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Bundesliga 2016/17 Preview

BundesligaThe new Bundesliga season starts a little later than usual, but the German national team has again made it far at the European Championship this summer, and given that there are no big competitions next summer, there was no need for the championship to start earlier. We expect new great excitements from the new season, although it is again very questionable whether we will just see an uncertain fight for the championship, looking at the quality of the current champions and Cup and the Super Cup winners, the team of Bayern. They may only be threatened by Borussia Dortmund, while we included four more teams in this category of teams for the top of the table, and the Champions League and Europa League, which are constantly sharing European positions in previous seasons, with only occasional disappointment.

The group of teams that should gravitate towards the middle of the table includes six teams, some of which are fallen giants, and some teams that would be pleased to end up in the middle of the table. The remaining six teams will be fighting for survival and that group has some standard teams, with one new Premiership club and one of the former giants, which is for years struggling to return to the top. Thus, all three groups have six teams and they look like this:

Relegation

In the group of the weakest teams of Bundesliga or it should be according to our estimates, there are six teams, and this is the third of the league, and a third of that number will be directly eliminated, while one team goes in the playoffs with the third team from the Second division. Thus, we have six teams who will be in the danger zone and the first and only goal for the vast majority of them is to survive. First of all, this applies to two teams, Darmstadt 98 and Ingolstadt 04, to which this is the second season in a row in the elite rank and in the last we saw them as returnees in the lower rank, but they managed to stay, Ingolstadt 94 even without any problems. A returnee in the elite rank, SC Freiburg, could also have a lot of trouble to stay in this rank, and it seems that FC Augsburg is in the same situation, which had even some European trips, but now it will be difficult to get even in the middle of the table. Eintracht Frankfurt usually has bigger ambitions, but they always end up in a fight for survival and they were last season saving themselves through additional playoffs. The last team in this group is Werder Bremen, a sounding name with a lot of problems during last seasons, and struggling to survive is nothing new to them, because they feared for survival till the very end of last season and a victory in the last round.

Ingolstadt 04

IngolstadtIt is possible that we are again mistaken when it comes to Ingolstadt, because we saw them as the most serious candidate for relegation last season, and this team was a pleasant surprise and not only that they survived, but they were not even among the serious candidates. They played without any major oscillations, but things looked much better in the first part of the championship, when Ingolstadt spent even several rounds on the European positions, while they later experienced a slight decline, but were never below 12th place. They finished in the 11th position and it was only because they relaxed in the finish the championship, and have not made any wins in the last five rounds when it was already clear that they will survive. They were better than expected at home and their matches were mainly hard and without too many goals.

For the new season they have a new coach Markus Kauczinski, who will replace Hasenhuttl, who did a great job last season. They have not made a lot of changes in the team and it is clear that they want to repeat all this with almost the same team, because they really kept all their best players from last season. They lost two players from the last line and those are center-back Hubner and the right back da Costa, with the experienced goalkeeper Ozcan and striker Kachunga. In accordance with the departures they also brought some new players, such as goalkeeper Hansen, while they still have worry for the right back position, because there are now Hadergjonaj and Leipertz, while their new center-back is Wahl from Paderborn.

Probable starting lineups: Nyland – Hadergjonaj, M. Matip, Bregerie, Suttner – Roger, Cohen – Mo. Hartmann, Gros, Leckie – Hinterseer

Forecast for the new season: They were great last season, but it is really a big question whether they can repeat this now. Hardly, if you ask us, because they have almost the same team and now all the rivals know their objective possibilities, so they will have a tough fight for survival, with a very uncertain outcome.

Relegation (bottom 3): 3.25 at bet365

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Darmstadt 98

DarmstadtDarmstadt is a team very similar to Ingolstadt, since they also arrived last season in the elite rank and they also were not given a good chance of survival, but they managed to do it in the end. They did it in a way that they had never even been in positions that lead to a lower rank, but also had never been close to the top of the table. This means that they played without oscillations and in a certain rhythm that kept them mostly between 11th and 14th position, where they ended up. Darmstadt was little bit better in the first part of the season, and it is particularly interesting that they played a lot better at home, where they recorded seven wins and played five draws, however, their desperate away performances brought them only two wins, which could have eventually cost them dearly.

