2020/21 Frauen-Bundesliga Preview
Review 2019/20 season:
After VfL Wolfsburg dominantly finishing the 19/20 season by winning the league title and the DFB Pokal on penalties in the final against SGS Essen, the pressure on Wolfsburg is to repeat a season like this again. Since 2017 no other team was able to stop the “Wölfinnen” from winning the league title, which is an impressive achievement.
But one of the most outstanding and surprising teams of the last season definitely goes to TSG Hoffenheim. It was a neck-to-neck race between Hoffenheim and Bayern Munich for the second UWCL qualification spot for the upcoming 20/21 season. Before the Covid-19 disrupted the season at the beginning of March, Bayern Munich were on the 2nd place with 38 points and TSG Hoffenheim on the 3rd place with 37 points. So it was predictable that when the season returned at the end of May, it would be a tight race between both teams for the last remaining spot to qualify for the upcoming Champions League. In the end, Bayern topped Hoffenheim and secured their qualification by winning 5 of the 6 remaining games. Despite this, though, Hoffenheim’s great season was highly unexpected.
Preview 2020/21 season:
With last season’s top goal scorer Pernille Harder recently signing for Chelsea, Wolfsburg seems to be much weaker than the last season and Bayern Munich will sense their chance to challenge them this season. The upcoming season could be the most competitive season in years and not only the battle for the title between the top 2, VfL Wolfsburg, and Bayern Munich but also the relatively balanced “rest” can be expected to give everything to reach the top 3.
Because a massive overhaul in this year’s FLYERARLARM Frauen-Bundesliga season will have the additional 3rd spot for the UWCL qualification, which means the top 3 German teams will be able to participate in the 21/22 UWCL season. And the fight for this 3rd spot could be really hard and very interesting. With a little gap between the top 2 and the “rest”, the places 3-5 are always highly competitive. This year teams like Eintracht Frankfurt, Turbine Potsdam, SGS Essen, and last season’s surprising team TSG Hoffenheim, are potential top 3 teams. We’ll see which team will be best prepared for a tough season with many tight games.
The opening fixture on the 4th of September (kick-off: 19:15 CET), will be a repetition of the spectacular German cup final of the 19/20 season, with Wolfsburg playing at home against SGS Essen. After the defeat on penalties in the final, Essen definitely have to settle a score with Wolfsburg and will be willing to win the match this time.
Lena Oberdorf (SGS Essen), Pauline Bremer (Manchester City), Kathrin Hendrich (FC Bayern Munich), Katarzyna Kiedrzynek (Paris-Saint-Germain)
Pernille Harder (FC Chelsea), Sara Björk Gunnarsdóttir (Olympique Lyon), Noelle Maritz (Arsenal), Cláudia Neto (ACF Fiorentina), Kristine Minde (Rosenborg BK Kvinner), Hedvig Lindahl (Atlético Madrid)
Last season: 1st
Key player: Alexandra Popp
Manager: Stephan Lerch
VfL Wolfsburg was absolutely dominating women’s football in Germany for the last few seasons. They also impressed in the UWCL by reaching the final which they eventually lost by a scoreline of 1:3 against Olympique Lyon last Sunday. But after winning the league title for the 4th time in a row and the German cup for the 6th time in a row, Wolfsburg seems to be the unstoppable team in Germany. But their transfer activities this summer shouldn’t be ignored. Especially the departure of Pernille Harder is a bitter setback for the “Wölfinnen” and will be far from easy to compensate. She scored 27 goals in 21 games and played a huge role for Wolfsburg in winning the title. Harder wasn’t just the captain and leader of the team, she was also their creative center and goal-machine. Besides this, Sara Björk Gunnarsdottir and Noelle Maritz will also leave a big dent in the squad. Their new signings are certainly promising but it remains to be seen how well they will settle in. Lena Oberdorf is one of the biggest young talents in Europe at the moment and it will be interesting to see how she‘ll develop in Wolfsburg.
All in all, they are potentially the favorites to win this year’s title once again but with Pernille Harder leaving, Wolfsburg will probably struggle and the chances, especially for Bayern to beat them in the title race, will grow.
