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German Football Predictions – follow our German football section for the latest free football predictions, picks and news from Bundesliga, 2nd Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and more.

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Bundesliga 2017/18 Preview

Bundesliga

This season Bundesliga begins after the summer in which the country’s senior national team won the Confederation Cup in Russia, and the young team won the title of European Champions and the vast majority of players from both teams are playing in the elite German rank of the championship, so we rightfully expect a spectacular championship with lots of excitement and uncertainty. However, everyone is not entering new season with the same ambitions and there are teams of different individual qualities, so in this preview we will classify teams into three groups, depending on their objective quality and ability in the upcoming championship. Last season there were a lot of surprises, both positive and negative, and in the end, the teams who were the most serious candidates for relegation really got eliminated. Two teams of rich traditions have returned to elite rank of German football, so it is difficult to say that they will immediately fall out, but they could be among those candidates. In this category we will also put the finalist of the Cup, a team that last season won placement in Europa League qualifiers and two teams that had a lot of oscillations last season. In the group of teams that realistically belong in the middle of the table we will rank one great team which is struggling for quite some time, a team that last year won the Champions League, a team that was most disappointing and barely preserved their Bundesliga status and three other teams that are really of mediocre qualities. When it comes to teams for top ranking, there are objectively only two candidates for the title of the champions, the sensational vice champion from last season and three teams that are now looking promising, but have completely failed last season.

Relegation

Hannover 96

After only one season in the league, Hannover has returned to the elite rank and their main goal is to stay there, although it cannot be said that this team was reinforced during this summer and that they are fully prepared to compete in the elite rank of the competition. As for the last season which they spent in 2. Bundesliga, there were no big oscillations and they were constantly at the top of the table, with a slightly weaker start and a small crisis in the second part of the season when they fell to the fourth position and then replaced their coach Stenden. In mid-March, Andre Breitenreiter took over the team and led them to second place, which meant direct promotion to a higher ranking. It should be said that they played much better on their field, where they only lost once.

They are entering this season as a team that has the smallest value and because of that fact they are in a group of teams that will probably be struggling for survival. Breitenreiter remained on the coaching bench and given that they returned to elite rank of German football, they bought more than they sold and they mostly lost players who were not in the foreground, while the main losses are the departures of center-back A. Hoffmann and strikers Erdinac And A. Sobiech. As for reinforcements, those are goalkeeper Esser from Darmstadt, Julien Korb from Borussia M’gladbach on the right back, and Matthias Ostrzolek from HSV on the left back. The reinforcement should also be the defensive midfielder Pirmin Schwegler from Hoffenheim, while the rest are mostly young players.

Probable starting lineups: EsserKorb, S. Sane, Anton, OstrzolekSchwegler, Schmiedebach – Harnik, Bakalorz, Klaus – Fullkrug

Forecast for the new season: It is nice to see the team of Hannover again in the elite rank, but the individual qualities of this team as well as the reinforcements that they have brought cannot be a guarantee that they will manage to preserve their Bundesliga status. They will certainly need a lot of luck in a very strong competition, or maybe some additional reinforcements, while it is quite realistic to see them in a fierce struggle for survival.

Relegation (bottom 3): 2.38 at bet365

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VfB Stuttgart

Stuttgart has returned to elite rank after just one season of absence, but this team showed a little more and they eventually took the lead in 2. Bundesliga. They had some problems only at the start of the season, and as it progressed, they were better and better, so in the second part of the championship they were constantly in positions leading to higher rank. They expectedly returned because they really had the best team in that league and it would be a disaster for the “Swabs” if it was otherwise. Stuttgart is a club with a long and bright tradition, and it does not suit them to play in the second rank of the competition. They were also very efficient last season, with a much better performance on their home field. Stuttgart has changed their coach last season and it practically happened at the very start when Jos Luhukay was replaced by considerably younger Hannes Wolf who led the team to first place.

That is why this 36-year-old coach remained on the bench, but he is now about to experience much greater challenges in a much stronger competition. They will also have a stronger composition, with some departures. First, midfielder Maxi, right back Klein and center-back Sunjic, who has been on loan last season. Goalkeeper Uphoff has also left the team, but they have Roberto Zieler from Leicester in that position and that is certainly one of the biggest boosts. It is interesting that they have not brought many reinforcements for defense and there is only Ailton on the left back, while they will try to replace Maxim with Mangalo and Akol, who are younger players. The new name in the attack is young Greek, Anastasios Donis, who arrived from Juventus. Most importantly, however, they have retained most of the forces from last season, who will be the game holders in the new one.