They changed their coach Schuster and brought a new coach Norbert Meier, who does not actually have the same team as his predecessor and somehow it seems they are a bit weaker. They have lost their striker and top scorer Wagner, which is a great loss, as well as the departure of center-backs Rajkovic and Caldirola, who could play in several positions. They also lost their first goalkeeper Mathenia, and one of the best assistants Rausch. Their new center-back is Hohn from Freiburg, while they also brought two goalkeepers Esser and Fernandes. Ukrainian Fedetsky is perhaps the most famous reinforcement, who will be on the right back position. In the midfield there is another Ukrainian Oliynuk, then Kleinheisler, while in attack Wagner should be replaced by Obinna or Colak. It is uncertain how it will all sort out, and that is why we have ranked them in this group of teams.

Probable starting lineups: Esser – Fedetsky, Sulu, Hohn, Holland – Jungwirth, Niemeyer – Heller, Gondorf, Vrancic – Rosenthal

Forecast for the new season:  It is quite certain that they will be in the lower part of the table and it will be a real battle for survival with a lot more stress than the previous season, in which they somehow managed to win when it was needed the most. It is certain that they play better at home, but even that will not save them from the convulsive struggle and a possible move to a lower rank.

Relegation (bottom 3): 1.73 at bet365

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SC Freiburg

FreiburgFreiburg has spent only one season in the lower rank of the competition and here they are again among the best. They showed last season how a team that is falling out from Bundesliga should react and there was no need for panic or grief in Freiburg, but they immediately began their comeback operation, which was so successful that Freiburg spent most of the rounds on the first or the second position. There was a period of crisis and the worst that happened to them were three matches in a row without a win, while they eventually solved all dilemmas with a series of 12 matches without defeat. In the end they were the first with a large number of goals scored and the great effect at home.

However, it was the Second division competition, but now they are back in the elite rank, and it is clear that it will be much harder. They have kept their coach Christian Streich on the bench, and as it usually happens, the team that enters the higher rank does not sell players, because they usually keep them all, while some of the players who were on loans are now definitely gone. There are a lot of reinforcements and there are now center-backs Soyuncu and Gulde, goalkeeper Gikiewicz and midfielders Haberer, Bulut, Meffert and Ignjovski, so they should be significantly stronger. This is logical, considering that they are already in the increasing competition, although the question remains whether this is enough to secure survival.

Probable starting lineups: Schwolow – Ignjovski, Soyuncu, Kempf, Gunter – Abrashi, Meffert – Bulut, Haberer, Grifo – Petersen

Forecast for the new season:  It can be said that some teams are objectively weaker, but not to the extent that Freiburg could be safe, and it is logical that we see them in the fight for survival. They are desperately trying to avoid the relegation and we see them somewhere between the safe and relegation zone.

Relegation (bottom 3): 3.00 at mybet

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FC Augsburg

AugsburgAugsburg had one meaningful season in which they played Europa League and were able to pass the group stage after which they were eliminated, however, they have in the championship paid dearly for all those numerous European performances, where they spent several rounds even in the last position on the table, and in the rest of the season they were very close to the danger zone and they feared almost to the very end. They managed to bind five matches without defeat before the end of the championship, of which three were victories, and the last defeat meant nothing. Augsburg played very badly at home, where they only celebrate three times and this is what they must not repeat now, as well as a very small number of goals scored at home.

They changed their coach Weinzierl and now there is Dirk Schuster, who last season led the team of Darmstadt, so he knows how to fight for survival, which we predict to Augsburg this season, considering how they traded during this summer. They lost two important center-backs, Klavan and Hong, as well as midfielder To. Werner, while Djurdjic and Molders, and goalkeeper Manninger alsoo left the team. They bought striker Finnbogason which can be called the best job, but he is not a real reinforcement, because this Icelander played the second part of last season for Augsburg. Japanese Usami is the new reinforcement for the midfield, with experienced Kacar from HSV, while they have a new young center-back Friedrich from Schalke and it can be said that they had the most losses in the last line. It is important that they managed to keep a lot of key players from last season.

Probable starting lineups: Hitz – Verhaegh, Gouweleeuw, Callsen-Bracker, Max – Baier, Kohr – Bobadilla, Koo, Caiuby – Finnbogason

Forecast for the new season:  We do not believe that will move to a lower rank, because it just should not happen to Augsburg, looking at their individual quality, and the fact that they no longer have European commitments. However, they can hardly get in the upper part of the table and we see them somewhere in the lower part, but above the relegation zone.

