After two months off, the Bundesliga is back and it’s busier than ever! The powers that be, in their infinite wisdom, decided to make up for the lost time created by a winter World Cup being added to the schedule by cramming in a bunch of double weeks (commonly referred to as “English Weeks” in German football) as soon as the winter break finished.
That means that not only are Bundesliga players being chucked in the deep-end after their time off, the writers of these Bundesliga roundups are pushed to their physical limits too! My fingers have been sat in ice for two months and I’m simply not physically capable of ramping up my content production to two roundups per week. So during these busy times we will release these roundups later in the week, covering the two matchdays that have been played in that week. My delicate little hands can live on to type another day.
Anyway, it looks like some teams were more prepared for the Rückrunde than others, and we saw some pretty big scorelines as a result. Over the weekend, Freiburg and Werder Bremen found themselves on the end of heavy shellackings, while it was Schalke and Hertha Berlin’s turn later in the week. Perhaps things will settle down as teams get back into a rhythm, or perhaps we’re in for a very weird second half of the season?
RB Leipzig 1-1 Bayern Munich
Frankfurt 3-0 Schalke
VfB Stuttgart 1-1 Mainz
Wolfsburg 6-0 Freiburg
VfL Bochum 3-1 Hertha Berlin
Union Berlin 3-1 Hoffenheim
FC Köln 7-1 Werder Bremen
Borussia Dortmund 4-3 Augsburg
Borussia Monchengladbach 2-3 Bayer Leverkusen
Schalke 1-6 RB Leipzig
Bayern Munich 1-1 FC Köln
Hertha Berlin 0-5 Wolfsburg
Hoffenheim 2-2 VfB Stuttgart
Mainz 1-2 Borussia Dortmund
Bayer Leverkusen 2-0 VfL Bochum
Freiburg 1-1 Frankfurt
Augsburg 1-0 Borussia Monchengladbach
Werder Bremen 1-2 Union Berlin
RB Leipzig & Wolfsburg Open the Rückrunde in Great Form
Borussia Dortmund haven’t looked particularly convincing in their first two games since the winter break, and Bayern Munich failed to win either of their games, but RB Leipzig and Wolfsburg have shown up ready for the second half of the season. Wolfsburg kicked things off with a surprise 6-0 win against Freiburg on Saturday, before a 5-0 away win against Hertha Berlin on Tuesday, taking their tally to 11 goals in under a week.
RB Leipzig, meanwhile, only scored seven goals and picked up just four points in their first two games of 2023, but their opening game was a 1-1 draw against Bayern Munich, which is a pretty solid result. They followed it up by grinding Schalke into a fine blue paste, in what can only be described as “quite bad news” for a side that are currently rooted at the bottom of the Bundesliga table.
Both RB Leipzig and Wolfsburg had what can be probably be described as “mixed” results in the first half of the Bundesliga season, but if the first week of football is anything to go by, they’re making up for lost time. I’m not sure I’d bank on Wolfsburg putting up many more of these massive wins, but the East Germans certainly seem like the real deal. Leipzig have climbed up to third place in the table, and have been in red-hot form since Marco Rose took over as manager. Their xGD/90 places them as far and away the second best team in the league, so I wouldn’t be at all shocked if they continue this form for the rest of the season and finish as runners up.
Who do you think will be the best team in the Bundesliga in the second half of the season?