Probable starting lineups: Zieler – Zimmer, Pavard, Baumgartl, Insua – Zimmermann, Gentner, Brekalo, Akolo – Terodde, Ginczek

Forecast for the new season: Given that they are returnees in the elite rank, it is logical to expect problems until they adjust to a much stronger competition. However, they are somewhat better and they have retained almost all the key players, but it cannot be said that there will be no problems and will preserve their Bundesliga status. It is more objective to expect them to fight for survival and that is why we have placed them in this group of teams.

Relegation (bottom 3): 8.00 at Unibet

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FC Augsburg

Augsburg has had a modest season, and this team was not at any moment placed in the top of part of the table and they spent several rounds in the position that leads to survival, which means that they were in danger through the entire championship and they feared for survival. It was their second consecutive season in the lower part of the table and they were endangered, which was all after the great fifth place that they took in Europa League three seasons ago. They are one of the teams that changed coaches during last season and Augsburg did it after the first part of the championship when Marcus Gisdol was replaced by Manuel Baum, who took over the team during the winter break and managed to improve some things, so they eventually managed to stay in the elite rank although they had a series of six matches without defeat with Baum on the bench, and then they were close to elimination and were saved by a series without defeat in the last four rounds.

Hopefully this season will be better, but it is hard to have optimism, at least when it comes to reinforcements and departures of some players. Striker Michael Gregoritsch is the strongest reinforcement and he needs to improve their efficiency that was problematic last season. They also brought young Venezuelan Sergio Cordova in midfield, and the new defensive midfielder is Rani Khedir from Leipzig. Schalke’s goalkeeper Fabian Giefer will boost the competition on goal and we will mention the right-back Marcello Heller from Darmstadt. The biggest loss is the departure of Bayern’s midfielder Kohr to Bayer Leverkusen and that is why they have brought Khedir, who will probably be the only one to get a place in the starting lineup. After many years, the experienced Halil Altintop has decided to leave the team, as well as Feulner and Matavez. All in all, it is most important to keep majority of players who were the game holders last season.

Probable starting lineups: Hitz – Teigl, Gouweleeuw, Hinteregger, Stafylidis – Baier, Khedira – Bobadilla, Schmid, Caiuby – Finnbogason

Forecast for the new season: They struggled a lot last season but they eventually survived. They have not brought a lot of reinforcements during this summer, and some of the players have left the team, so Augsburg will hardly manage to make a step forward. It is realistic that they will again be in the lower part of the table and that they will perhaps worry about survival till the very end, and that it is more realistic to survive than to fall out.

Relegation (bottom 3): 3.75 at bet365

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Eintracht Frankfurt

After what they showed last season maybe Eintracht does not deserve to be in the group of teams we think will fight for survival, but this team has shown a bad face in the past season so it somehow seems they have given their maximum in that first part of the championship, which will be difficult to repeat. Eintracht played the Cup finals last season, and after the first part of the season they were third in the table, which was a fantastic result that no one expected. However, in the second part there was a big drop and they had a series of ten games without a win, so it was a good luck that they have won enough points in the first half because otherwise their Bundesliga status would be endangered. They ended up in the bottom part of the table and remained without placement on the European scene. And that was progress because they were in 16th place two seasons ago and only after additional playoffs, they survived in the elite rank.

The big question before the new season is whether they will play well as in the first part of last season, or bad as in spring. It is logical that they left Niko Kovac on the coaching bench, who has regenerated the team in the previous season, regardless of the big downfall in the second half. They have strengthened the team and it can be said that they now have a better team. The first striker will be Sebastien Haller from Utrecht, and as the big star they have Jetro Willems from PSV Eindhoven. Salcedo was brought on a loan and the new right-back is Costa from Bayer. De Guzman and Fernandes are in midfield, so all in all, it really seems they are stronger because only striker Seferovic has left the team, whose replacement is now Haller, as well as Willems for Oczip who moved to Schalke. The problem might be that some important players have returned to their teams after loans, and those are Rebic, Vallejo and Varela.

