Logo for the Bundesliga

Bundesliga Predictions Matchday 20

Matchday 20 of the Bundesliga season has arrived and Borussia Dortmund are still comfortably in the top spot, eight points ahead of Bayern Munich. At the opposite end of the table, Hannover 96 and Nürnberg need to start the turnaround or they could be relegated at the end of the season.

February 1, 2019

Hannover 96 vs. RB Leipzig

I see a comfortable Leipzig victory in this match. Hannover are really struggling and lost 5-1 to Dortmund their last time out. Hannover also have the second worst goals conceded marks this term, and a clinical Leipzig attack should prey on that. Expect goals for Leipzig in this one.

Prediction: Hannover 96 0-3 RB Leipzig

February 2, 2019

TSG Hoffenheim vs. Fortuna Düsseldorf

This should be a fixture that Hoffenheim win, but I can’t count against a surprise Düsseldorf result in the match. However, I still think the visitors will be unable to pick up points, but should be able to mount an effective resistance given how SC Freiburg fared at home against Hoffenheim last time out. I expect neither side to keep a clean sheet, and Hoffenheim will have enough to see this game out.

Prediction: Hoffenheim 2-1 Fortuna Düsseldorf

Nürnberg vs. Werder Bremen

The visitors come to play the side rooted to the bottom of the Bundesliga table, Nürnberg. The hosts also have the worst goals conceded mark this term which does not bode well against a team currently sitting near the middle of the table. I can’t see past the visitors in this match that should see them walk out with a comfortable win.

Prediction: Nürnberg 0-2 Werder Bremen

Hertha Berlin vs. VfL Wolfsburg

The hosts face a tough matchup against a Wolfsburg side that has turned things around this season. Both sides sit within striking distance of a European place, but the result here could be influential going forward as both teams are level on points and goal differential. I don’t see much between the two sides, but I would not be surprised if Hertha Berlin do win this match.

Prediction: Hertha Berlin 1-1 VfL Wolfsburg

Eintracht Frankfurt vs. Borussia Dortmund

Eintracht Frankfurt host the current first-place team Borussia Dortmund, and the reverse fixture was dominated by Dortmund. I expect similar proceedings in this match as Dortmund have had a fairly easy go of things lately. Don’t count out the hosts, but this is a match Dortmund will hope to win if they are to be crowned champions at the end of the season.

Prediction: Eintracht Frankfurt 1-3 Borussia Dortmund

Bayer Leverkusen vs. Bayern Munich

Leverkusen have righted the ship in their recent slate of matches, but they come up on a tough home match in a situation where they badly need points so that they don’t fall out of contention for a European place next year. Meanwhile, the visitors are still trying to claw back into the title fight and mount the pressure on Dortmund. I see the visitors being able to win this match quite comfortably, and keep the race for the title on.

Prediction: Bayer Leverkusen 1-4 Bayern Munich

Shalke 04 vs. Borussia Monchengladbach

This has been a disappointing league season for Schalke despite the fact that they sit in the Last 16 of the UEFA Champions League. Their opponents are repeating many of the same highs that Schalke hit last year as they currently sit third in the league ahead of RB Leipzig, who won on Friday. I think this is a very interesting contest, and I am going to predict a goal-heavy draw.

Prediction: Schalke 04 2-2 Borussia Monchengladbach

February 3, 2019

Augsburg vs. Mainz 05

This is an interesting match as the home side are desperately in need of points if they hope to stay in the Bundesliga for another season. The visitors have pulled away from the relegation scrap by pulling off solid results and comfortably sit safely in the bottom half of the league table. I see the visitors grabbing a quality win here.

Prediction: Augsburg 1-2 Mainz 05

VfB Stuttgart vs. SC Freiburg

This is another match that will have massive implications in the relegation fight as both sides seek to put some distance between themselves and the final relegation playoff spot. The home side have had trouble keeping the goals out, while the visitors will hope that their attack is firing on all cylinders. I actually go for a narrow win for the visitors although I can’t see much between the two sides.

Prediction: VfB Stuttgart 0-1 SC Freiburg

Logo for the Bundesliga

Bundesliga Predictions and Breakdown Matchday 18

After a multi-week layoff for the break interspersed with a few friendlies, the Bundesliga is back in action. What does that mean? I’m also back to give my two cents on each match and give you my predictions. If you know my history of predictions on this site, I am only going for one semi-correct prediction (i.e. a match was 2-1 at some point).

Let’s break them down, shall we?