Relegation (bottom 3): 8.00 at bet365

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Eintracht Frankfurt

FrankfurtThe footballers of Eintracht Frankfurt led a big battle last season and at the end they managed to save themselves in the most stressful way possible, in the additional playoffs with the team from Second division, Nuremberg. They certainly do not want to repeat this now, considering that they had a good start in the previous season, but then came close to the relegation zone, where they remained until the very end. They had a couple of longer series without a win and they were close to direct elimination, but they managed to record three wins in the end, and the last away game against Werder was the crucial one, because they could have won direct survival, but they lost. They played a draw against Nuremberg at home and then away triumph for the final confirmation of survival. They also replaced their coach with Niko Kovac, and considering that he helped them to survive, he got another chance, this time from the start.

He also received some reinforcements and those are two new strikers Rebic and Hrgota, new side players Tawatha, Blum and Varela, while Hector and Vallejo were brought as reinforcements in defence, and Mascarell in midfield and there are a lot of borrowed players, while it is interesting that Vallejo and Mascarell arrived from Real Madrid. All reinforcements were logically brought, because they lost center-back Zambrano and side players Ignjovski and Djakpa, while a big loss is also the departure midfielder Aigner, who was a really great player. All together it cannot be said that they are stronger, but they are also not weaker than before.

Probable starting lineups: Hradecky – Chandler, Hector, Russ, Oczipka – Hasebe, Mascarell – Fabian, Stendera, Meier – Seferovic

Forecast for the new season:  There could be some problems again, because they have not brought a lot of reinforcements, while they also lost some important players, which means that their coach Kovac will have a tough job. There are individuals who might help Eintracht Frankfurt to make perhaps a positive surprise and not get eliminated at the very least, but they will objectively end up somewhere in the lower part, close to the relegation zone.

Relegation (bottom 3): 8.00 at betsson

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Werder Bremen

BremenThey say that Werder has the most neutral fans in Germany, but it can be said that this is from the time when the team was in the top and played a much better and more efficient football. In recent seasons their matches are effective only when it comes to receiving goals and they are regularly among the teams that receive the most goals in the league. That is why they are regularly at the bottom of the table and fear for survival, and they were the closest last season. They have spent the entire championship in the lower part of the table, although they have never been in the last two positions that directly lead in the second division. They had the same effect at home and away, although they only started playing better in the finish in front of their fans. The last three rounds proved to be crucial for them.

They celebrated convincingly against Stuttgart and they sent them to a lower rank, they also played a draw in Cologne and then in the decisive match defeated Eintracht after a goal in the finish, and if they had not score that goal, they would have to play the playoffs to survive. Despite all that, they have left their Ukranian coach Skripnik on the bench and brought some interesting signings, although there were plenty of departures. They lost their center-back Vestergaard, striker Ujah and defenders Galvez and Djilobodji, which is particularly worthy to emphasize. Their lack of strikers is covered with M.Kruse and this is a good reinforcement, while their three new center-backs are Moisander, Sane and Diagne. Caldirola also returned to the team, and there are now midfielders Petsos and Kainz. It is obvious that they want to reinforce their defence, which was very hollow, and they now have more quality in the attack. We included them in this group, because the question is how things will work out, especially at the beginning of the season.

Probable starting lineups: Wiedwald – Gebre Selassie, L. Sane, Caldirola, S.Garcia – Bargfrede – Bartels, Junuzovic, Kainz – M. Kruse, A. Johannsson

Forecast for the new season:  It would not be a surprise if Werder ends up in the safe mid-table, because they are really on that border, but they had some constant drops and a lot of disappointments last season, so there could also be some problems now. All in all, they should still end up above the relegation zone.

Relegation (bottom 3): 11.00 at Unibet

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Mid-table

This is an interesting group of teams, because one or two teams always turn out better than expected, but they simply cannot be included in the group of those strongest teams, while there is always someone that fails and ends up in trouble, or even gets eliminated as was the case last season with Stuttgart. This time we have even included a new football club in the group of teams for the middle of the table and that is RB Leipzig, which is obviously in a rush, because they do not have financial problems and we see them as a stable participant of Bundesliga. Mainz is in this group as usual, although this team often makes a step forward and that is placement in Europa League, as was the case last season. Hertha was also a positive surprise last season, but in the end they dropped in the middle, where Cologne was already, so we see them here again this season. Hoffenheim somehow always announces and expects a lot, but they finish in the bottom of the table, so they are a huge enigma and the middle of the table is a realistic placement for them, where we also expect HSV, which is slowly consolidating its ranks and after two seasons of great struggle for survival, they managed to survive without much stress last season.