Probable starting lineups: Hradecky – Chandler, Abraham, Salcedo, Willems – Mascarell, Fernandes – Fabian, Stendera, Gacinovic – Haller

Forecast for the new season: Past season has shown how much Eintracht is inclined to oscillations and even though they have brought reinforcements, it is difficult to say with certainty how this team might look like in the new championship. We think it will be difficult to play as in the first part of last season, and if it looks like in the second, then it is logical to see them among the candidates for relegation.

Relegation (bottom 3): 8.00 at Unibet

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SC Freiburg

Freiburg had been surprisingly good last season and there were almost no oscillations, because they have spent the entire championship around the middle of the table, while they right before the end improved their rhythm and finished in seventh place and qualified for Europa League. It is certainly a remarkable success for the team that has returned to Bundesliga, but it must be said that they were mostly winning minimally and had a lot of defeats, so the goal difference in the end was extremely negative. Unlike some other clubs, they did not change their coach during the season, because there was no need and Christian Streich is there since 2012. Even the elimination from the league did not cost him a job and it turned out to be a good decision because after returning to elite rank, he did an excellent job with a modest team.

Of course, good games by this team mean that some individuals played a very good season, and these games attracted attention to them, which in the case of Freiburg means the departure of these players. Somehow already by tradition the first buyer of Freiburg’s players is the team of Borussia and this time striker Philipp went to Dortmund and they really sold him well. In the second Borussia, they have sold midfielder Grifo, while they also lost Kerk, Torrejon and Nielsen. They bought contracts for two footballers who were on loans, so P. Stenzel will now be on the right back, who comes from Dortmund as a kind of fee for Philipp, while Niederlechner was bought from Mainz. They have brought other players on loans, and those are midfielder Kapustka from Leicester and center-back Lienhart from Madrid’s second team. Some players have returned to their teams after loans, so they can now only hope they have a good enough team for the new season.

Probable starting lineups: Schwolow – P. Stenzel, Soyuncu, Kempf, Gunter – Hofler, Abrashi, Kapustka, Frantz – Petersen, Niederlechner

Forecast for the new season: It is hard to expect Freiburg to repeat last season because they have remained without some important players. Even with them in the team, it would be unrealistic to expect European positions and the middle of the table, so their main goal this season will be the survival. It is very possible that there will be problems in this matter and that is why they are in this group, even though they are not among the most serious candidates for the elimination.

Relegation (bottom 3): 3.50 at bet365

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Werder Bremen

Werder’s past season is a special story, and this team has shown two different faces and are right beside Eintracht from Frankfurt, but in case of the team from Bremen, the first part of the season was desperate and the second much better. Immediately at the start, they lost four games and it seemed that everything leads to another season in which they will fight for survival, which we have already seen in the previous seasons. They have spent the entire first part of the season in the danger zone, or just above it, and they continued it all at the beginning of the second part, then suddenly as if a new Werder was playing and they made a series of 11 games without defeat and a breakthrough in the fight for European positions. However, in the last three rounds, they have suffered three defeats and lost a chance to play in Europa League, but all in all, the eighth place in the end is a great achievement. It is logical that they have changed their coach in the season with such a bad start and Viktor Skripnik was quickly replaced by his assistant Alexander Nouri, who managed to fix a lot of things and will take the team in the new season.

That is why he will not take all the players he had at his disposal last season, because Bayern bought a great young midfielder Gnabry and that is a big loss. There is no longer the legendary captain Fritz, who finished his career, another veteran Pizarro has left the team, as well as some younger players such as Grillitsch, Kleinheisler, Lorenzen and S. Garcia, and they lost two goalkeepers Wiedwaldo and Wolf. The new goalkeeper is Czech Pavlenka from Slavia, midfielder Gondorf has arrived from Darmstadt and he should change Gnabry, while Augustinsson from Copenhagen goes on the left-back instead of S. Garcia and there are also some returnees from the loans. Nouri has remained a coach, and he wants his team to play as in the second half of the season, although it is realistic that it is a season with many ups and downs and considering the departures they have experienced, it is hard to expect much, despite their reinforcements.

Probable starting lineups: Pavlenka – Gebre Selassie, Moisander, Veljkovic, Augustinsson – Delaney – Eggestein, Junuzovic, Kainz, Bartels – M. Kruse

Forecast for the new season: They hope that what they have shown in the second part of the season can now be repeated, but it is not realistic and it is not excluded that they are back at the beginning, which then complicates the situation. They have lost some players, and what they have gained is yet to be proven and it cannot be said that they have reinforced their team. That is why we again expect lots of ups and downs and probably a new struggle for survival, because there are plenty of strong teams this season in Bundesliga.

