2019/20 Bundesliga Team of the Hinrunde

Bundesliga Team of the Hinrunde
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The first half of the Bundesliga season has come its conclusion, and it has thus far been the most exciting campaign in recent memory. Usual winners Bayern Munich find themselves four points off league leaders RB Leipzig, with Borussia Monchengladbach nestled right between the two in second place. Bitter rivals Borussia Dortmund and Schalke 04, meanwhile, both sit three points off Bayern, but it’s Dortmund who hold the goal differential advantage. Several players have had an exceptional half-season, but this XI has been the Bundesliga’s best team of the Hinrunde.

Bundesliga Team of the Hinrunde

Goalkeeper – Yann Sommer

Just three goalkeepers have kept five clean sheets so far this Bundesliga season: Manuel Neuer, Lukas Hradecky, and Yann Sommer. Of the three, Sommer has made by far the most saves per match (3.5) and has conceded the fewest goals per game (1.1). Those statistics alone prove the Switzerland international has been the Bundesliga’s best goalkeeper this Hinrunde, but his leadership and command on the field cement his spot.

Honorable Mention: Alexander Nubel

Left-Back – Alphonso Davies

Although naturally a left-winger, Alphonso Davies has been nearly flawless at left-back since making his first Bundesliga start in the position in Bayern’s 2-1 win over Union Berlin in October. Davies truly announced himself to Europe with a man of the match performance in his team’s 4-0 thrashing of Borussia Dortmund in November. So impressive has the 19-year-old been that his will undoubtedly be one of the first names on Hansi Flick’s team sheet when the Bundesliga campaign resumes in January.

Honorable Mention: Marcel Halstenburg

Center-Back – Martin Hinteregger

Eintracht Frankfurt have blown hot and cold this Bundesliga season, but one man has remained consistent for the Eagles throughout the Hinrunde. Martin Hinteregger has not only done his best to add some stability to an otherwise shaky backline, but he has also scored a handful of important goals for his team.

Honorable Mention: David Alaba

Center-Back – Dayot Upamecano

RB Leipzig have earned their place atop the Bundesliga table up until this point. Most of the credit for that will go their electrifying attack and dynamic midfield, and rightfully so. Their defense, however, must be credited as well — especially its young commander, Dayot Upamecano. The 21-year-old has meshed perfectly into Julian Nagelsmann’s system, and it is no surprise many of Europe’s top clubs have their eyes fixed on the young ball-playing defender.

Honorable Mention: Nico Elvedi

Right-Back – Achraf Hakimi

Achraf Hakimi has featured in at least four different positions for Borussia Dortmund this season; so versatile is the 21-year-old. He is arguably at his best, though, when given the freedom to storm up and down the right flank as an attacking full-back or wing-back. The Real Madrid starlet has been sensational halfway through his second season on loan in Dortmund, and he does not look like slowing down soon.

Honorable Mention: William

Left-Wing – Amine Harit

After a few seasons of struggle in Gelsenkirchen, Amine Harit is finally finding his form with Schalke 04. The Morocco international was massively influential in the club’s early-season surge toward the top and has helped keep them in and around the top seven ever since. Thanks to his 6 goals and 4 assists across 17 starts, no player has had a greater impact on the Royal Blues this Hinrunde than Harit.

Honorable Mentions: Marcus Thuram, Filip Kostic

Central Midfield – Joshua Kimmich

The midfield of this Bundesliga team of the Hinrunde would be completely RB Leipzig dominated if not for the impressiveness of Joshua Kimmich this season. As with the Germany national team, Kimmich recently transitioned back into defensive midfield and has not grown any less influential for this Bayern side. The 24-year-old has covered far more distance than anyone in Germany, whilst averaging a 91 percent passing accuracy and 2.6 key passes per game (a statistic only bested by Filip Kostic’s 2.7). Bayern’s midfield simply is not the same when Kimmich is absent. It is no wonder the Bavarians are in the market for a right-back this January.

Honorable Mentions: Konrad Laimer, Suat Serdar

Central Midfield – Marcel Sabitzer

Marcel Sabitzer has played in several different positions for RB Leipzig this season, but in this team he plays in central midfield. His newly-added teammate Christopher Nkunku very nearly took his place, as did Bayern veteran Thomas Muller who set the record for most assists in a Hinrunde with his 11 so far this season. Nevertheless, it is Austrian playmaker Marcel Sabitzer who joins Joshua Kimmich in the middle. He has been a symbol of consistency and creativity under Julian Nagelsmann, whether used centrally or out wide left or right.

Honorable Mentions: Thomas Muller, Christopher Nkunku

Right-Wing – Jadon Sancho

Jadon Sancho’s nine goals and nine assists this Hinrunde just about tell the story of the 19-year-old’s season so far. Following his breakout 2018/19 campaign, Sancho has already proven himself much more than a one-season wonder. Equally as capable of scoring goals as he is creating them, Jadon Sancho is the man of the moment in Dortmund. He will likely leave in the summer, and his pricetag continues to rise with each passing game.

Honorable Mentions: Serge Gnabry, Thorgan Hazard

Striker – Robert Lewandowski

Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski began the season in a remarkable fashion, scoring at least one goal in each of his team’s first 11 games. He has since slowed down somewhat but is still averaging a goal every 79 minutes this Bundesliga season. Lewandowski has a realistic chance of breaking the 40-goal mark this season and overtaking or tying Gerd Muller’s legendary record. Yeah, he has been that good.

Honorable Mention: Alassane Plea

Striker – Timo Werner

If Robert Lewandowski was the easiest pick for this starting XI, then Timo Werner was not far behind him. It says a lot that Lewandowski has had a sensational, record-breaking season yet Werner only trails him by one goal at the halfway point. In fact, Werner too is scoring a goal every 79 minutes of play, and he has four more assists to his name than his rival. Like so many others in this Leipzig side, Werner is reaping the benefits of Julian Nagelsmann’s astute management. It will be a real surprise if he is not scoring goals for a much larger club — whether in Munich or abroad — this time next year.

Honorable Mention: Florian Niederlechner

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