The 2017-17 German Bundesliga season kicks off next Friday when defending champions Bayern Munich play host to Bayer 04 Leverkusen at the Allianz Arena.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side raced away with the title last season; 15 points ahead of runners-up RB Leipzig, losing only two matches all season. Many expect them to do the same again this time around and bookmakers’ odds of 1/6 back that up.
Bayern Munich are heavy favourites to get the season off to a flying start with odds of 1/5 to secure victory over a Bayer 04 Leverkusen side who were poor last season and have since lost Javier Hernández, Hakan Çalhanoğlu, Ömer Toprak and Kyriakos Papadopoulos. Whilst there’s little value in backing the hosts pre-game we can hope to find value in-play with the likes of NetBet Live Odds.
Bayern Munich have invested heavily again during the summer transfer window. Highly-rated centre-back Niklas Süle has been acquired from 1899 Hoffenheim after being an integral part of the side that surprisingly finished fourth last season, earning a UEFA Champions League qualifier versus English Premier League giants Liverpool.
2014 World Cup Golden Boot winner James Rodríguez has joined on a two-year loan deal from Real Madrid, whilst defender Medhi Benatia has returned from his loan spell at AS Roma. The Italian head coach has further options in defence as Holger Badstuber is back at the club after being sent out on loan to Schalke 04 for the second half of last season to build up his match fitness.
Sebastian Rudy has also arrived, mostly likely a squad player, and the most interesting signing of the summer by the champions has to be that of Serge Gnabry from Werder Bremen. Though the pacey winger has been sent out on loan to Hoffenheim.
You may have noted that Bayern Munich have not signed another striker this summer, and that may simply be because they do not need to. The Bundesliga player of the Year from last season, Robert Lewandowski, has little competition for starting time under Ancelotti and can be expected to win the Top Scorer award for the third time this season. NetBet are offering the best odds around at 11/10 for the Polish striker to do just that.
In terms of relegation odds, Hannover 96 are the bookmakers’ favourites after returning to the top flight at the first attempt. Whilst many are expecting 2. Bundesliga champions VfB Stuttgart to steer well clear of relegation. Mainz 05 have the next shortest odds on the list followed by Hamburg – the only club to have played in every single Bundesliga season. The Old Dinosaur only 21/10 to be relegated this season.