The Bundesliga is returning this weekend, with matches taking place from Friday night to Sunday, and to mark it Tipbet are offering boosted odds on all top-flight games with 0% margin being offered on match winner markets.

Though Bayern Munich are seeking their seventh successive title, there is the potential for this season to be a lot closer than last; these are five things to look out for as the 2017/18 German top-flight unfolds:

Niko Kovac

After beating Bayern in the DFB-Pokal final with Eintracht Frankfurt Niko Kovac joined the league champions on a three-year contract. The Croatian has good experience having also taken charge of his national team between 2013 and 2015, but leading of one of Europe’s elite clubs is a different challenge and brings with it unique pressure.

While winning the Bundesliga again for a record seventh consecutive time should not be a problem – as the season bets at Tipbet show – the 46-year-old will also be expected to improve Munich’s showings in the Champions League.

Young stars

There are plenty of top youngsters in the Bundesliga, with some higher profile than others. Standout names include Christian Pulisic and Leon Bailey, while Stuttgart’s Benjamin Pavard was a major player for France as they won their second World Cup.

Borussia Dortmund’s young English forward Jadon Sancho only turned 18 in March and is another that could have an impact on his team’s fortunes. The strength of coaching in Germany is displayed by the number of English players that are making the move – Reece Oxford and Ademola Lookman both spent last season on loan, with the latter a target for RB Leipzig before the 31st August deadline.

Champions League places

Even if the Bundesliga odds point towards Borussia Dortmund being the sole challengers to Bayern Munich for the title, finishing in the top four is a real target for a bigger group of teams and as last season showed, the battle to qualify for next season’s Champions League is likely to be extremely tight and congested – only goal difference separated third placed Hoffenheim and Bayer Leverkusen in fifth.

RB Leipzig finished sixth but were runners-up in their maiden top-flight season and they should have enough quality to get into the top four, even if they did lose star midfielder Naby Keita to Liverpool.

New boys

With Wolfsburg beating Holstein Kiel in last season’s relegation play-off, there are just two new teams in the Bundesliga. Fortuna Dusseldorf had an outstanding season in the 2. Bundesliga and finished three points ahead of Nürnberg, who were also promoted automatically.

While they are likely to both be battling to avoid relegation, it will be intriguing to see how they compete against sides that are massively more expensively assembled. Fortuna begin at home to FC Augsburg and are favourites to begin with three points, while Nürnberg face a tricky visit to Hertha Berlin.

Greater VAR clarity

The Video Assistant Referee system, which was generally seen as a success at the summer’s World Cup, was introduced to the Bundesliga last season and, while it increased the accuracy of decisions, fans in the stadium and at home complained about the communication of decisions being made. That has been addressed and 2018/19 will see decisions announced on-screen as referees uses VAR in the four permitted situations (goals, penalties, red cards or mistaken identity).