RB Leipzig

RB-LeipzigThis team is certainly refreshment in Bundesliga this season, because they very quickly climbed in the elite rank, although they expected it to be even earlier, however, they failed to win promotion in the first Second division season, but they did from the second attempt, and they are finally here. This is their first performance in the elite rank, but their ambitions are not automatically related to survival. It is hard to say that they will make a surprisingly good result, at least not in this season and therefore we believe that they will earn a place that we gave them in this group. So, they started from the Regional League and got into Second division, where they were fifth in the first season and then second in the last, without a fight at the finish of the season. Their beginning was not the best and they have struggled a bit, but then they made a good series and had only one defeat in 16 games played, so they took the leading position.

They have not preserved it till the end, but the second place is quite good enough to qualify for the higher rank. They played excellent at home and it will probably be their biggest hope among the Premier League teams, with their own strengthened team of course. They changed their coach Ragnick, and there is now Ralph Hasenhuttl, who last season made a great job with Ingolstadt, so they are now hoping that he could repeat the same thing with them. That is why they brought Senegalese midfielder Keita from partner club Salzburg, while another big reinforcement is Ti. Werner from Stuttgart, as well as goalkeeper M. Muller from K’lautern. Departures are almost irrelevant and we will mention the right back Teige and the left back Jung. It remains to be seen whether the existing team with a couple of the aforementioned reinforcements can play good enough in Bundesliga.

Probable starting lineups: M. Muller – Klostermann, Orban, Nukan, Halstenberg – Ilsanker, Demme – Sabitzer, Keita, Ti. Werner – Y. Poulsen

Forecast for the new season: Leipzig is the youngest team in this league and we expect them to be very enthusiastic, especially because they will not lack motives, considering this is their first season in Premier League. There is also a lot of individual quality, and their new coach will certainly know how to use that to their advantage. All in all, Leipzig could turn out to be a stable Premiership club, which might end up in the bottom of the table, but there is no reason to fear for survival.

Relegation: 14.00 at betsson

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Finish in the Top 6: 5.50 at NetBet

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Mainz 05

MainzThis is the eighth consecutive season in the Premier League for Mainz and it can be said that this team is the most consistent one in the mid-table. In the past seven seasons, they were never seriously compromised when it comes to survival, while they even occasionally shined and reached European positions, as was the case last season. Their performance was a bit weak in the first part, but then they started performing much better and were continuously between the fifth and seventh position, and even on several occasions very close to the placement in the Champions League, but they got away from it due to some weaker results in the last round. At the end they won the excellent sixth place and qualified in Europa League. Their performances in Europe have cost them dearly before, because they are not used to so many matches, although it happened that they unexpectedly get eliminated already in qualifiers.

Coach Martin Schmidt is still on the bench and it seems he got even stronger team than the one he had in the previous season, although they lost some valuable players like goalkeeper Karius and defensive midfielder Baumgartlinger. Also worth mentioning is the departure of midfielder Moritz, but there are some new reinforcements, and the first great thing is that they bought out the contract for striker Cordoba from Granada, Gbamin from Lens is their new defensive midfielder, while Lossl from Guingamp is the new goalkeeper. They bought out midfielder Clemens and brought Holtmann and J, Rodriguez for the season in which they have to play a lot of matches, and it is certain that they need a wider roster of players.

Probable starting lineups: Lossl – Donati, Bell, Bungert, Bussmann – Gbamin, F. Frei – Jairo, Malli, de Blasis – Cordoba

Forecast for the new season: They will have a little more difficult task in Bundesliga due to playing in Europa League, however, they brought some reinforcements to help them and therefore we believe that they can again be at their usual positions. If they get lucky, they maybe even end up close to entering the European scene, but definitely in the top of the table.

Relegation: 17.00 at bet365

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Finish in the Top 6: 4.00 at NetBet

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Hertha BSC

HerthaWhen everything is added up, Hertha was the most positive surprise last season, although in the end they were even lower ranked than Mainz and ended up in seventh place. That was enough for placement in Europa League qualifiers, however, they have already managed to embarrass themselves and were eliminated by Bronby, so they could forget the group stage of the competition and long-term playing in Europe. This elimination was basically just a continuation of everything wrong from the end of last season, when they had been the third and then played the disastrous finals of the season, with seven matches without a win, which brought them in seventh place. They played the Cup semi-finals and practically did not deserve to have to play these qualifications, however, it did not turn out well for Hertha and they are entering the new season very shaken.

They managed to keep their coach Pal Dardai on the bench despite the elimination from the league, but he will now have a season full of expectations after the last year’s season, and there is almost the same composition at his disposal, perhaps a bit weaker. They lost midfielders Cigerci, Beerens and left back van den Bergh, while the Slovak midfielder Duda is their biggest and up to the moment of this writing, their only reinforcement in this season. Enough weakness has already floated to the surface and they will need to repair things one by one, which could be a problem and affect the game and placement of this team from Berlin.