Relegation (bottom 3): 15.00 at Unibet

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Mid-table

Mainz 05

Mainz has completely failed last season and they could not continue with that series of nice placements, sometimes even worthy of the entering on the European stage. However, it somehow seems that this is a big problem for Mainz, and usually after a good season, they fail in the championship because they have European commitments. When they played Europe a few years ago, they finished 11th, while they nearly lost their place in Bundesliga, though they were eliminated after the group stage of Europa League. They played poorly in the second part of the championship and in the end details decided on their survival. They were saved two rounds before the end and now they do not want to repeat that again, which is why they have engaged a new coach Sandro Schwarz, along with several new players with whom they should be stronger.

The biggest loss was the departure of striker Cordoba, but considering that they have sold him well, they could have brought good players to other positions, like Diallo from Monaco, Fischer from Middlesbrough and Maxi from Stuttgart. They spent a lot of money on them, while they were reinforced free of charge by the experienced goalkeeper Adler, and of course, a young striker Kodra, who came from Osasuna. They have retained most of the forces from last season and their optimism is based on them, and they also will not have difficult European matches to play.

Probable starting lineups: Adler – Donati, Bell, Balogun, Bussmann – Gbamin, Latza – Oztunali, Maxim, Fischer – Muto

Forecast for the new season: Although they lost their first striker, they are obviously stronger and have a much longer bench, so they should not repeat last season. The middle of the table is a minimum below which they should not be satisfied, and perhaps they make a European step again.

Relegation (bottom 3): 3.50 at Unibet

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Finish in the Top 6: 19.00 at Unibet

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1.FC Cologne

Cologne has in the past season after a long time managed to make one step and we will finally watch them in Europa League. Those were mostly fights for survival, which even ended with eliminations, or possibly placement in the middle of the table, while they in the past championship showed maturity and there were no oscillations, so their worst placement was the eighth place, while at the beginning they were even on the second place. At the end, they took the quite satisfactory fifth place, and, of course, they are overwhelming, although they are now creating a new commitment in the form of playing on three fronts. Last season’s features were their very good performances at home, where they only lost twice, and several unresolved results. They retained coach Peter Stoger, as well as their best striker and their brilliant shooter.

In fact, Antony Modeste has left the team and without him Cologne is no longer the same because this player was great for most of the championship and he has brought his team a number of wins. Chinese money has ruled out, but at least no one else left, unless we count center-back Subotic, who was only on a loan. Looking at the paper, they found a good offensive replacement, because Cordoba from Mainz is also a great shooter and the question is only in his adjustment. They also boosted the last line with Gijon’s center-back Jorge Mere, and the left back from Wolfsburg, Horn. They will all have to compete for a place in the starting line-up, except for Cordoba, who should be there from the start.

Probable starting lineups: T. Horn – Klunter, Sorensen, Heintz, J. Hector – M. Lehmann, Hoger – Jojic, Bittencourt, Rausch – Cordoba

Forecast for the new season: Last season was great and now they are even more playful and they have not changed too much. They lost their first striker and if the new one adjusts well, they could go back to the top of the table, and if there are problems, then they should be somewhere around the middle of the table.

Relegation (bottom 3): 15.00 at Unibet

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Finish in the Top 6: 5.00 at Unibet

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1899 Hoffenheim

One of the finest surprises last season deserved more than being ranked among the middle but we still said that Hoffenheim was a big surprise in the past championship, and it is very difficult to repeat surprises from year to year. It is certainly respectable that they have not lost any matches in the first part of the season, 17 rounds in a row, they were not defeated by anyone at home and they have spent most of the championship between third and fourth place. In the end, however, they finished fourth, with just two points less than Borussia Dortmund, and thus entered on the European scene for the first time in history of the club and immediately the Champions League. We should not forget to mention the youngest coach in the league, Julian Nagelsmann, a true wizard, who will clearly take them to the new season.

When such a club plays well, then its best players are the target of the richest teams and star sales are inevitable. Bayern was interested the most, so they took away center-back Sule and midfielder Rudy, two very important players from last season, and other center-back Scharler and midfielder Schwegler have also left the team. Bayern was rational, so they gave them midfielder Gnabry on a loan and he will be a big boost after a brilliant season in Werder. The new striker is Hoogma from Heracles, but he certainly has no place in the last line with three, as they have been playing so far. The new defensive midfielder is a returnee in Bundesliga, Nordtveit, and he is a logical substitute for Rudy, and they also led Grillitsch, also in the midfield. They have managed to keep almost all their offensive forces and that is very important.

