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The Bundesliga 09-10-Shocks, Thrills, Spills and My Predictions

This season’s Bundesliga has been one of the best yet due to again, its unpredictability. Over the last three seasons, only one title has gone to Bayern Munich, the country’s biggest team. In the 06-07 season, it went to Stuttgart. The next season it went to Bayern after they spent heavily by signing Franck Ribery, Luca Toni, Miroslav Klose and numerous others. Last season, it went to Wolfsburg, who were ninth at the start of the winter break. The equivalent of this in England would be Aston Villa then Chelsea and then Everton. In what the Bundesliga lacks in few World class players, it makes up with great title and relegation battles, with it usually being left until the last day of the season

Title Race

This season, with less than 10 games to go, Bayern Munich are leading, but this is not as comfortable as they would have liked it to be. Bayer Leverkusen, Germany’s biggest underachievers have been leading for most of the season and Schalke in second place could easily snatch it. These three teams look to be running away from the chasing pack of Hamburg, Borussia Dortmund and Werder Bremen.

Bayern Munich, led by diminutive Dutchman Louis Van Gaal, were favourites to win as they spent massively in the Transfer Window, signing Arjen Robben, Ivica Olic, Mario Gomez, Anatoliy Tymoschuck, Danijel Pranjic amongst others. They struggled at the start, but after a long winning streak, they are at the top, where the title is now theirs for the taking.

Bayer Leverkusen were top nearly the whole season, but after the barren run of drawing against FC Koln and losing to Nuremberg, they might have lost their chance of winning the title. Bayer fans must be asking what might of been if striker Patrick Helmes hadn’t broken his leg in the summer. Despite this, Stefan Kiefling and many others have stepped up.

Schalke are the final team in this title conundrum. Despite limited funds, Felix Magath, who managed Wolfsburg to the title last year, have been near the top spot the whole season. Their defence, which was also the area Magath built his own Stuttgart team around, has been the key to their success. With Manuel Neuer in  goal, captain Heiko Westermann, Brazilian Rafinha and two finds in Joel Mtip and Benedikt Howedes havr been in great form.

My prediction is that Bayer Leverkusen will win the title as I think Bayern might focus too much on the Champions League. Schalke will sneak second place while Bayern will have to settle for third.

Here is the table as it stands at the top.

  1. Bayern Munich             53
  2. Schalke                           51
  3. Bayer Leverkusen       50

The race for Europe

The race for the two Europa League places at the minute is between Hamburg, Borussia Dortmund and Werder Bremen. Hamburg will surely finish fourth with the signing of Ruud Van Nistelrooy. Like Bayer, they will be wandering what if Paolo Guerrero didn’t get injured, but Van Nistelrooy could make up for this. Borussia Dortmund have exceeded many people’s expectations and top scorer Lucas Barrios has been one of the finds of the season. Werder Bremen are the final team in this category and it’s surprising that they aren’t higher but Mezut Ozil, Marko Marin and Claudio Pizarro have impressed.

My prediction is that Hamburg will get the fist Europa League place as they have the strongest squad and Werder Bremen narrowly beating Borussia Dortmund to the final place as they have the players to carry them through

Here is the table as it stands in this category at the moment.

  1. Hamburg                          43
  2. Borussia Dortmund        42
  3. Werder Bremen              39

Mid Table

There are many teams which it is hard for them to get into Europe or they will probably not get relegated. Stuttgart have not reached their expectations yet this season, but new manager Christian Gross is steadying the ship there. Eintracht Frankfurt and Mainz were two of the favourites for relegation at the start, but are now punching above their weight. Wolfsburg have been the shocks of the season as they were champions last season to a mid table team in less than a year. Two of last year’s promoted teams Hoffenheim and Borussia Monchengladbach are maintaining their position as mid-table teams.

Here is the table as it stands at the minute.

  1. Stuttgart                                    35
  2. Eintracht Frankfurt                  35
  3. Mainz                                         35
  4. Wolfsburg                                  34
  5. Hoffenheim                               32
  6. Borussia Monchengladbach   30

Relegation Battle

The teams in and around the relegation area shows some surprises. FC Koln and Bochum shouldn’t be in this position, especially FC Koln after the signing of Lukas Podolski. These two teams should survive though. Nuremberg are one place above the playoff position against a 2.Bundesliga team, but they are on a good run of form at the minute and this could make them survive. Hannover don’t deserve to be in a relegation battle after Robert Enke’s tragic death, but theyhave struggled without him massively. Freiburg were the favourites for relegation at the start of the season and they are proving this currently. How are Hertha Berlin so low after last season’s fantastic finish. Apart from Columbian striker Adrian Ramos, it has been possibly the worst season in a long time at Hertha.

My prediction is that Koln and Bochum will stay up comfortably Nuremberg will just stay up with Hertha Berlin scraping into the playoff place. Hannover and Freiburg I think will go down to the 2.Bundesliga.

Here is the table as it stands at the bottom.

  1. FC Koln                              27
  2. Bochum                             27
  3. Nuremberg                       21
  4. Hannover                          20
  5. Freiburg                             20
  6. Hertha Berlin                    15

By my predictions, this is how the table should stand.

  1. Bayer Leverkusen
  2. Schalke
  3. Bayern Munich
  4. Hamburg
  5. Werder Bremen
  6. Borussia Dortmund
  7. Stuttgart
  8. Wolfsburg
  9. Mainz
  10. Eintracht Frankfurt
  11. Hoffenheim
  12. Borussia Monchengladbach
  13. FC Koln
  14. Bochum
  15. Nuremberg
  16. Hertha Berin
  17. Hannover
  18. Freiburg

Promotion from the 2.Bundesliga

Kaiserslautern are leading the way at the top of the table comfortably and look set to return to the Bundesliga. Augsburg are in second place and St Pauli are in third but they face competition from the likes of Fortuna Dusseldorf, Arminia Bielefeld and Duisburg.

Golden Boot

Bayer Leverkusen’s Stefan Kiefling is leading the way on 14 goals second at the minute goes to Schalke’s Kevin Kuranyi on 13 goals and in third place is Edin Dzeko of Wolfsburg on 12 goals. Other players who could snatch it are Borussia Dortmund’s Lucas Barrios, Nuremberg’s Albert Bunjaku, Leverkusen’s Eren Derdiyok and Toni Kroos, Bayern’s Mario Gomez, Claudio Pizarro of Werder Bremen and Hoffenheim’s Vedad Ibisevic.

You can ask questions on the Bundesliga, European or World football in general or anything related with football by commenting on this blog and a few will be answered in my next blog.

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