The Bundesliga is Back!

The German professional football league is going to be the first league opening up in Europe with the coronavirus outbreak ongoing as the league is expected to continue on friday May 15th. At this point in the season the standings are very close with Bayern Munich holding first place by only four points ahead of Borussia Dortmund and other teams like RB Leipzig, Borussia Monchengladbach and Bayer Leverkusen are right there as well. There are nine games left if they decide to play all the games that have been postponed to determine a winner for the league and also determine what teams will be relegated. SC Paderborn and Werder Bremen are in a difficult spot with the two teams holding a combined record of 8-10-31. The complete table at this point looks like this:


Teams

  1. Bayern Munich (17-4-4, 55 PTS)

  2. Borussia Dortmund (15-6-4, 51 PTS)

  3. RB Leipzig (14-8-3, 50 PTS)

  4. Borussia Monchengladbach (15-4-6, 49 PTS)

  5. Bayer Leverkusen (14-5-6, 47 PTS)

  6. Schalke 04 (9-10-6, 37 PTS)

  7. VfL Wolfsburg (9-9-7, 36 PTS)

  8. SC Freiburg (10-6-9, 36 PTS)

  9. 1899 Hoffenheim (10-5-10, 35 PTS)

  10. FC Koln (10-2-13, 32 PTS)

  11. Union Berlin (9-3-13, 30 PTS)

  12. Eintracht Frankfurt (8-4-12, 28 PTS)

  13. Hertha BSC (7-7-11, 28 PTS)

  14. FC Augsburg (7-6-12, 27 PTS)

  15. Mainz 05 (8-2-15, 26 PTS)

  16. Fortuna Dusseldorf (5-7-13, 22 PTS)

  17. Werder Bremen (4-6-14, 18 PTS)

  18. SC Paderborn (4-4-17, 16 PTS)


The table shows how the league really is split up into three tiers this season with the first five teams really battling it out for Champions League positions and winning the league. I would argue tier two is from 6th place to 15th as there are only ten points separating Schalke from Mainz. This group really doesn't have a shot at Champions League positioning but they are battling for Europa League qualifying in that sixth spot as well as positioning in the Bundesliga. The final tier is the relegation group that has three teams; Fortuna Dusseldorf, Werder Bremen and SC Paderborn with Dusseldorf having the best chance of avoiding relegation. Even if they finish in 16th place they will go into a relegation play-off match-up with a team from Bundesliga 2 but they could still catch up to Mainz or Augsburg. To try and predict who will come out on top of the standings I looked at the top five teams remaining schedule to try and see some advantages. Red Bull Leipzig has by far the easiest schedule to close out the year with the majority of their games against teams in the bottom half of the league and their two hardest games against Freiburg and Dortmund will be played at home. Besides Dortmund they don’t play anyone else in the top five to close out the year while every other top five team has at least two games against top five opponents. Leipzig is still however five points behind Bayern Munich and Munich’s schedule will be difficult with tough road games against Dortmund, Leverkusen and Wolfsburg with even some difficult home games against Monchengladbach and Freiburg. Heading into the break however Bayern Munich had gone 9-1-0 in their last ten games and they were really on a roll while Leipzig had gone 4-5-1 and Dortmund was 7-1-2. It’s really hard to judge how each team will respond after the break but a strong opening game is key. I predict that Bayern Munich will place first with Leipzig second, Dortmund third with Monchengladbach and Leverkusen staying in 4th and 5th place. In terms of relegation I don’t see either Werder Bremen or SC Paderborn moving forward in the standings but Dusseldorf has a legitimate shot of making it out of 16th place. Mainz 05 has a pretty difficult schedule to close out the year but it comes down to Dusseldorf who have winnable games against Paderborn, Hoffenheim, Augsburg and Union Berlin to close out the year. I think Dusseldorf may have to battle it out in a relegation playoff battle with either Hamburg, VfB Stuttgart or FC Heidenheim. I am looking forward to this end of season battle for the Bundesliga title and I encourage fellow sports enthiusiasts to check out the remainder of the season.








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