Probably the starting lineup: Baumann – B. Hubner, Vogt, Bicakcic – Nordtveit – Zuber, Demirbay, Gnabry, Nad. Amiri – Kramaric, Wagner

Forecast for the new season: They have lost some important players and it is difficult to say whether they can still be fourth and play so many matches without defeat, but they can be good, that is indisputable. The European challenge can also affect Hoffenheim’s game, and with the mentioned changes in the composition, it is somewhat more realistic to expect them closer to the middle of the table, and perhaps possibly in the fight for Europa League.

Relegation (bottom 3): 41.00 at Unibet

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Finish in the Top 6: 1.50 at Unibet

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Hamburger SV

Looking back six seasons, HSV has only once finished the championship in the top part, and two seasons ago they ended up in the middle of the table. Everything else was much worse, with two survivals only after additional playoffs, so what they did last season, is no news. They were again very close to elimination and only in the last three rounds after a series without defeat they managed to keep their Bundesliga status. For a while they were even the last and they were desperately playing bad away. It is also logical that they have replaced their coach, so Marcus Gisdol is now on the bench, who replaced Labbadi last season, and it seems they are very happy with him in HSV, so he will now lead the team from the start of the championship. They have not reinforced the team much, and the departures were not too painful, so it remains to be seen how it will all look.

They bought a contract for K. Papadopoulos from Bayer and it is a good decision, because this player managed to at least fix HSV’s defense. They decided to bring a new goalkeeper, so Julius Pollersbeck from Klaussen is now the first to guard the net, while they have Andre Hahn from M’gladbach in attack and it can also be said that this is a good solution for the offensive part of the team where they lost Gregoritsch. Veteran Djourou has ended his episode in HSV, while Ostrzolek is no longer on the left back. There have been some less important changes, and all in all it cannot be said that they are particularly strong, which means they cannot expect a step forward compared to the previous season.

Probable starting lineups: Pollersbeck – G. Sakai, K. Papadopoulos, Mavraj, D. Santos – Walace, Ekdal – N. Muller, Holtby, Kostic – Hahn

Forecast for the new season: HSV is a team from this group that is closer to that group of candidates for the relegation, and with this team they cannot hope for any surprise, but they might get to the middle of the table and thus avoid a stressful struggle for survival.

Relegation (bottom 3): 3.75 at betway

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Finish in the Top 6: 19.00 at Unibet

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VfL Wolfsburg

The biggest disappointment last season is logically hoping that all is in the past, but it is always somehow easier to fall from the top to the bottom then it is to return and that is why Wolfsburg is in this group of teams and no longer among the favourites for the highest ranking. They have completely failed last season and it is still unclear how this could have happened to the team with such individuals, but luckily, they were saved from the elimination only after additional playoffs and were keeping the situation under control. They did not even have European obligations, and that cannot be a justification for why they almost completed the championship in the lower part of the table, though never in the last two positions. At the end of February this year, Andries Jonker came on the bench and became the third coach of the season after Hecking and Ismael. Now Jonker is leading the team from the start, with the proviso that there were some changes in the team.

We should mention four departures and four new names, though this did not happen in the same positions, so it cannot be stated that they are equal forces. Left back R. Rodriguez is no longer a part of this team, though he played at the position of center-back sometimes, Luiz Gustavo from the defensive midfielder has also left the team, and he also occasionally played as a center-back. That is why the biggest money was spent on the defensive player and the choice fell to US national player John Anthony Brooks from Hertha, while defensive midfielder is now Camacho from Malaga. The experienced goalkeeper Benaglio and Horn are also gone, and new side players are William and Stefaniek, while the attack will be boosted by Dimat from Belgian Oostende.

Probable starting lineups: Casteels – William, Brooks, Bruma, Gerhardt – Camacho, Guilavogui – Arnold, Bazoer, Malli – M. Gomez

Forecast for the new season: Even if nothing had changed, Wolfsburg would have to do much better in the new season. But they refreshed the composition, so they should not fear for a new struggle for survival, and the “Wolves” should easily approach the best German teams again. It will be hard to reach the very top this season, but they can certainly be in the upper part of the table.