Probable starting lineups: Jarstein – Pekarik, Brooks, S. Langkamp, Plattenhardt – Skjelbred, Lustenberger – Duda, Darida, Kalou – Ibisevic

Forecast for the new season: It is possible that this will be a completely different season for Hertha and that of pleasant surprises last season, we now get something else. Objectively they are valid to be somewhere in the middle of the table, however, the first indications suggest that they might be closer to the relegation zone than to European positions.

Relegation: 11.00 at Unibet

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Finish in the Top 6: 6.00 at betsson

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1.FC Koln

KolnCologne was moving from the lower ranks to higher and vice versa, but they are now in the elite rank for the third season in a row, while they were firmly in the middle of the table in the last two. Past season has not brought any stressful situations and after a bit better first part of the championship, they returned to mediocrity in the second and eventually ended up ninth, which means right in the middle of the table. This is a satisfying placement, because that is the real value of this team, and what marked the game of Cologne is a small number of goals in their matches, especially when it comes to achieving goals and they were even slightly better away, even though they had the same number of wins at their stadium. We should also add that they played a lot of draws, which is actually in accordance with the final result.

It is logical that they have not changed their coach Peter Stoger, and this will be his fourth season on the bench of this team, while there were certain changes in the roster. Their biggest loss was the departure of midfielder Gerhardt and another midfielder Vogt. They brought two new midfielders, Hoger and Rausch, already proven players who will certainly be of use. In addition, they further reinforced the attack, in order to fix the aforementioned lack of efficiency, and now there are Rudnevs from HSV and young Guirassy from Lille, although Modeste will probably be the first choice in attack. Their defence has remained exactly the same, and they managed to keep even the national team member Hector, which is also an excellent job, and all in all, they are certainly not weaker than last season.

Probable starting lineups: Horn – Olkowski, Heintz, Maroh, Hector – M. Lehmann, Hoger – Risse, Bittencourt, Rausch – Modeste

Forecast for the new season: They are a true example of a team for the middle of the table and that is why we have included them in this group of teams. They are a bit stronger individually, but not enough to eventually engage in the fight for European positions, while the struggle for survival should not be an option. No one will be surprised if they again end up in the ninth position.

Relegation: 11.00 at Unibet

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Finish in the Top 6: 7.00 at betsson

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1899 Hoffenheim

HoffenheimHoffenheim is already a stable Premier league club, but it seems as if their ambitions are always far greater at the start of each season than what the team at the end achieves. They are always potential candidates for the European positions but in the end it does not happen, and even their Premiership status comes into question. A few seasons ago they were saving themselves through additional playoffs, and played two average seasons for placement in the middle of the table, and then last season they again had big problems and they spent most of the time in the relegation zone, and were even last for several rounds, so it seemed that they will not manage to save themselves. In the first six rounds they did not defeat anyone and that was followed by another series of eight games without a win, which means they have made only two victories in the first part of the championship.

They were able to consolidate their ranks a little bit in the second half, but all together it was a bad season, especially because of their desperate performances at home. They started playing better after the arrival of coach Nagelsmann in February and that is why this expert remained on the bench, provided that they sold their biggest star. Two seasons ago, Roberto Firmino has left the team, and now Kevin Volland, but this is only the loss worth to mention with perhaps midfielders Strobl and Haberer. They bought striker Kramaric and added him a partner Wagner, so they have a pretty deadly offensive duo at least on paper. Midfielder was stepped up with three players, Vogt, Demirbayem and Rupp, so they are definitely stronger in this part. There is Terrazzino in attack as well as center-back Hubner, so they could be even stronger there and they really are.

Probable starting lineups: Baumann – Kaderabek, Schar, Sule, Toljan – Rudy, Schwegler, Rupp, Schmid – Kramaric, Wagner

Forecast for the new season: We have already said that expectations are always big and when we look at the composition, they are quite real: However, Hoffenheim always has some strange and inexplicable lapses in the game and that is why we are careful with this team. They should not to repeat the last season when they feared for survival, and they should end up somewhere in the top of the table.