TSG Hoffenheim vs. Bayern Munich

Hoffenheim come into the fixture boasting one of the best attacks in the Bundesliga, but have been in unspectaular form as they have not won a match in their last five. That mainly comes down to their less than stellar defense which regularly concedes goals and could give them problems against a Bayern side that also scores lots of goals. Hoffenheim have beaten Bayern in this exact fixture before, but that was in 2017. Bayern come in resembling the dominant team in Germany that many saw them as early in the season. They have not lost in the Bundesliga since their 3-2 humbling at Dortmund, and may have finally turned the corner that will allow them to pressure Dortmund at the top of the table. This match is likely to see plenty of goals, and should be entertaining for the neutral fan, but I can’t see past Bayern in this one.

Prediction: Bayern 3-1 Hoffenheim

Bayer Leverkusen vs. Borussia Monchengladbach

Leverkusen have been playing better as of late, but still find themselves way off the pace to finish in one of the Champions League places. One of the main reason for this has been a leaky defense that has shipped more goals to opponents than Leverkusen have scored which creates many problems for a side. However, Leverkusen did win the reverse fixture 5-0 very early in the season. Monchengladbach come into this fixture sitting third in the Bundesliga with one of the best goal differences in the league. Many things have changed for the side over the past year, but their recent spotty form could be a little concerning in this match. I see a gritty affair between these two sides, but I expect the quality of Monchengladbach to shine through.

Prediction: Monchengladbach 2-1 Leverkusen

Eintracht Frankfurt vs. SC Freiburg

Frankfurt’s most recent fixture saw them hammered 3-0 by Bayern Munich at home, and was not the best way to enter the winter break. Leading into that fixture, their form had been mostly up-and-down, but they still sit in a good place in the league table where they are challenging for European football next term. Freiburg find themselves slightly above the relegation places, but they are not quite safe as far as the relegation battle is concerned. They do pose a serious threat because this is a team that is quite content to pick up points against top of the table opposition as their goal difference is only at a -4 which is very solid for a lower half team. This one is a draw for me as Frankfurt hasn’t convinced me lately, and Freiburg seem poised to settle for a draw away from home.

Prediction: Frankfurt 1-1 Freiburg

FC Augsburg vs. Fortuna Düsseldorf

Augsburg come into this match having scuffled lately in the Bundesliga having only taken two points from their last five matches. For a relegation battle team, they are also one of the best goalscoring teams which may indicate that their position in the league table could change. Düsselfdorf may be the team that has compiled some of the most shocking results of the season as they beat league leaders, Dortmund, 2-1, and drew with second-place Bayern 3-3. However, they boast one of the leakiest defenses in the Bundesliga and rightfully find themselves near the bottom of the table. A win here helps both sides immensely, but I believe Augsburg begin to turn things around with this match against a team right next to them in the table.

Prediction: Augsburg 1-0 Düsseldorf

Hannover 96 vs. Werder Bremen

Hannover are in a very precarious position as they sit three points outside the spot for the relegation playoff and five points from safety based on goal difference. They have conceded the second-most goals in the entire Bundesliga while registering one of the lowest number of goals scored. Bremen haven’t been convincing recently, but they still sit mid-table and have been a consistent side all year. Their recent form may ring some alarm bells, but they are the better side in this match. I really can’t see past a scrappy victory for Bremen in this match.

Prediction: Bremen 2-1 Hannover

VfB Stuttgart vs. Mainz 05

Stuttgart enter this match currently occupying the relegation playoff place, and only three points above the relegation places. They did get an important win their last time out, but their season has been far than ideal as being locked in a relegation scrap does not suit their defense which has conceded throughout the season. Mainz find themselves in the lower half of the table which is a far cry from their challenging for European football a year ago. They have shown signs of being better lately as they have managed a few results to make sure that they don’t edge towards the relegation places. This one should be fairly straightforward for Mainz.

Prediction: Mainz 3-0 Stuttgart

RB Leipzig vs. Borussia Dortmund

Leipzig enter this match on form that has been inconsistent, and perhaps alarming for the Champions League hopefuls. Their position is not for a lack of quality in the side as they have one of the most dynamic, youthful teams in Europe, but their squad depth has been a problem for the side that has only been in the Bundesliga for three years. Dortmund have been a dominant force in Germany this season, and rightfully have a cushion at the top of the table. They will hope that the loss to Düsseldorf is not the beginning of the end, and that they will lift the Bundesliga trophy at the end of the season. This will be the most entertaining match of the weekend, and is a toss-up for me, although I’ll pick Dortmund.

Prediction: Dortmund 3-2 Leipzig

Nürnberg vs. Hertha Berlin

Not much has gone right for newly-promoted Nürnberg as they find themselves rooted to the bottom of the table boasting the worst defense and the second-worst goal tally in the league. Their recent form doesn’t suggest that a turnaround is in sight as they have lost in four of their last five. Hertha come into this match not boasting the best form, but they currently sit in the middle of the table where they usually reside. They will come into this match relishing the opportunity to pick up points as their quest for European football is still alive. I see a thorough victory for Hertha in this one with Nürnberg not being able to match the quality.