Relegation (bottom 3): 15.00 at Unibet

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Finish in the Top 6: 5.00 at Unibet

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Hertha BSC

Hertha played very good last season, just like two seasons ago, which has brought them placement in Europa league, in which they last year played very shortly and were stopped by Denmark’s Brondby at the first obstacle. In the championship they were very constant, and they were even in third place in the first part, and later they fell slightly and finished sixth. It must be mentioned how much better Hertha played at home and they only dropped in form at the end of the championship, while they had problems away from the beginning, with very few draws in total. Coach Pal Dardai begins his third season on the bench of the team from Berlin and last summer they have changed very little and have been able to repeat the good season so maybe that is why they have not brought too many players, while their departures are minimal.

The biggest loss is the departure of the striker Brooks and this will undoubtedly weaken their defense in which they brought Karim Rekika from Marseille, as a substitute. Striker Allag and midfielder Baumhjohann have also left the team, but considering that Baumhjohann did not get a lot of opportunities, he cannot be called a loss for the club. It is much more valuable that they brought Davie Selke from Leipzig in the top of the attack, so Ibisevic now gains competition, and there is also Mathew Leckie as reinforcement in midfield but more offensive. Lazaro also came on a loan, which will cover the right back, so all in all they are stronger, especially in the offensive section.

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

Forecast for the new season: The previous two seasons were very good for Hertha, with some minor crises in the second part. Now they want to repeat it all and it can be said that they are somewhat stronger as a team, but there are other teams with similar ambitions, which will make a job difficult for Hertha and so we expect them to be lower on the table, but certainly in its upper part.

Relegation (bottom 3): 15.00 at Unibet

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Finish in the Top 6: 5.00 at Unibet

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Top 6 and Title

Bayern Munich

The fact that Bayern was last season the champion of Germany is no surprise and it is not just because of that fact that their season was successful. The Bavarian giants are always expected to win a double crown, the championship and the Cup, but they did not succeed in that and they were eliminated in the semi-finals, while they of course also want a title from the European championship, since they are waiting a long time for that and last season Real Madrid eliminated them in the quarterfinals of the Champions League. Carlo Ancelotti’s debut season cannot be called good, although they only have been in the lead for three rounds and they have lost only two matches in Bundesliga. It turned out that they did not do a good job with reinforcements, especially midfielder Sanches, who was very expensive. In the new season they are again entering with Ancelotti on the bench and some new reinforcements, but without some older players.

Lahm, Xabi Alonso and goalkeeper Starke have all ended their careers, so Bayern was left without their services, while they also lost Benatia and Douglas Costa, who did not spend much time in this team, which means they have not proved themselves enough. The most recent reinforcement is certainly James Rodriguez from Madrid and he was loaned to them, and another midfielder Rudy was given them free of charge from Hoffenheim. But they paid a lot for Lyon’s midfielder Tolisso and Hoffenheim’s Sule, while they bought a contract for Coman from Juventus. Young Gnabry was brought on a loan, so they should be even stronger than last season and there is no justification for any failure.

Probable starting lineups: Neuer – Rafinha, Boateng, Hummels, Alaba – Tolisso, Vidal – J. Rodriguez, Alcantara, T. Muller – Lewandowski

Forecast for the new season: Of course, they are the first and most likely the only serious candidate for the title, although Borussia Dortmund threatens again. The question is just how easy it will be to get to a new title, because everything else would be a debacle and with such a team they should not allow that. The bigger challenge will be the Champions League.

League Winner: 1.25 at Interwetten

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Borussia Dortmund

Borussia had only slightly saved last season after winning the Cup, but this is the least valued competition and the wishes of this team were certainly bigger, especially in the championship, where they had been struggling for a long time, and in the end even the third place was questionable, even though they announced the fight for the title, and in the worst case, the second position. They did not deserve it, as there were plenty of ups and downs during the championship, so they were at one point in the middle of the season they were only seventh. The quarter-finals of the Champions League may not be a bad result, but they have eliminated Monaco and, of course, it remains to be regretted that they have not gone further. In the Cup they defeated Bayern Munich in the semi-finals and they deserved a trophy, which was not enough for Thomas Tuchel to remain coach this season. He has been replaced by the Dutchman Peter Bosz who will take them into new season with several valuable reinforcements.

