freiburg, Bremen and Gladbach.

Marco Reus is arguably playing his best football to date for Dortmund. - © PATRIK STOLLARZ/AFP/GettyImages

Timo Werner (RB Leipzig)

Appearances: 18 (17 starts)
Goals: 11
Goals per game: 0.61

The Germany international — like his team — has taken some time to get into his stride this term, but his brace in the 6-0 win over Nuremberg on Matchday 7 — added to the decisive double he claimed in the 3-2 victory over Hannover — suggests the jet-heeled forward has found his shooting boots. He added another brace on Matchday 10, spearheading Leipzig's 3-0 win away to Hertha Berlin, and netted both goals against Borussia Mönchengladbach on Matchday 13. And guess how Werner's next two came about? That's right, he hit a double in the 4-1 win over Mainz on Matchday 15. Werner ruined the fun for statisticians everywhere by scoring just the once in the 3-2 victory over Werder Bremen on Matchday 17.

Timo Werner has finished the last two seasons as RB Leipzig's top goalscorer. - © Gettyimages / Bongarts

Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)

Appearances: 17 (17 starts)
Goals: 11
Goals per game: 0.65

Such are the stratospheric standards set by Bayern's sharpshooter that what is an exceptional strike rate for us mere mortals is merely mortal for this god of goalscoring. Lewandowski went three games without finding the net before picking up a more familiar pace, netting two against Wolfsburg, scoring twice and having two ruled out in the Matchday 11 defeat to former club Dortmund, and to prove the adage of all good things coming in threes, netting another brace in the Bavarian derby. Double-digits was reached on Matchday 15 in Bayern's comfortable win in Hanover, Lewandowski's 14th start of the season. He notched Bayern's third in their 3-1 triumph at Hoffenheim in the Matchday 18 opener.

Robert Lewandowski is a three-time Bundesliga top goalscorer, and in double-figures again. - © Alex Grimm/Bongarts/Getty Images

Sebastien Haller (Eintracht Frankfurt)

Appearances: 18 (16 starts)
Goals: 10
Goals per game: 0.55

The powerful French striker was on target in Frankfurt's first three Bundesliga outings this season against Freiburg, Werder Bremen and Borussia Dortmund, but subsequently went on a four-game goal drought in the league. That came to an end on Matchday 8 when he struck a brace and provided two assists for Luka Jovic in a relentless 7-1 triumph at home to Fortuna Düsseldorf. He came to the Eagles' rescue late in the day on Matchday 9, sliding in to tap in the equaliser in a 1-1 draw in Nuremberg. He then opened the scoring for his side at VfB Stuttgart before rounding things out against Schalke in consecutive 3-0 wins and scoring for a seventh straight game in the 3-1 win over Augsburg. After going five games without a goal, he moved onto double figures with the opening goal against Freiburg on Matchday 18.

If he's not busy scoring goals, Sebastien Haller (r.) is making them. - © 2018 Getty Images

Alassane Plea (Borussia Mönchengladbach)

Appearances: 18 (16 starts)
Goals: 10
Goals per game: 0.55

A useful goalscorer in his native France, Plea has looked every inch a thoroughbred goalgetter since joining the Foals' stable from Nice in the summer. Like Duda, the former Lyon striker has shown a happy knack of tailoring his finishes to suit the opportunity with his aesthetically pleasing carbon-copy curlers cutting down Wolfsburg and Bayern the standout strikes. He grabbed his first Bundesliga hat-trick against Werder Bremen on Matchday 11, and found the net on Matchdays 16 and 18 in wins over Nuremberg and Bayer Leverkusen respectively.

Gladbach's Alassane Plea has made a seamless transition from Ligue 1 to the Bundesliga. - © Oliver Hardt/Bongarts/Getty Images

Ondrej Duda (Hertha Berlin)

Appearances: 17 (15 starts)
Goals: 9
Goals per game: 0.52

Duda is making up for lost time after an injury-ravaged first two years in Germany. That's very good news for Hertha Berlin, since the Slovakia international has taken the Bundesliga by storm to help the Old Lady's push for a European place. The 24-year-old had never scored a brace in his professional career before this season, but his double in Hertha's 2-0 win at Schalke at the start of September was a sign of things to come. The second of those goals was a stunning free-kick, and he struck again from another set piece against Wolfsburg, before also netting in wins over Borussia Mönchengladbach and Bayern Munich before the month was out. Duda added two more goals to his total before the winter break, and he began 2019 by adding to his career-best tally with another brace in the Matchday 18 win over Nuremberg.

Ondrej Duda had only scored one goal for Hertha Berlin before the 2018/19 season. - imago/Jan Huebner

Thorgan Hazard (Borussia Mönchengladbach)

Appearances: 18 (18 starts)
Goals: 9
Goals per game: 0.50

Gladbach's top scorer last term with 10 goals, Hazard went the first three games of 2018/19 without finding the net, but hit his stride with efforts in successive matches against Hertha Berlin, Eintracht Frankfurt and Wolfsburg on Matchdays 4-6. The 2018 FIFA World Cup bronze medal winner added a fifth to his tally in the Matchday 9 loss to Freiburg, grabbed a brace against Fortuna Düsseldorf and grabbed the first of four Gladbach goals against Hannover on Matchday 12. He then recovered from missing a penalty to give his side the lead in their 2-0 win over Nuremberg on Matchday 16.

Thorgan Hazard is on for another double-digit return in front of goal for Gladbach in 2018/19. - © 2018 Getty Images

Yussuf Poulsen (RB Leipzig)

Appearances: 18 (16 starts)
Goals: 8
Goals per game: 0.44

The Denmark international is lauded for his work ethic as he tirelessly harries opposing defenders, creating time and space for his teammates to score goals. This season, he has managed to ally both. He got the Leipzig party started in the 3-2 win over Hannover on Matchday 3; for the impressive 2-1 defeat of Hoffenheim, Poulsen did not even need any help in earning his team all three points; and hit braces against Bayer Leverkusen on Matchday 11 and Mainz on Matchday 15 to take his tally to eight.

RB Leipzig's Yussuf Poulsen is enjoying a rich vein of goal-scoring form, by his modest standards. - © 2018 Getty Images / Alexander Hassenstein

On seven goals

Alfred Finnbogason (Augsburg)
Vedad Ibisevic (Hertha Berlin)
Dodi Lukebakio (Fortuna Düsseldorf)

On six goals

Kai Havertz (Bayer Leverkusen)
Andrej Kramaric (Hoffenheim)
Jean-Philippe Mateta (Mainz)
Reiss Nelson (Hoffenheim)
Ante Rebic (Eintracht Frankfurt)
Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund)
Kevin Volland (Bayer Leverkusen)
Wout Weghorst (Wolfsburg)

Click here for the full list of scorers!