The regular schedule in the German Bundesliga has reached its conclusion last week but we have waited the relegation play-off match-up between the VfL Wolfsburg and Eintracht Braunschweig to end before summarizing the entire competition year. As in most other European countries, the soccer season is over and the fans in Germany will have to wait for couple of months before being able to watch their players represent their team colors again.
Recap of the entire season along with some early predictions for the next year is ready so let’s get to it.
German Bundesliga – 2016/2017 Campaign Review
Before the season started, most of the soccer experts and fans predicted it to be the two-team battle between two most famous German clubs, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund. They projected the first half of that sentence well but made an error when naming the second club that should represent a contender. Instead of Dortmund team, whose bad luck with the injured players and general inconsistency when it comes to their performances proved to be disqualifying factor in the title race, the newcomers Red Bull Leipzig stepped in and led a very tight race with Bayern, at least in the first half of the season.
They’ve kept pace with the new old champions until mid December when they finally started to wear down a bit and fall behind in the league table rankings. Nevertheless, their heroic season was awarded with the runner-up position, the highest ranked position for the newly promoted team in the top German Bundesliga since 1997 season, when Kaiserslautern won the title after being in the Zweita just one year before.
The defending champions Bayern Munich proved yet again that they do not have a match in the domestic competition over the last five years after securing the record 27th title (fifth in the row) four rounds before the end, finishing the season with 15 points more than the nearest opponent.
The second most famous club from Germany, Borussia Dortmund, finished the year ranked third in the league table to secure the appearance in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League competitions next season. The yellow-blacks also won the DFB Pokal (German Cup) on Saturday by defeating the Eintracht Frankfurt team in the final game at the Olympic stadium in Berlin, 2:1.
Last German squad that will have the chance to play in the UEFA CL next year is the TSG 1899 Hoffenheim that ended the season ranked fourth in the German Bundesliga. They will have to pass the qualification round of the most prominent European team competition but I’m sure that they will be the favorites no matter the opponent.
Two more teams whose fans are looking forward to seeing some international match-ups in their home towns are FC Koln and Hertha Berlin. The Billy Goats performed a great run at the end of the season as they went undefeated in the last five rounds while the Blue-whites from the Capital City snatched the No. 6 spot thanks to the almost perfect season at home soil where they earned 75% of their total points.
Another team that qualified for the Europa League competition next year are the Eagles from Frankfurt, who appeared in the final game of the DFB Pokal which they lost, but thanks to the fact that the winners, Dortumnd already qualified for the top ranked European team competition, Eintracht will appear in the Europa League instead of them.
Two teams that got relegated to the Zweita are FC Ingolstadt 04 and SV Darmstadt 98. The newcomers from Darmstadt survived only one year at the top level as they finished last, 12 points below the relegation line, while the Schanzers got relegated after playing the last two years in the Top German Bundesliga. Third team that finished the season below the relegation line was VfL Wolfsburg, but the Wolves secured the survival in the Top German Bundesliga after defeating the third ranked team from the second German Bundesliga, Eintracht Braunschweig as part of the two legged relegation play-offs with two victories (1:0, both at home and on the road).
Individual and team stats accomplishments
Dortmund’s striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Bayern’s striker Robert Lewandowski led the death-race battle for the best scorer accolade in the league this season and Borussia’s player won with 31 total goals while Polish forward recorded just one goal less but led the league in most shots towards the opponents’ goal (144). Emil Forsberg from RB Leipzig collected mesmerizing league-high 20 assists while Thomas Muller from Bayern and Ousmane Dembele from Dortmund recorded 12 each. Bayern’s midfielder expert Thiago Alcantara had most total passes this year as he collected 2286.
On the defensive end, RB Leipzig’s Diego Demme recorded league-high 103 tackles in 32 matches while Augsburg’s Dominik Kohr had 93. Benjamin Henrichs from Leverkusen and Leon Goretzka from Schalke 04 performed best in the blocking segment with 74 blocks each. Bayern’s goalie Manuel Neuer recorded most games with clean sheets (14) while Oliver Baumann from Hoffenheim collected most saves in the league (113). Most undisciplined players were Omar Mascarell from Frankfurt with 13 and Dominik Kohr from Augsburg along with Nabil Bentaleb from Schalke with 12 yellow cards each while Mainz’s Jean-Philippe Gbamin collected a league-high three red cards.
