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- Euro 2012
The Bundesliga is one of the most exciting leagues in Europe, and with each team having just 5 games left to play, there are still many unanswered questions in Germany. Who will win the title, who will participate in the European tournaments next year, and who will get relegated- we’ll find out within a month, starting from tonight.
The battle for the trophy:
Two teams have a chance to win the Bundesliga- Dortmund and Bayern Munich. As of now, Borussia hold the first place with 66 points, while Bayern are second with 63. But technically, if “The Black Yellows” win the clash between the two teams on Wednesday, the champion could be decided as early as tomorrow.
Fixtures and predictions:
If my predictions are correct, Dortmund should have 77 points and Bayern- 76, come the end of the season, meaning that last year’s champions should be able to retain their title. When those two met earlier this season, Borussia won in Munich 0-1, the goal coming from wonderkid Mario Gotze.
Both teams deserve the trophy; they have some players in their squads who are out of this world, and we’ve seen both coaches employ very entertaining and attacking football throughout the season. And had it not been for dropping points against weaker teams, such as Hannover 96, Leverkusen and Mainz, Bayern could have already secured the first place. But if they win at Signal Iduna Park tomorrow, the last couple of weeks will become even more interesting.
European competitions qualification:
The top 3 teams in Germany qualify for the group stages of the Champions League, while the team to finish 4th will take part in the 4th qualifying round for non-champions. I’m pretty sure that the top 4 will look like this: Dortmund, Bayern Munich, Schalke 04 and Borussia Monchengladbach.
The battle for the Europa League places will be fierce though. The teams to finish 5th and 6th qualify, plus the winner of the DFB Pokal (German Cup). This year the final will be between Dortmund and Bayern though, meaning that the team which will finish in 7th will also get a place in the second-best European tournament next season.
6 teams are fighting for these 3 spots, starting with Stuttgart, currently fifth with 43 points, and going to Hoffenheim who are 10th with 37 points.
If my prediction is correct, here is how the teams will rank between 5th and 10th:
8. Hannover 96
10. Werder Bremen
This means that the teams to qualify for the Europa League next year will be Stuttgart, Leverkusen and Hoffenheim.
The teams between 11th and 18th can all get relegated, although we can bravely argue that rock-bottom Kaiserslautern have no chance of surviving despite hiring former Stuttgart and Bulgaria legend Krassimir Balakov as their new head coach.
But 11th Mainz 05 and 17th Hertha BSC are separated by just 6 points, so basically anything can happen.
Final standings (Prediction):
So, here is how I think the table in the Bundesliga will look like on the 5th of May when the season ends:
2. Bayern Munich
3. Schalke 04
8. Hannover 96
10. Werder Bremen
13. Hamburger SV
15. Augsburg FC
16. Hertha BSC
17. FC Cologne
In practice this means that Cologne and Kaiserslautern will get relegated to the second tier, while Hertha will play a two-legged playoff with the team that finishes third in the Second Bundesliga in a stay up/get relegated clash.
What will happen, we’ll find out in the following weeks. But one thing is sure- it will be very, very exciting.