FC Bayern Munich:
Marina Hegering (SGS Essen), Lea Schüller (SGS Essen), Klara Bühl (SC Freiburg), Hanna Glas (Paris-Saint-Germain), Sarah Zadrazil (Turbine Potsdam)
Kathrin Hendrich (VfL Wolfsburg), Melanie Leupolz (Chelsea), Mandy Islacker (1. FC Köln), Dominika Skrovánková (Montepellier HSC)
Last season: 2nd
Key player: Lina Magull
Manager: Jens Scheuer
Probably Bayern’s major signings predominance the major departures this season. Of course especially the loss of former captain Melanie Leupolz seems to be massive but with Lina Magull taking over her position, Bayern could be able to compensate this very well. With Marina Hegering and Hanna Glas, they added more quality and depth to their defence but it’s a need to emphasize the major reinforcement of the offensivee line too. With German international youngsters’ Lea Schüller and Klara Bühl, Bayern’s attack might pose problems for most of the opposing defenses in the upcoming season. Next to key player Lina Magull, Guilia Gwinn is one to watch out for in the squad. The 21-year-old impressed in last year’s WWC in France and continued with great performances in the previous as well as the preseason.
All in all, Bayern cannot just be expected as Wolfsburg biggest challenge they can also be predicted as potential title winners with their high-quality, talented, and broader squad. They’re tired of being the eternal number 2 behind Wolfsburg and are rightly seeing their chances to beat them this season.
Celina Degen (Sturm Graz), Karla Görlitz (USV Jena)
Lina Bürger (SC Freiburg), Leonie Pankratz (Montepellier HSC)
Last season: 3rd
Key player: Nicole Billa
Manager: Gabor Gallai
TSG Hoffenheim was the most surprising team of the 19/20 season. After fighting with Bayern for the second spot which awarded a place in next season’s Champions League, Hoffenheim ended the season on the 3rd place and didn’t qualify for the upcoming UWCL season. They were beaten by Bayern 0:3 after the restart of the season. The key player in the Austrian striker Nicole Billa. With 18 goals added to her name, she ended up in the 2nd place for the top goalscorer award behind Wolfsburg’s Pernille Harder and influenced the success of Hoffenheim massively.
They haven’t done too many transfers during the summer and can be expected in as a good shape as they ended the last season with a nearly unchanged squad. With the additional UWCL qualification spot they’ll be highly motivated to achieve the qualification this year, after last season’s failure.
Merle Barth (Bayer Leverkusen), Selina Cerci (SV Werder Bremen), Lena Uebach (Bayer Leverkusen)
Anna Gasper (FC Altera Porta), Caroline Siems (Aston Villa), Sarah Zardrazil (Bayern Munich), Lara Prasnikar (Eintracht Frankfurt)
Last season: 4th
Key player: Johanna Elsig
Manager: Sofian Chahed
Turbine Potsdam is always a team which can be expected in the upper third of the table. Even though their major national and international success was some time ago but with the top 3 league spots awarding a place in next season's Champions League, it should be an incentive for them to bring out the best of themselves to make it to the top 3 again. With Merle Barth, Selina Cerci, and Lena Uebach, Potsdam had made some proper signings during the summer. On the other hand, they’ve to cope with the loss of various starters, such as Caroline Siems, former captain Sarah Zadrazil and Lara Prasnikar. It remains to be seen how well the new signings settle in and how well prepared the team comes out of the pre-season.
Antonia Baaß (VfL Wolfsburg II), Jill Baijings (SC Heerenveen), Selina Ostermeier (Eintracht Frankfurt)
Turid Knaak (Atlético Madrid), Marina Hegering (FC Bayern Munich), Lena Oberdorf (VfL Wolfsburg), Lea Schüller (FC Bayern Munich), Ramona Petzelberger (Aston Villa)
Last season: 5th
Key player: Jana Feldkamp
Manager: Markus Höger
As usual, Essen played a solid season with finishing on the 5th position on the table and a spectacular cup final, where they required everything from their opponents Wolfsburg. Essen is well-known for their development of young players. On the other side of the coin, these well-developed youngsters often make their way to bigger clubs to participate in the UWCL, such as Lena Oberdorf and Lea Schüller. Many young talents left Essen during the summer and it will be interesting to see how well they’ll compensate these. But with an additional UWCL qualification spot, they’ll be highly motivated to do well this season and maybe get the chance to secure qualification for next season’s Champions League. It will be a tough task for them but they’ve shown their potential in former seasons and are always a team that can make one of the places from the 3rd to the 5th.