Prediction: Hertha Berlin 2-0 Nürnberg

Schalke 04 vs. VfL Wolfsburg

Schalke enter this match looking to continue the turnaround in their form that has found them a shadow of themselves last season when they finished second. Much of that can be attributed to a transition of the club following key departures at the end of last season which left massive holes in their squad. Wolfsburg appear to have made the turnaround themselves after appearing in the relegation playoff the previous two years. They currently sit fifth in the table and boast one of the most well-rounded teams in the Bundesliga. I see a close contest with Wolfsburg being able to secure a result.

Prediction: Wolfsburg 2-1 Schalke

Logo for the Bundesliga

Bundesliga Breakdown Heading into the Winter Break

The final fixtures before the Bundesliga’s winter break occurred last weekend. I am here to break down the results so far, look at the final fixtures before the break, and give a glimpse into the second half of the season.

The first half’s biggest surprise is that their is a top team in the Bundesliga that is not Bayern Munich. Rather, it is the club’s fierce rivals, Borussia Dortmund that sit atop the table heading into the winter break. Borussia Mönchengladbach and RB Leipzig round out the Top 4 places in the Bundesliga. The biggest suprise here is the inclusion of Mönchengladbach, a club that finished outside of the European places last season, and the absence of Schalke 04, who currently sit 13 points adrift of the Top 4.

Other shock performers include Bayer Leverkusen and TSG Hoffenheim who find themselves outside of the European places despite both teams taking place in the Europa League and Champions League, respectively, this term. Leverkusen find themselves three points off the European places while Hoffenheim trail by only two points. VfL Wolfsburg are another interesting case as they currently occupy fifth place in the Bundesliga after spending the prior two seasons in the relegation places having to play the relegation playoff the prior two seasons. Schalke are having a disappointing campaign by their lofty standards last season, but they have begun playing better in recent weeks and have achieved solid results in the Champions League, even managing qualification for the Last 16 in the competition.

Last Matchday Results

Borussia Dortmund 2-1 Borussia Mönchengladbach
Bayer Leverkusen 3-1 Hertha Berlin
Hannover 96 0-1 Fortuna Düsseldorf
Nürnberg 0-1 SC Freiburg
RB Leipzig 3-2 Werder Bremen
VfB Stuttgart 1-3 Schalke 04
Eintracht Frankfurt 0-3 Bayern Munich
FC Augsburg 2-3 VfL Wolfsburg
TSG Hoffenheim 1-1 Mainz 05

Current table

Matches resume on January 18, 2019

Let’s preview the second half.

The title race is pretty much a two horse race between Dortmund and Bayern as they are only separated by six points, and are clearly the two best teams in the Bundesliga this season. The remaining two spots in the Top 4 are less certain, but Leipzig and Mönchengladbach are in the driver’s seat for holding them when the end of the season comes around. However, both Wolfsburg, Eintracht Frankfurt, and Hoffenheim have solid chances at closing the gap and securing a place in next year’s Champions League Group Stage. Besides these clubs, Leverkusen and Schalke still have plenty of matches to catch up, but it would require some major slip ups for them to secure a Top 4 finish, although a Europa League place (5th or 6th) could be more than attainable given that they have good form, and the teams they are chasing slip up.

The relegation battle seems relatively narrow as there are about five teams that I rate who have a good chance of being relegated. Those are Fortuna Düsseldorf, FC Augsburg, VfB Stuttgart, Hannover 96, and Nürnberg. Beyond these sides, it is difficult seeing the other clubs fall back into a relegation battle as they currently sit four to seven points above the relegation playoff place. Unlike some of Europe’s other major soccer leagues, the relegation battle in the Bundesliga seems to be relatively straightforward for all three places with a few sides in need of results just to pull away from the bottom of the table.

Predictions

Best Player: Marco Reus
Top Goalscorer: Robert Lewandowski
Most Clean Sheets: Yann Sommer

Final Table

Borussia Dortmund (champion and Champions League qualification)
Bayern Munich (Champions League qualification)
RB Leipzig (Champions League qualification)
Borussia Mönchengladbach (Champions League qualification)
VfL Wolfsburg (Europa League qualification)
TSG Hoffenheim (Europa league Final Qualifying Round qualification)
Eintracht Frankfurt
Bayer Leverkusen
Hertha Berlin
Schalke 04
Werder Bremen
Mainz 05
SC Freiburg
FC Augsburg
Fortuna Düsseldorf
VfB Stuttgart (relegation playoff)
Hannover 96 (relegated)
Nürnberg (relegated)