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Bundesliga Final Weekend: What’s On The Line?

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Bundesliga Top Stories Going Into Final Matches

We’re down to the final matchday of the 2022-23 Bundesliga season as WagerTalk German Bundesliga handicapper Bryan Power takes a look at what’s still at stake across Germany as we have a league champion to decide, Champions League and European qualification up in the air plus a relegation battle.


Bundesliga Title Race

In a typical season, the Bundesliga title race has long been decided entering the final matchday. But 2022-23 hasn’t been a typical season in Germany.

That’s because Bayern Munich, who have won the league each of the last 10 seasons, now find themselves in second place after what Thomas Tuchel correctly called “an inexplicable loss” to RB Leipzig last weekend.

As I said on Stoppage Time last week, the number of points Bayern have dropped from winning positions this season is quite staggering. Now it’s Dortmund’s race to lose entering Saturday.

BVB has a two-point edge over Bayern, so a win over slumping Mainz (likely!) would give them the title. Bayern would need Dortmund not to win Saturday and also to defeat Koln. Note: if Dortmund draws with Mainz and Bayern beats Koln, they’ll be level on 71 points and Bayern wins the league by virtue of a superior goal difference.

Right now, Dortmund sits around -800 to finish first, so they’ve got to like their chances. Bayern is +550, which is difficult to even write when you consider the history here.

UEFA Champions League

Leipzig’s historic 3-1 win at Bayern last weekend (it was their 1st ever victory in Munich!) meant they clinched the third Champions League spot from the league.

That also means Leipzig will have nothing to play for this weekend when they host relegation-threatened Schalke. Leipzig also have the DFB Pokal Final coming up next weekend vs. Eintracht Frankfurt (more on that later).

The fourth Champions League spot will go to either Union Berlin or Freiburg, the two upstarts of the Bundesliga. Right now those two teams are level with 59 points, so whoever gets the better result on Saturday heads to the Champions League next season.

Union hosts Werder Bremen (who has nothing to play for) while Freiburg must travel to Eintracht Frankfurt (who have European aspirations of their own).

If Union and Freiburg end up tied on points, right now it’s Union with the better GD. So the only way Freiburg can overturn the tiebreaker is if their winning margin on Saturday is at least three goals greater than Union’s.

Given Werder Bremen is a subpar team with nothing to play for, Union Berlin are heavy favorites to finish fourth (anywhere between -650 and -800). If you like Freiburg’s chances, they are around +450.

Europa League / Europa Conference League

This is where things get a little messier. Whoever doesn’t get the fourth Champions League spot between Union Berlin and Freiburg is guaranteed to finish fifth and earn a spot in the Europa League. OK, that’s easy enough.

Right now, sixth place in the Bundesliga goes to the Europa Conference League next season. But that can change if Leipzig defeats Eintracht Frankfurt in the Pokal Final next week.

If that happens, a second Europa League spot opens up (going to whomever finishes 6th) because Leipzig has already qualified for the Champions League and then 7th place would go to the Conference League.

If you were unaware, the winner of the DFB Pokal earns an automatic entry into the Europa League, unless they’ve already qualified for the Champions League (like Leipzig has) or Europa League.

Eintracht Frankfurt will probably NOT automatically qualify for Europe though, so if they win the Cup Final, they get the Europa League spot and 6th place in the Bundesliga goes to the Conference League.

The race for sixth is between three teams: Bayer Leverkusen (50 points), Wolfsburg (49) and Frankfurt (47). Leverkusen travels to relegation-threatened Bochum for its final match while Wolfsburg hosts already relegated Hertha Berlin and as already mentioned Frankfurt hosts Freiburg.

I would actually favor Wolfsburg to finish 6th right now as they are around -270 to beat Hertha Berlin whereas Leverkusen is only around +104 at Bochum.

Bundesliga Relegation Battle

So Hertha Berlin’s crushing draw last week (2-2 with Bochum) guaranteed they will finish last and drop down to the 2 next season. There’s one more automatic relegation spot to be decided between three teams: Schalke (31 points), Bochum (32) and Stuttgart (32).

Stuttgart owns a vastly superior GD compared to the other two, so they would win any tiebreak. They’ll also be favored to beat Hoffenheim this weekend.

A win there guarantees their survival. But a draw or a loss opens up the opportunity for the other two to pass them. As previously mentioned, Bochum hosts Leverkusen while Schalke travels to Leipzig. Both are significant underdogs in those matches.

Whomever finishes third from the bottom goes into a relegation/promotion playoff against the third place finisher from the 2.

Augsburg (34 points) can still fall into that position if a) they lose Saturday at Gladbach and b) Stuttgart and Bochum both win. A superior GD means Augsburg would win a tiebreaker with a victorious Schalke.

Schalke are the heavy favorites to be relegated at -600. Bochum are only -120, because remember if they finish third from the bottom, then they can play their way back into the top flight by winning the two-legged tie against the second-tier opponent. Stuttgart are +700 to be relegated while oddsmakers aren’t buying Augsburg’s chances of dropping at +3300.

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