On the overall stat sheet, the season was pretty effective in the goal scoring aspect with 2.87 goals per match in average. It’s a slight increase in comparison to the previous season which averaged 2.83 goals per match. There were 49% of home wins, 25 % of draws and 26% of away victories. Both teams scored in 55% of the total matches and there were total of 877 goals scored. 78% of the match-ups had over 1.5 goals while 55% of the games had over 2.5 goals in total. 29% of the matches had over 3.5 goals in total while 8.1% of scored goals came from penalty kicks. Home teams averaged 1.66 goals scored per game while road teams averaged 1.21 goals per match.
The Champions and the followers
The Bayern Munich team is obviously unstoppable in German Bundesliga for half a decade when it comes to the league competition. They’ve won the title in the last five seasons but the fact that they’ve done this with an average of 15.9 collected points more than the runner up teams looks unbelievable.
Nevertheless, I’m not sure that the Reds’ fans are completely satisfied with the season because the team exited the UEFA CL competition pretty early (quarterfinals) and they also got out of the DFB Pokal competition after suffering one of the most hurtful defeats of the season against Dortmund at home in the semifinal game.
Their overall record was 25-7-2 (13-4-0 at home, 12-3-2 on the road) and they scored 89 goals while conceding only 22. Italian manager Carlo Ancelotti seems to be safe for now but if the team doesn’t get at least two trophies next year, his position could be in danger. We can’t imagine the season when the FC Hollywood is not the contender in every competition they appear in and that will surely be the case in the next season.
The Red Bull Leipzig team is the biggest refreshment in the German soccer this season. The newly promoted team played the season for history books as they finished the year ranked second on the league table with three points more than the Borussia Dortmund team.
As mentioned before, this is the best result by the team that just got promoted in twenty years. Until the late December, they even led a narrow race with Bayern, but started to fall down after a head to head match-up that went Bayern’s way at Allianz Arena (3:0). After this midseason downfall, they consolidated and juiced up for the final stretch that included only one loss in last nine rounds.
Their overall record was 20-7-7 (12-2-3 at home, 8-5-4 on the road) and they scored 66 goals while conceding 39. We will see how they cope next year, having in mind that they will fight on one more front as they qualified for the UEFA CL competition for the first time their brief history.
The yellow-blacks from Dortmund had a pretty rough year in the German Bundesliga, both on and off the field. Injury list was constantly long as couple of their best players like Andre Schurrle, Marco Reus and Mario Goetze spent most of the season off the field.
Also, one not-soccer related event which we will not describe disrupted the team’s calm and focus during the month of March, putting another important player Marc Bartra on the injury list. After the unpleasant situation when the yellow-blacks team bus was targeted with three explosive devices prior to the CL quarterfinal match with Monaco, the team led by probably the best fans in Germany managed to recharge and find the strength to finish the season strongly.
They went undefeated in the last six rounds in the German Bundesliga, securing the No. 3 spot, and won the DFB Pokal with a win over Eintracht Frankfurt, after previously defeating their biggest rivals and the new old champions of Germany Bayern Munich on the road.
Overall record in the league was 18-10-6 (13-4-0 at home, 5-6-6 on the road) and they scored 72 goals while conceding 40. If they can keep their current roster healthy, they might be able to push for the title next season and take Bayern of the perch.
The final UEFA CL competitor from Germany comes from a small town called Sinsheim. TSG 1899 Hoffenheim team presents a second positive surprise in the German Bundesliga this year as they’ve managed to record their best league position since being promoted in to the top level competition in 2008.
Season started very well and the Blues played 17 rounds before their first defeat on January 21st against RB Leipzig (2:1) but 10 of those 17 undefeated matches were draws. The result was the biggest number of draws in Germany this year as their overall record was 16-14-4 (11-6-0 at home, 5-8-4 on the road).
They scored 64 and conceded 37 goals while showing some big time efficiency at the end of the season as they scored 13 goals in last five rounds. Similarly like RB Leipzig, it is not really sure how the team will cope with the fact that they will be competing at whole another level next season but if they can keep the chemistry that they showed this year, I’m sure that they can go even further.
The FC Koln team had a warm-cold season. After starting well and being undefeated in the first seven rounds, they entered their first period of poor performances that lasted during the month of December when they were winless in six rounds.
The second part of the season started perfectly with two wins but then, the team started to underperform again, placing themselves in the middle of the league table. Nevertheless, manager Peter Stoger found the way to motivate his players and they managed to create the final push that included only two losses in last two months of the regular season.