They have sold two defenders and it can be said they have earned a lot of money on Ginter and S. Bender, who were not even standard in the starting lineup, and they also sold striker Ramos well, who was never in the foreground anyway. Merino and P. Stenzel have left the team, but they are almost unimportant players, while much is anticipated from their reinforcements. Imer Toprak arrived on the center-back position, and the competition will be much stronger there as well as in midfield, precisely at the defensive midfield, after the arrival of the young Mahmoud Dahoud. One of the junior players, Maximilian Philipp, has come in the offensive part of the team, and this is just a continuation of the tradition of bringing players from Freiburg. An interesting boost could be the young Zagadou from PSG, but his time is yet to come. The problem at the beginning of the season could also be numerous injuries.

Probable starting lineups: Burki – Piszczek, Bartra, Sokratis, Guerreiro – Weigl, Dahoud – Pulisic, Dembele, Reus – Aubameyang

Forecast for the new season: They eagerly want to break Bayern’s long-term dominance, but it will be very difficult. They have additionally reinforced the team, but the Bavarians are even more powerful so they can only hope that no one will surprise them and surpass them on the second place. Everything below the vice-champion position is a failure, of course, with the attempt to defend the trophy in the Cup.

Finish in the Top 6: 1.01 at Unibet

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Finish in the Top 4: 1.17 at bet365

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League Winner: 8.00 at Interwetten

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Bayer Leverkusen

Last season has brought total disappointment when it comes to Bayer and the team that was expected to be almost safe in the positions that lead to Champions League, and perhaps even more, was in the position to be closer to relegation zone and even at one point dangerously worried. They were led by two coaches, first Schmidt who was dismissed after poor results, and then Korkut at the end of the season, but he did not stay long, because they now have Heiko Herrlich on the coaching bench. It should also be added that they were eliminated last season very early from the Cup, and that they have reached round of sixteen in the Champions League. After all, they have not changed their team much, but their departures were numerous.

The conclusion was probably that Bayer actually has a good team, but they did not play in line with their quality and maybe that is why they have exaggerated with reinforcements. Defender S. Bender arrived from Borussia Dortmund and he certainly can be useful in several positions, though he is prone to injuries. The reinforcement for the midfield is Dominik Kohr from Augsburg and he is certainly worth mentioning, with the return of defender Ramalh from the loan. Chicharito has left this team which is certainly a big loss, though he also oscillated with the form, with the fact that he scored a lot of goals. Midfielder Calanoglu has not played for most of the season, and he was sold to Milan as well as Toprak to Borussia Dortmund. They will also now be without the experienced striker Kiesling and it turns out that they need one more reinforcement in the attack.

Probable starting lineups: Leno – Henrichs, Tah, Dragovic, Wendell – L. Bender, Aranguiz – Bellarabi, Kampl, Brandt – Volland

Forecast for the new season: They should not be worse than they were last season and they are not even thinking about that. They are probably aiming at third place, which was previously predicted, or possibly fourth place and it can be said they have the quality for something like that, but also a very strong competition, so the question is whether they can reach the Champions League in which they will not play this season and that makes things easier.

Finish in the Top 6: 1.50 at Unibet

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Finish in the Top 4: 3.25 at bet365

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League Winner: 81.00 at BetVictor

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RB Leipzig

Last year’s sensation is entering the new season with the same ambitions and that can be called even realistic, although it is always more difficult to replicate or defend the position of the vice-champion to which they have come in their debut season in the elite rank. There were even the leaders for a few rounds, and they showed Bayern that they are a strong competition, because they were threatening from the second position. It made things easier that they only played the championship after the early elimination from the Cup and they were without European commitments, and the team was young and playful, and well organized by coach Ralph Hasenhuttl, who will of course be at the start of the new championship. A wealthy sponsor has not given the team to lose too many players, and of course there are some new reinforcements, because they will also play the group stage of the Champions League, which requires extra effort and a wide bench.

The only departure worth mentioning was their striker Davie Selke, who did not really play much last season, while Khedira has also left the team, as well as goalkeeper M. Muller. New striker is young Kevin Augustin from PSG, midfielders Bruma from Galatasaray and Laimer from Salzburg have also arrived in Leipzig, and goalkeeper Mvogo from Young Boys. All young players, so Leipzig will again have the youngest team in the league, with the rest of practically all the big stars from last season when they have shown how good they are. It will be very interesting to see how they will play on three fronts.

