Bundesliga preview: Leckie and Borrello walk with giants

Australians love a challenge, and there is hardly a bigger one in the world of football than taking down Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich.

But you can be sure that Caltex Socceroo attackers Mathew Leckie and Brandon Borrello will give it a red-hot crack for both Hertha Berlin and Freiburg respectively this season.

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Leckie won’t have long to wait either, with his Hertha side travelling to Munich to face Bayern to launch the new 2019/20 season this Saturday at 4.30am (AEST).

What else is in store for the two Aussie forwards? Let’s take a look at the state of play in Germany before action gets underway this weekend.

Title contenders

29-time German champions Bayern Munich reign supreme in the Bundesliga and have won the last seven titles.

It goes without saying that Borussia Dortmund – the last team to take the crown off the Bavarians in 2011/12 – will have their work cut out for them in chasing down Niko Kovac’s side again.

However, Dortmund are getting closer and were only beaten to the prize by two points last season. RB Leipzig, Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Monchengladbach are all outside contenders.

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Star players

It is no secret that Bayern have the lion’s share of Bundesliga talent at their disposal.

Included on the Bavarians' list of stars are German World Cup-winners like goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and defender Jerome Boateng, one of Europe’s most prolific strikers in Polish marksman Robert Lewandowski and rising star Serge Gnabry.

Bayern have lost a defensive stalwart in Mats Hummels to former side Borussia Dortmund, who have also secured Spanish forward Paco Alcacer on a permanent basis after he scored 19 goals in 32 matches on loan from Barcelona last year.

Gnabry and Lewandowski
Serge Gnabry (L) and Robert Lewandowski (R) of Bayern Munich

The Aussies

Leckie (28) and Borrello (24) are walking among some true giants of world football, but the pair of speedy attackers are not ones to be overawed by the challenge.

Former Bulleen Lions junior Leckie gave Germany a glimpse of the ability that has seen him become the second-youngest Caltex Socceroo to reach 50 national team appearances by scoring a double on his Bundesliga debut for Hertha back in 2017.

Since then, the Aussie flyer has featured and scored for the club in the UEFA Europa League, and his aerial ability, athleticism and ability to play multiple roles across the pitch make him an invaluable part of a squad aiming for a spot in Europe this season.


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Meanwhile, there could be sensational things coming from Borrello at Freiburg. The ex-Brisbane Roar speedster had torn his anterior cruciate ligament during a training session for old club Kaiserslautern in April 2018 before making the move to Freiburg official.

He has since shown faith to the pulsating city located in southwest Germany’s Black Forest, having remained in the country to learn the language and continue his rehabilitation.

And after picking up an assist in the club’s DFB-Pokal win over FC Magdeburg, Borrello is already showing Freiburg boss Christian Streich that he’s ready to take the Bundesliga by storm this year.  

Newcomers

FC Koln, SC Paderborn and Union Berlin have all been promoted for the 57th season of the Bundesliga, replacing relegated trio VfB Stuttgart, Hannover 96 and FC Nurnberg.

Opening fixtures

Leckie and Hertha face Bayern on Saturday morning, kick-off 4.30am AEST.

Borrello and Freiburg host Mainz at home, on Saturday evening, kick-off 11.30pm AEST.

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