The state of play in the Bundesliga

The end of the March international break means now we are in the business end of the Bundesliga season with just under two months left, what are the key areas to look out for during the run-in?

The Title Race:

League leaders Bayer Leverkusen are currently 10 points clear of Bayern Munich with eight games remaining. However, due to the trauma of last season, you can not rule anything out until Leverkusen are mathematically confirmed as champions. 

Leverkusen and Bayern have a very similar run-in with both having to play Borussia Dortmund, VfB Stuttgart and Eintracht Frankfurt. Luckily for Leverkusen, they play the latter two in April, with the game against Stuttgart currently being the earliest point they can be crowned champions.

However, Leverkusen and Bayern have to compete in the Europa League and Champions League, which could throw a spanner in the works. 

Race for 4th:

It is safe to say, that Stuttgart are out of reach from Dortmund and RB Leipzig, so the latter will be fighting it out for potentially a final Champions League spot. Obviously, this could all change if Bayern, Dortmund and Leverkusen help the Bundesliga’s coefficient ranking to help them gain the fifth Champions League place. 

But, if this does not happen, missing out on the Champions League could affect both clubs, Dortmund more so. If Die Schwarz-Gelben miss out on Europe’s premier competition they will be at a great financial disadvantage and heavily affect their impending rebuild in the summer. The positive is that Edin Terzic would likely be sacked meaning Dortmund can truly start afresh. 

For Leipzig, the impact would be as great financially. Yes, they may have to sell some of their stand-out players once again but they have proven to be able to replace them time and time again. 

Conference League Spot:

This spot is conditional. Currently, Frankfurt occupies the Conference League spot and holds a five-point lead over Augsburg in seventh. But, if Leverkusen wins the DFB Pokal, seventh will become a UECL spot. This means it will become a three/four horse race for said spot between Augsburg, Hoffenheim, Freiburg and at a stretch Werder Bremen. 

A spot in Europe would prove a great financial boost for Augsburg, whilst Hoffenheim have not graced European competition in four years. Whilst Freiburg will be hoping they can end a rather average season for them on a high for the departing Christian Streich. 


The three teams occupying the relegation spots, Mainz, Köln and Darmstadt all look set to be involved in some way or another come May as all three have looked poor throughout this season. Mainz have a favourable run-in playing both Köln and Darmstadt as well as Wolfsburg who find themselves six points clear. 

Unless there is an almighty collapse from Wolfsburg or Bochum then it will likely be a fight between Mainz and Köln for the relegation playoff spot where they could potentially end up facing Hamburg. 

DFB Pokal:

Finally, the DFB Pokal wraps up the German football season and this year has been one of the most unpredictable seasons. Saarbrücken have been the stand-out giant killers beating Bayern, Borussia Mönchengladbach and Frankfurt on their way to the semi-finals. While Kaiserslautern and Fortuna Düsseldorf have faced favourable runs to this stage.

The one issue is that although it could potentially be a final with no Bundesliga team involved, the only Bundesliga team in the semi-finals is the all-conquering, all-dominating Leverkusen side who look set to win the Pokal for the first time in 31 years, unless a shock is on the cards, which is possible as Leverkusen had been taken all the way against Qarabag in the Europa League, who says local rivals Düsseldorf can’t?

GGFN | Jack Meenan 

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