Probable starting lineups: Gulacsi – Klostermann, Orban, Upamecano, Halstenberg – Demme, Ilsanker – Sabitzer, Keita, Forsberg – Ti. Werner

Forecast for the new season: Everything is possible when Leipzig is concerned, because they really showed strength last season. They are not any weaker now, perhaps even stronger and more experienced and their obligations in the Champions League may take their strength and maybe they will not be that close to Bayern and they are expected on the second place, although they can be at the top again.

Finish in the Top 6: 1.08 at Unibet

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Finish in the Top 4: 1.50 at bet365

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League Winner: 21.00 at bet365

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Schalke 04

Schalke had great ambitions for several seasons, but they somehow they ended up close to the top and the European positions, but it was not always in the Champions League. And then last season they failed completely and ended up only at tenth place, which brought them nothing but disappointment. They were somewhat better was in the Cup and Europa League where they reached the quarterfinals. But that did not fix the impression and it did not save their coach Weinzierl, which was logical, perhaps even earlier in the season, but they have somehow managed to stay, although Schalke was defeated in the first five championship rounds. They were even last on a table at one point and then they had a big boost and a lot of oscillations that followed them for years back. Now they want that to avoid that and play a much better season than it was before, all with new coach Domenico Tedesco at the helm.

They had a big loss, because the versatile Sead Kolasinac decided to leave the team, who could cover more positions and he really played well, while the legendary striker Huntelaar will no longer be in this team after many years. They also lost goalkeeper Giefer, left-back Aogo, striker Choupo-Moting, while Babi’s loan expired. They bought two players who were on loans, Bentaleb and Konoplyanka, and that proved to be a good decision, as well as brining the offensive Harit from Nantes and the left-back Oczip from Frankfurt. The position of center-back was increased with Pablo Insu from Deportivo. They had a lot of problems and injuries last season, especially in attack, and now they hope that will not be the case now and make the job easier for them, as well as the fact that they will not play in Europe.

Probable starting lineups: Fahrmann – Coke, Howedes, Nastasic, Oczipka – Geis, Stambouli – Schopf, Goretzka, Bentaleb – G. Burgstaller

Forecast for the new season: They refreshed the composition and brought a new coach so they have the right to hope for much better results than last season. They do not have European obligations and it is difficult to repeat such bad start as well as injury problems. So we see them as returnees in the upper part of the table and in the big fight for European positions, maybe not the Champions League, but Europa League certainly.

Finish in the Top 6: 1.50 at Unibet

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Finish in the Top 4: 4.50 at bet365

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League Winner: 81.00 at BetVictor

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Borussia M’gladbach

After two very successful seasons that took them to the Champions League, Borussia did not succeed in repeating everything last season and they dropped to the middle of the table. They are not the only team that failed and it is hard to say what was the real reason, but they played the Champions League and later Europa League, where they came to the eighth finals while they were very good at the Cup, where they were stopped in the semi-finals. They also changed their coach, so at the end of the year Andre Schubert was replaced by Dieter Hecking, and they are obviously pleased with him, although he did not make any step forwards in the championship. They have made changes in the team and it is difficult to say whether they are weaker or stronger because that will only be seen when the championship begins, and it is certainly relaxing that they have no European obligations.

The departure of two players can certainly be considered a loss and one could not be stopped because A. Christensen’s loan from Chelsea has expired and he left, while the second one is midfielder Dahoud who they sold, even though he proved to be good last season. They have practically made a trade with Borussia Dortmund, because Matthias Ginter came from this team, and he can play on center-back as well as in defensive midfield, although it is more realistic for him to replace A. Christensen in defence. The best substitute for Dahoud was Denis Zakaria from Young Boys, while Grifo was brought from Freiburg on the left-back. It should be said that striker Hahn has also left the team, who did not play much last season, and the right back Corb.

Probable starting lineups: Sommer – Jantschke, Vestergaard, Ginter, Wendt – Kramer, Zakaria – Herrmann, Hazard, Raffael – Stindl

Forecast for the new season: They lost some players and brought a lot of good replacements, so it can be said that they are not stronger or weaker. However, this does not mean that the placement should be the same because this team is worth much more than the middle of the table, so we expect them closer to the top and in the fight for European positions.

Finish in the Top 6: 1.50 at Unibet

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Finish in the Top 4: 3.75 at bet365

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League Winner: 101.00 at bet365

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