Relegation: 11.00 at Unibet

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Finish in the Top 6: 7.00 at Unibet

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Hamburger SV

HSVThis giant of German football is still pretty average, but this is better than very stressful struggle for survival which they had in the two seasons before last. Two times in a row, they had to play the playoffs for the survival and both times were saved, and then finally last season they performed slightly better and qualified in a quiet part of the table, without any major problems and drops of form. They struggled at home which was not expected, but they fixed it all with six away wins, while their efficiency was not at the highest level. They also had some slightly better periods of game and then were briefly even in the top of the table, but they quickly dropped lower after a couple of defeats. Bruno Labbadia is the coach who formed a team in which he believes and he is therefore still on the bench, but they are now secretly wishing for a little better placement or even some European position, but rather shy and only because of some reinforcements.

First of all we should mention a young creative midfielder Halilovic, who arrived from Barcelona and that speaks for itself. They hope that he will be a successor to the legendary van der Vaart, who has long been the leader of this team and Halilovic was even given his jersey number 23. In midfield they now have Kostic from Stuttgart, new reserve goalkeeper will probably be Mathenia, while they strengthened their attack with Wood and Waldschmidt. They lost mainly players from the background, like Stieber, Demirbaya, Ilicevic, P.Muller, Kacara or Rudnevs. All in all, it can be said that they are stronger and it will be interesting to see how it would look on the field.

Probable starting lineups: Adler – Diekmeier, Djourou, Spahic, Ostrzolek – Ekdal, Holtby – N. Muller, Halilovi?, Kostic – Lasogga

Forecast for the new season: If they with a team from last season managed to emerge from the struggle for survival and be in mid-table for the most of the season, then they should make an additional step forward with new reinforcements, and break into the top part of the table. Whether they can be close to European positions, it is difficult to say, but this season could be the start of HSV’s return to the old paths of glory.

Relegation: 11.00 at Unibet

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Finish in the Top 6: 7.00 at betsson

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Top 6 and Title

The best that Bundesliga has, at least on paper, is in this group and it is certain that the new champion is here. This list can even be shortened and reduced to two names, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund. Of course, the chances are not equal, and the Bavarians are big favourites, but if someone can endanger and threaten them those are the “Millionaires” from Dortmund. There are two places left for the Champions League and we expect a big fight between the remaining four teams that we also included in this group. It can be said that Bayer Leverkusen is perhaps the closest to the third position which they won last season, but Wolfsburg now wants to fix everything, after a very bad last season, while Schalke is no longer satisfied only with Europa League and they now want more. Borussia M’gladbach should not be written off, because they are always lurking for their chance and they are this season in the Champions League, while Schalke and Wolfsburg are not. This will definitely be an interesting fight for European positions.

Bayern Munich

bayernWhen it comes to Bayern, they are naturally only interested in the title and this is the only thing that satisfies the appetites of this Bavarian giant. They are usually the biggest favourites to win the title, while they are now defending double crown which they won last season, and additional motivation is the fact that in case of winning the first place, it would be their fifth consecutive title. Last season, they spent only the first few rounds somewhere else on the table and then things lined up, so they without any major problems kept the first place, although they have not secured the title much before the end of the championship, because they were threatened by Borussia Dortmund. They lost only two games and only played four draws, with only 17 goals received.

So, it was a real domination after which their coaching bench was left by Pep Guardiola and now the Bavarians have a new coach, the Italian Carlo Ancelotti, who could bring a new style of play when it comes to Bayern. He will obviously have at his disposal a top team of great individuals, and it would not be difficult to win both domestic trophies, with the proviso that Bayern’s main goal this season is to win the Champions League. They brought two top reinforcements, the young Portuguese midfielder Renato Sanches and defender Mats Hummels, which will further strengthen their already strong defence. They lost Gotze, Benatia and Rode, players who were in the foreground, so we have an even stronger Bayern now.
Probable starting lineups: Neuer – Lahm, J. Boateng, Hummels, Alaba – Sanches, Vidal – Robben, T. Muller, D. Costa – Lewandowski
Forecast for the new season: There is no special philosophy when we consider how much Bayern is stronger than all the other teams. Perhaps some rivals are able to parry them, but it is hard to do it throughout the entire championship and the only question is when will the Bavarians win the most points and secure the first place.
League Winner: 1.20 at Interwetten

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Borussia Dortmund

dortmundBorussia Dortmund has a role first companion of Bayern and they must reconcile with that, although they are hoping in this club that they can entangle accounts to the Bavarians and break their dominance. Borussia managed to do it a few years ago when they won two titles, however, there were some bad seasons in the meantime, when they only through qualifiers managed to get through to Europa League. It was two seasons ago, while they had the same role again in the last, when they were Bayern’s first companion and hoping that their rival could fall into a crisis which Borussia could take advantage of and won the title. It did not happen and they managed to be the first only in the beginning when Bayern was the second. Later, they traded places and it has remained so till the end, while they were defeated in the Cup finals by the same opponent. Borussia played all matches at home without defeat, while there were some weak performances away.

