Can Haaland break Lewy’s iron grip on Torjaegerkanone? | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, September 18, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:02 AM, September 18, 2020


Can Haaland break Lewy’s iron grip on Torjaegerkanone?

The battle that every fan wants to see in Germany's this top division season, which gets underway with champions Bayern Munich hosting Schalke 04 on Friday night in the first match, is the one between Robert Lewandowski and Erling Haaland for the Bundesliga Golden Boot, better known as the 'Torjaegerkanone'.

Lewandowski, who has won the award for the last three seasons, is favorite to keep the accolade. But if you fancy a different winner, Haaland is next up following a stunning debut campaign for Borussia Dortmund. The 20-year-old may have arrived in January, but it took him no time at all to adapt to German football whatsoever.

Haaland, who has been making waves all over the world after literally bursting onto the scene head-on and scoring goals at a frightening rate, scored 13 times in 15 games last time around after joining from Salzburg and will have his eyes on ending Lewandowski's grip on the Torjägerkanone. The Poland captain has now won five Bundesliga top-scorer awards - including each of the last three - and set a record for the most goals by a non-German in a single season with his 34 strikes last season. Could Haaland and Lewandowski spur each other past Gerd Müller's 40-goal single-season record?

Lewandowski exceeded even his own lofty standards last season, banging in 55 goals in 47 games (in all competitions). He crowned the season with his first personal Champions League triumph and if the Ballon d'Or had been voted on, he would, without doubt, have been the outstanding candidate.

But in his shadow lies Dortmund's devastating new frontman, Haaland. The Norwegian teenager got off to a flying start in black and yellow and, with a full preseason behind him, one wouldn't be totally mad to back him for the Bundesliga's "Torjägerkanone" — the brilliantly named goalscorer's cannon.

It is a very rare sight when a young player enjoys such a meteoric rise over a sustained period of time. He grows older, he is expected to bulk up and become an even more daunting presence than he already is.

A player of such an attribute is always going to be a target man with excellent aerial ability and hold up play which would give more chance to his creative teammates to be involved in the attacking phases of the play.

For someone of his frame, Haaland is deceptively quick off his block and loves to be on the move constantly. With teams that prefer to play direct attacking football, he would thrive due to these attributes.

The Norwegian is naturally good at reading game situations and always thinking two steps ahead of the players on the field. He tends to be looking for pockets of space all the time which as a consequence, stretches the opposition defense and ultimately creates more space for other attacking players to get in good positions.

The world is his canvas, and it is clear that Haaland has quite a lot of colours on his palette.

All that you need to know

Bayern are in the pursuit of a ninth consecutive Bundesliga title, a feat no club has managed so far in the league's history.

If Bayern do win the league, David Alaba and Thomas Müller could each add a 10th Bundesliga winners' medal that would make them the Bundesliga's most successful players ever.

In the 2013-14 season, Bayern won 10 games in a row away from home, and they repeated that feat last season. A win at Hoffenheim on Matchday 2 would see them set a new Bundesliga record.

Bayern ended the 2019-20 campaign with 13 consecutive victories, and if they can win their first seven matches of 2020-21, they would beat their own 19-match record for most successive wins set in 2013-14.

Dortmund are only six points short of 2,500 Bundesliga points, a mark only Bayern have passed thus far.

Lewandowski (236) is 14 goals away from his 250th in the Bundesliga, while Marco Reus (127) is 23 away from 150 Bundesliga goals.

Fans will be banned from the first matchday on Friday, Munich's mayor said on Thursday. Authorities had planned to allow 7,500 fans, albeit under strict hygiene measures but Munich reported 151 new coronavirus infections on Thursday, resulting in a seven-day incidence of close to 48 per 100,000 people. German states agreed that if the number rises to more than 35 per 100,000 inhabitants in seven days and the infection cannot be localised, fans will be banned again.

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