Eintracht Frankfurt (formerly 1. FFC Frankfurt):
Lara Prasnikar (Turbine Potsdam), Merle Frohms (SC Freiburg), Virginia Kirchberger (SC Freiburg), Leonie Köster (FC Bayern Munich II)
Margarita Gidion (SV Werder Bremen), Selina Ostermeier (SGS Essen)
Last season: 6th
Key player: Verena Aschauer
Manager: Niko Arnautis
After the merger with the men’s football club Eintracht Frankfurt, the team is no longer named 1.FFC Frankfurt. They are very happy with the available facilities for the women department of Eintracht Frankfurt. It is a huge change and a club with great traditions in the women’s game is no longer the same but all the persons responsible of the club, are optimistic for a greater future.
With the promising new signings, striker Lara Prasnikar and German international keeper Merle Frohms, Frankfurt could’ve reinforced their squad remarkably during the summer. Verena Aschauer seems to be Frankfurt’s key player by organise the build-up play out of the defence and leading the squad. The team can definitely be expected to take part in the race for the UWCL qualification.
Luisa Wensing (SV Werder Bremen), Elvira Herzog (1. FC Köln), Lina Bürger (TSG Hoffenheim)
Sharon Beck (1. FC Köln), Klara Bühl (FC Bayern Munich), Merle Frohms (Eintracht Frankfurt), Lena Lotzen (1. FC Köln), Clara Schöne (retired), Verena Wieder (Bayer Leverkusen)
Last season: 7th
Key player: Rebecca Knaak
Manager: Daniel Kraus
As you can see Freiburg had lost a lot of players during this summer. The biggest issue seems to be that the departures including some of their last season’s key players. Especially without former captain Clara Schöne and youngster attacker Klara Bühl, Freiburg’s game-play seems to be affected negatively. But former German international and UWCL winner Luisa Wensing, next to midfielder and current captain Rebecca Knaak, could play an important role by building up a new, strong squad. During the injury break of Clara Schöne last season, Knaak had already taken the captain’s armband and was able to prove her leadership qualities. After a mixed season and a lot of departures by certain players, it cannot be predicted as an easy season for them.
Jacintha Weimar (FC Bayern Munich), Emily Evels (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Noemi Gentile (SC Freiburg), Leonie Kreil (USV Jena)
Charlotte Voll (Paris-Saint-Germain), Jasmin Sehan (SV Werder Bremen), Manon Klett (1. FC Köln), Viktoria Pinther (Bayer Leverkusen), Agnieszka Winczo (SV Meppen)
Last season: 8th
Key player: Jacintha Weimar
Manager: Nora Häuptle
SC Sand is a team which is most able to finish the league in the middle of the table. They don’t really have a chance to compete with the teams on top of the table but always manage to collect enough points to avoid the relegation. It’s a typical mid-table team and at the moment and the only team with a female manager in the league. But with the signing of Dutch international Jacintha Weimar they engaged a promising goalkeeper and are hoping to reinforce the defense. She could play an important leadership-role for SC Sand in the upcoming season.
Miray Cin (VfL Wolfsburg II), Ecem Cümert (SV Alberweiler), Sophie Maierhofer (Kansas Jayhawks)
Naomi Gottschling (SV Budberg), Lisa Makas (SKN St. Plöten), Laura Radke (VfL Bochum), Danica Joelle Wu (unkown)
Last season: 9th
Key player: Isabel Hochstein
Manager: Thomas Gerstner
Duisburg’s biggest issue last season was their inconsistency in front of the goal. With only 19 scored goals they had the lowest number of scored goals next to the relegated team USV Jena. After the Corona-break, it was a tough task for them to avoid the relegation but with a 2:2 against Bayern, a 2:0 win against Bayer Leverkusen, 1:1 against FC Köln, and 0:0 against Turbine Potsdam (all games after the Corona-break), they showed their determination and belief to make the impossible possible. This showed how they were determined to live up to the task and the strong team spirit. It remains to be seen what the new season has in hold for them but just as last season, it could probably be a rough and long way to avoid the relegation once again.