It was a debut season for coach Tuchel, who is still on the bench and he will now for the second time try to come up with tactics for the first place. He lost three important players, center-back Hummels who went to play for their biggest rival, and midfielders Mkhitaryan and Gundogan, who were standard when they were healthy. Borussia has brought two players from Bayern, Gotze returned to the team, and there is now also Rode. Dembele should be a big reinforcement in midfield, and Schurrle should be more offensive, while there are new players Mor and Guerreiro on the side positions, and a new center-back Bartra from Barcelona. Generally, it does not look bad on paper, although they were already defeated by Bayern Munich in the Super Cup which can be bad for confidence.
Probable starting lineups: Burki – Piszczek, Sokratis, Bartra, Guerreiro – Weigl, Rode – Dembele, M. Gotze, Reus – Aubameyang
Forecast for the new season: Their desire is the first place, but a lot will depend on how Bayern will look and it is therefore realistic to expect a firm second place, similar to last season, with the proviso that their position should not be compromised and everything less than that would be a failure.
Finish in the Top 4: 1.10 at bet365

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League Winner: 8.00 at betsson

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Bayer Leverkusen

bayerThe “Pharmacists” also have their regular role, and that is the third position, right behind the great duo. As if this position is reserved for Bayer and it seems they have nothing against that, because it leads directly to the Champions League. Last season, however, things did not go so smoothly and Bayer was struggling throughout the championship and they were even in the bottom of the table at the beginning, and later they even fell to eighth position but managed to return. They were great in the finish of the season and thanks to a series of seven consecutive wins they took their third place, where they objectively belong. They have of course a great desire to perhaps make it harder for the leading two, but it is not going so easy, so they were in previous seasons regularly ending up between the third and fifth positions, and they did not even used the situation with Borussia Dortmund two seasons ago.

Coach Roger Schmidt will be on the bench for the third season in a row and what they definitely do not want is the bad first half of the season, as was the case in the previous championship, while the aim is to play as they played in the finish. That is why they brought some reinforcements, such as offensive player from Hoffenheim, Kevin Volland, and defensive midfielder from Mainz, Baumgartlinger. There are also some minor signings like de Costa and goalkeeper Ozcan, but the first two should immediately be the starters. The only worthy name that they lost is their midfielder Kramer and therefore it can be said that they are now even stronger than in the previous season.

Probable starting lineups: Leno – Hilbert, Toprak, Tah, Wendell – L. Bender, Baumgartlinger – Bellarabi, Aranguiz, Volland – Chicharito

Forecast for the new season: We have already said that they are now stronger and Bayer truly has a lot of great individuals in their ranks. All in all, they should not be below the third place that seemed to be reserved for this team, but their desire is to at least threaten Borussia Dortmund in the second position and they certainly have the quality to be at least close.

Finish in the Top 6: 1.28 at Unibet

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Finish in the Top 4: 1.67 at bet365

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League Winner: 35.00 at BetClic

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Schalke 04

schalkeSchalke is always somewhere among favourites and they are seeking their position at the top, however, there is a lot of oscillation in their game and that is why it often happens that they do not get what they wanted in the end and that their placement turn out weaker than expected. Their previous two seasons can be called unsuccessful, because they were sixth and then fifth, which means that they lost the Champions League. Prior to that, they have managed to win one of the top four positions three times and therefore we can say that their last year’s fifth place was a failure. It could have been worse, because they were even in eighth place at one time, then they managed to return to the fourth place, but fell again, and that is how it was till the finish which they played well and recorded three matches without a defeat and got their hands on Europa League and without qualifications.

To make one step more now, or at least fourth place and the Champions League, they have brought some very interesting signings and we should above all mention the young Swiss striker from Basel, Embolo, which could squeeze out the so far irreplaceable Huntelaar. They reinforced their side positions and Coke will be on the right side and Baba on the left, while the experienced Naldo is the new center-back. They sold their young star Sana, which is the biggest loss, with the departure of defenders J. Matip and Neustadter. Another loss is Hoger, and Belhanda, who was only on loan. They also have a new coach and hope that they will finally manage to retain someone on the bench from start to finish, and Markus Weinzierl from Augsburg seems like a good solution to Schalke’s ambitions in the composition that is neither stronger nor weaker than before.

