Munich - With the Bundesliga restart just days away, you’re probably wondering how all 18 clubs are shaping up ahead of the big kick-off. Lucky for you, bundesliga.com has all the answers.
In the final part of our series, we focus on the teams leading the way at the top of the Bundesliga table...
Where do you start? The plethora of talent at Guardiola's disposal is enough to make any coach envious of the 43-year-old Spaniard. Franck Ribery - though though doubtful for Bayern's first match of 2014 against Borussia Mönchengladbach - is likely to want to prove a point after missing out on the 2013 FIFA Ballon d'Or, while Arjen Robben and Bastian Schweinsteiger will both return to full fitness before too long. Bayern may not have added to their squad during this transfer window, but they have already signalled their intentions for next season and beyond with the capture of Robert Lewandowski.
Bayern's seven-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga proves the German record champions can cope with injuries quite comfortably. In fact, a fully fit squad could pose more of a problem for Guardiola - can the former FC Barcelona coach keep all his players happy? Guardiola has already shown he is more than willing to rotate his starting line-up on a regular basis, so Bayern's many stars should all be given ample playing time.
It will take a monumental effort by one of their challengers to snatch the Bundesliga title from Bayern's clutches, and last season's quadruple winners certainly won't surrender the DFB Cup and the UEFA Champions League without a fight. "Our aim is always to retain our trophies," said captain Philipp Lahm. "If you win three competitions like that, you want to defend them."
Did you know that... Bayern lost 5-0 at Gladbach on the final day of the 1973/74 campaign, just one day after beating Club Atletico de Madrid in that season's European Cup final?
In Stefan Kießling, Sidney Sam and , Leverkusen boast one of the most dangerous attacks in the division. One of their more recent acquisitions however, 1899 Hoffenheim loanee , has enjoyed the best mid-season break of the lot, scoring six goals in Leverkusen's five friendly matches.
Unfortunately for Hyypiä, Sam has agreed on a move to FC Schalke 04 at the end of the current campaign. The Finnish coach will also be without the services of Australia international winger Robbie Kruse, who sustained knee ligament damage in training, for the rest of the season. Leverkusen don't currently have the biggest squad, and time will tell what effect injuries and suspensions may have on their challenge at the Bundesliga summit.
Despite currently being Bayern's closest challengers, the Bundesliga title isn't Leverkusen's main objective for the 2013/14 season. "We want to qualify for the Champions League again," said sporting director Rudi Völler. If Bayer can start the second half of the campaign in similar fashion to the first, Völler and Co. are likely to get their wish.
Did you know that... Leverkusen's forwards scored more goals during the first half of the season (25) than SC Freiburg managed overall (16)?
Click here for part I of our State of Play series
If Gladbach's front four of Max Kruse, Raffael, Juan Arango and Patrick Herrmann can recapture their form of the first half of the season, the Foals will take some stopping in the Hinrunde. At the other end, meanwhile, Favre will be boosted by the return of centre-back Alvaro Dominguez who is in contention for a starting berth against Bayern following a long-term shoulder injury.
It is difficult to pinpoint flaws in Gladbach's side, but there is room for improvement in the wider areas of the pitch. The Foals made fewer crosses (107) than any other top-flight team during the first half of the campaign, while only Leverkusen and SV Werder Bremen conceded more crosses than Gladbach (248). Only one of die Fohlen's 35 goals resulted from a cross, and they have also yet to score from a corner.
If Gladbach can carry their fine home form into the second half of the 2013/14 season, they will stand an excellent chance of finishing in the top four of the Bundesliga. Lucien Favre's team are serious contenders for a UEFA Champions League berth.
Did you know that... on average, only Bayern enjoyed more possession (66 per cent) than Gladbach (56 per cent) during the first half of the season?