Kristin Kögel (Bayern München II), Lara Marti (FC Basel), Sylwia Matysik (Górnik Leczna), Lilla Turányi (MTK Hungaria), Verena Wieder (SC Freiburg), Viktoria Pinther (SC Sand)
Merle Barth (Turbine Potsdam), Laura Sieger (SV Meppen), Lena Uebach (Turbine Potsdam), Nicole Banecki (unkown)
Last season: 10th
Key player: Isabel Kerschowski
Manager: Achim Feifel
With last season’s captain Merle Barth leaving, it seems to leave a big dent in Bayer Leverkusen’s defense. She was one of their key players and will play for league rival Turbine Potsdam in the upcoming season. But Leverkusen hasn’t been inactive during the transfer period and reinforced the squad with some young talents such as German U20 international Kristin Kögel and German U19 international Verena Wieder.
Leverkusen avoided the relegation narrowly because they hadn’t done great when the season had restarted after the corona break in May and dropped some points easily. But in the end they were lucky enough that relegation rivals Köln, also dropped points and they won the tight match against 3:1. So after their not ideal come out of the Corona-break, they are now motivated to do better this season but it won’t be an easy task for them by considering the loss of some important players.
Beattie Goad (Stanford Cardinal), Laura Sieger (Bayer Leverkusen), Jannelle Flaws (BV Cloppenburg), Victoria Krug (Turbine Potsdam), Agnieszka Winczo (SC Sand)
Lara-Marie Cordes (SV Herbrum), Henrike-Sophie Juraschek (Hamburger SV), Jalila Dalaf (1. FC Sarstedt)
Last season: 2nd (2. Frauen-Bundesliga, promoted)
Key player: Agnieszka Winczo
Manager: Theodoros Dedes
SV Meppen was very lucky with their promotion this year. After the 2. Frauen-Bundesliga 19/20 season was canceled due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus, Meppen was placed 4th on the table. Only the top two teams will be promoted to the Frauen-Bundesliga but in this case, the 2nd and 3rd positions were held by TSG Hoffenheim II and VfL Wolfsburg II, and they aren’t allowed to be promoted to the 1. Frauen-Bundesliga when their first teams participate in it. So, due to such circumstances, SV Meppen was promoted to the Frauen-Bundesliga, even though they didn’t make the top 2 of the league.
A key player in the upcoming season could be the new offensive signing Agnieszka Winczo from league rival SC Sand. The 35-year-old brings a lot of experiences to the team, she had already played 105 games for Poland and could be an important support for the team. Nevertheless, it’ll be really hard for them to keep themselves in the top division, after a lucky promotion and an unideal last season.
SV Werder Bremen:
Margarita Gidion (Eintracht Frankfurt), Jasmin Sehan (SC Sand), Agata Tarczynska (VfL Wolfsburg II), Anna Hausdorff (TSG Hoffenheim II)
Selina Cerci (Turbine Potsdam), Franziska Gieseke (ATS Buntentor), Cindy König (Sporting Braga), Luisa Wensing (SC Freiburg)
Last season: 1st (2. Frauen-Bundesliga, promoted)
Key player: Magarita Gidion
Manager: Alexander Kluge
Werder Bremen has played a solid season and is deservedly promoted to the Frauen-Bundesliga. After only one season in the second division they managed their promotion back to the Frauen-Bundesliga immediately. With U19 German international Selina Cerci leaving, the offensive side has to be build but the young polish Agata Tarcynska, seems promising to reinforce the attacking line. The team impressed with 0 defeats and conceded only 13 goals last season. Whereby, it should be noted that the league wasn’t complete. The season was cancelled after 16 of 26 played games due to the Coronavirus outbreak. However, it’s safe to say Bremen played a great season until the cancellation and is deservedly promoted. Now they’ll have to prove that they belong in the first division, which won’t be an easy task for them.