Probable starting lineups: Fahrmann – Coke, Howedes, Nastasic, Baba – Geis, Goretzka – Choupo-Moting, Schopf, M. Meyer – Embolo

Forecast for the new season: They have a new coach and his first task is to prevent large oscillations in Schalke’s game. If he succeeds, they can hope that he will by the end at least be in the fight for that fourth place, because objectively they cannot do more, while the lower limit is the sixth position and Europa League as a consolation prize.

Finish in the Top 6: 1.44 at betsson

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Finish in the Top 4: 2.50 at Sportingbet

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League Winner: 81.00 at Ladbrokes

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VfL Wolfsburg

wolfsburgFor several years the ambitions of the “Wolves” are big and they even reached those champion ones, modelled after the year 2009 when they were first, however, it does not go so easy and a collection of excellent individuals does not necessarily mean big success. Second place two seasons ago was the most that they have reached and next to Bayern it was really their maximum at the time. After long years, they have managed to qualify for the Champions League in which they were very good last season, provided that it was obviously consuming a lot of their strength and they failed in the championship, and became the biggest disappointment in Bundesliga. At first they were at the top, in third place, and then began to drop, made a series of seven games without a win, then the second equally bad series, after which they even fell to tenth place.

In the end, they were eighth, which is equally disappointing. It is interesting that they did not change their coach Hecking and he will get the chance again, though with considerably altered and refreshed team. They lost offensive players Schurrle and M. Kruse, which have not exactly showed much last season, while defender Naldo was nevertheless an important link, but he is no longer in Wolfsburg. A replacement for this Brazilian is the younger center-back Bruma from PSV, while new top scorer is the experienced Mario Gomez and they definitely got a lot with him. Their midfield is stronger for Didavi from Stuttgart, and Blaszczykowski from Poland and Gerhardt from Cologne and considering that no one from that part of the team did not go, it is clear how much they are now better. Therefore, the expectations are high, unless they in the meantime, do not lose some important player.

Probable starting lineups: Benaglio – Vierinha, Bruma, Knoche, R. Rodriguez – Luiz Gustavo, Guilavogui – Blaszczykowski, Gerhardt, Draxler – M. Gomez

Forecast for the new season: They have refreshed and reinforced their team, particularly in midfield where the competition is great. They will not have European obligations and they will devote their full attention to Championship, which is why we see them as a very serious candidate perhaps even for third place, while the first two are really unattainable.

Finish in the Top 6: 1.44 at betsson

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Finish in the Top 4: 2.40 at BetClic

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League Winner: 67.00 at Ladbrokes

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Borussia M’gladbach

MgladbachBorussia is a team that usually comes from the background in the foreground as the season progresses. Only a few people see them among the most serious candidates for the top, but when the have a bad start as was the case last season, nearly all write off this team. How could they not, when they were defeated last season in the first five rounds and remained nailed to the bottom of the table. Nobody believed that they can recover and get to the fourth place that eventually brought them in the Champions League. After the aforementioned negative series they made ten games without defeat and climbed to third place. By the end there were certain oscillations, while they after four consecutive matches without defeat in the finish, took the fourth position, and won the Champions League for the second consecutive year. It should be noted that Borussia was excellent at home, where they were very efficient, while they were a lot worse as guests.

Coach Andre Schubert remained on the bench, and he has an important task – to fix the game away, or rather the results, because Borussia has lost matches in which they were completely dominant. They did not make very big changes in the team and their biggest loss is probably the departure midfielder G. Xhaka and versatile Nordtveit. They lost three center-backs, Brouwers, Stranzl and Hinteregger, who was here on loan. They brought back midfielder Kramer as a substitute for Xhaka, while Vestergaard is the new center-back. Striker Drmic is back from the loan, and they also brought some other smaller singings. The most important thing is that they preserved all their key players from last season, such as Raffael or Stindl and they therefore again have a team that can be inserted among the strongest ones.

Probable starting lineups: Sommer – Korb, Christensen, Vestergaard, Wendt – Kramer, Dahoud – Herrmann, T. Hazard, Raffael – Stindl

Forecast for the new season: Considering that they are in this group of teams, it means they are worthy, and they showed it on the field last seasons. Now they should avoid such bad start of the championship at the beginning, while they can later again can be very unpleasant for all the other favourites and therefore we see them in the fight for fourth place, with the proviso that playing European matches can be a problem.

Finish in the Top 6: 1.70 at betsson

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Finish in the Top 4: 2.63 at bet365

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League Winner: 101.00 at Ladbrokes

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