Before the final round, the Billy Goats were ranked seventh, but thanks to the final round losses of Hertha and Freiburg, they leapfrogged these two teams to finish fifth and secure the Europa League competition matches at the RheinEnergieStadion next year.
Their overall record was 12-13-9 (9-6-2 at home, 3-7-7 on the road) and they scored 51 goals while conceding 42. Their performance next season will greatly depend on the ability to keep their current roster and even improve it a bit.
Team from the German capital, Hertha Berlin had a pretty weird season in the German Bundesliga. It has been a long time since the team that played so good at home and so poorly on the road managed to actually accomplish something as the Blue-Whites did by qualifying for the Europa League next season.
In the end, we have to say that they’ve been lucky as they got humiliated at home by Bayer Leverkusen (2:6) in the final round, but thanks to Freiburg’s defeat managed to keep the No. 6 spot and make their fans happy.
Their overall record was 15-4-15 (12-1-4 at home, 3-3-11 on the road) and they also recorded a negative goal difference (43-47) which is also a rarity for one high-ranked team. Unlike some other teams German that secured the international berth, Hertha has had some experience in the European competitions and that should be helpful next year.
The Eagles from Frankfurt were certainly lucky enough with their DFB Pokal draw, which allowed them to experience the Europa League competition in the next season. In five rounds before the final game, they faced only two teams from the top German Bundesliga and one of those was relegated FC Ingolstadt 04 team while the other one was Borussia Monchengladbach who they defeated after penalty kicks.
They were defeated on Saturday’s final Cup match by Borussia Dortmund (2:1) but nevertheless, we will not question if they deserve the Europa League berth or not.
In the league, they were a subpar team as they finished 11th with 42 total points. Overall record was 11-9-14 (7-7-3 at home, 4-2-11 on the road) and like Herha, they recorded a negative goal difference (36-43). If they want to make an impact in the international play next season they will have to improve their roster, but having in mind that the fans seem to be very excited after this unexpected success, they probably will.
The mid part of the league table features couple of teams that had some big expectations at the beginning of the season. In particular Borussia Moenchengladbach that competed in the UEFA CL this year but managed to finish ninth, Schalke 04 that reached the quarterfinals of the Europa League this year but finished 10th and Bayer Leverkusen who recorded the worst ranking in the German Bundesliga in the last decade by finishing at the No. 12 spot.
FC Augsburg and SC Freiburg on the other side represented some positive surprises with their league rankings that were greatly differ than the projected ones.
First team that found itself below the relegation line was VfL Wolfsburg but they managed to save themselves in the relegation play-offs against third ranked team in the second Bundesliga, Eintracht Braunschweig. The Wolves won both games with a minimal 1:0 result to secure the top level soccer next season.
First team that will surely play in the lower level next season is FC Ingolstadt o4. It was clear from the beginning that the Schanzers will have to battle for the survival as they went winless in first 10 rounds. Some kind of a life line was presented during the mid part of the season when they recorded couple of victories over high-ranked teams but the hole they dug themselves in the first part of the year was just too deep.
Overall record was 8-8-18 (4-5-8 at home, 4-3-10 on the road) and they scored 36 goals while conceding 57. They finished the regular schedule with only two losses in last nine rounds and we can say that they are leaving the Bundesliga with their heads high. Team should definitely be a contender in Zweita next season.
Finally, we have come to the bottom ranked team this year, the SV Darmstadt 98. The worst team of the German Bundesliga has deserved this attribute with the performances they showed during the season.
Top level competition was obviously too big of a challenge for the newcomers and as a result they will have to be satisfied with match-ups in the Zweita at the Jonathan-Heimes-Stadion next season. Team collected only 25 of 102 possible points with 7-4-23 overall record (6-3-8 at home, 1-1-15 on the road) and 28-63 goal difference. Also, I’m not sure if the current roster can present a contending team in Zweita next year.
It’s time to say Goodbye
The German Bundesliga season is over, and like in all other competitions some fans are happy and some are not. We have witnessed some thrilling and exciting soccer action, especially in the battle for avoiding the spot that leads to the relegation play-offs.
We have tried to cover most of the games, especially in the second part of the season and we hope that our picks have been profitable for you. With the German Bundesliga back in action in September, we can only anticipate more excitement, drama, goals, and top competition, as only the Bundesliga can provide.
On that note, the GetMorSports team thanks You for your support and invites you to stay tuned for more sports news and picks throughout the summer. Until the next season, take care.
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