The relegation race is a battle that very few teams like to be involved in, but it’s a constant reality for several Bundesliga teams.
Last season, two Bundesliga stalwarts—Werder Bremen and Schalke 04—sent shockwaves in the soccer world when they got relegated.
This proves that any team in the league can get relegated and that no position in the league is guaranteed.
VfL Bochum and Greuther Fürth, who were both recently promoted, will face stiff competition to remain in the league and are the bookies’ favorites for the drop.
Other teams like FC Köln, Arminia Bielefeld, and Hertha Berlin—who managed to stay up despite struggling last season—may face the potential threat of getting relegated this season.
Here’s our Bundesliga relegation betting preview.
Unlike many of the top European leagues, relegation in the Bundesliga works differently. The teams that finish in the 17th and 18th position in the league get relegated, while the 16th-placed team plays in the relegation play-off against the team that finishes third in Bundesliga 2.
If the 16th-placed team wins the play-off, they remain in the league, but if they lose the playoff, then they are demoted to Bundesliga 2.
So unlike many top European leagues where three teams get relegated every season, in the Bundesliga, that number can be two or three teams depending on the result of the relegation play-off.
VfL Bochum and Greuther Fürth earned a promotion to the Bundesliga, but it looks like they may struggle to stay up this season. They both had sluggish starts to the season and are the bookies’ relegation favorites.
Other teams like Arminia Bielefeld, Hertha Berlin, and FC Köln are also expected to struggle this season after struggling for the majority of the previous season.
VfL Bochum – Die Unabsteigbaren, who are one of Germany’s oldest footballing clubs, were the best team in Bundesliga 2 last season. They finished first after accumulating 67 points, but they may struggle to adjust to life in the Bundesliga.
They lost attacking midfielder Robert Zulj to Ittihad Kalba. With 15 goals and 15 assists last season, the playmaker was instrumental in their promotion pursuits, and the club may struggle without him. They have made several signings, but it will take time for the players to settle in the squad.
SpVgg Greuther Fürth – Die Kleeblätter are back in the Bundesliga for only the second time in their history. They were first promoted to the Bundesliga in 2012, but they suffered a torrid season and ended up finishing dead last and are widely regarded as one of the worst Bundesliga teams in history. This time, they’ll be hoping for a different outcome, but they may be doomed to a similar fate.
They finished second in Bundesliga 2 behind Bochum and played some great counter-attacking football. However, like Bochum, they also lost integral members of their promotion squad.
David Raum, Paul Jaeckel, and Anton Stach, who were key members of their defense, all left the club in the summer. They’ve invested in other players, but it may take a while for the squad to gel once again.
1. FC Köln – Köln needed a play-off victory to avoid relegation last season. They suffered a 1-0 defeat in the first leg of the relegation play-off against Holstein Kiel, but they rallied and cruised to a 5-1 victory in the second leg, which helped them stay in the league for at least one more season.
However, Die Geißböcke is still a club that is riddled with many problems. There are a lot of behind-the-scenes issues that have been carried forward to this season. FC Köln also suffers from a lack of squad depth, which could be a crucial factor that stops them from staying up this season.
Arminia Bielefeld – Bielefeld finished the season in 15th place and was just four points away from the drop zone. They somehow managed to stay up despite scoring only 26 goals; to put that into perspective, Schalke, the league’s worst team last season, only managed 25 goals.
This season, they’ve bolstered their attack with a few strong signings. Florian Krüger joined from Erzgebirge Aue and Janni Serra was signed from Holstein Kiel to address the team’s scoring struggles.
However, none of them are Bundesliga-proven strikers, and it may take a while for both to find their scoring boots.
VfB Stuttgart – Stuttgart was pretty much a solid team for most of last season, which is proven by their ninth-place finish. However, they had to offload a few players to balance their books, and that has had a massive effect on the club’s squad depth. Recently, they’ve also had to deal with a lot of unfortunate injuries.
The last time that Die Schwaben was relegated from the league was in 2019, and that relegation came after a two-year spell in the league.
With a thin squad available to head coach Pellegrino Matarazzo, they seem destined to struggle this season.
Hertha BSC – Berlin-based Hertha struggled last season. They finished the season in 14th place and were just 4 points above the red zone. Hertha signed Kevin-Prince Boateng in the summer, though he’s way past his prime.
Luckily for Hertha, Pal Dardai is still at the helm. The Hungarian coach was brought in in January to help the club avoid relegation, and he’ll hope that he can do that again this season.
FC Augsburg – Augsburg achieved a 13th-place finish last season, but they were five points away from the drop zone. So if a few results hadn’t gone their way, they may have been in the Bundesliga 2 this season.
However, they’ve been a steady fixture in the Bundesliga for the past ten seasons and may not actively deal with the threat of relegation this season.
|2020/21||Werder Bremen, Schalke 04|
|2019/20||Fortuna Düsseldorf, SC Paderborn|
|2018/19||VfB Stuttgart, Hannover 96, 1. FC Nürnberg|
|2017/18||Hamburger SV, 1. FC Köln|
|2016/17||FC Ingolstadt, Darmstadt 98|
|2015/16||VfB Stuttgart, Hannover 96|
|2014/15||SC Freiburg, SC Paderborn 07|
|2013/14||1. FC Nürnberg, Eintracht Braunschweig|
|2012/13||Fortuna Düsseldorf, Greuther Fürth|
|2011/12||Hertha BSC, 1. FC Köln, 1. FC Kaiserslautern|
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