Bundesliga run-ins: The race for the Champions League


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With 24 Bundesliga matchdays behind them, RB Leipzig sit third in the league and are fully on course to qualify for the Champions League.

RBL have 45 points so far this season, 5 points more than this point in the 2021/22 season. But one thing has remained the same in comparison to last season, as yet again two other teams are level on points with RBL – in 2021/22 this was Freiburg and Hoffenheim, this season it’s Freiburg and Union.

We take a look at the exciting race for the Champions League over the final 10 games, with 6 teams fighting for 4 places.

RB Leipzig

45 points, 49:29 goal record– RBL have a respectable record after 24 games, especially after a difficult start. The team has stabilised itself under Marco Rose chased down those ahead of them. 

RBL’s remaining fixtures:

Bochum (A, 4-0-win in the previous game), Mainz (H, 1-1 draw), Hertha (A, 3-2 win), Augsburg (H, 3-3 draw), Leverkusen (A, 2-0 win), Hoffenheim (H, 3-1 win), Freiburg (A, 3-1 win), Bremen (H, 2-1 win), Bayern (A, 1-1 draw), Schalke (H, 6-1 win)

In the first half of the season, RBL didn’t lose any of their last ten games and collected a hugely impressive 24 from a possible 30 points (an average of 2.4 points-per-game). A similar performance in the second half of the season would near guarantee Champions League qualification.

Early confirmation of a Champions League place could take place on matchday 31, with the team taking on direct competitors Freiburg, who are current level on points with RBL.

1. FC Union Berlin

The team from Köpenick are playing just their fourth season in the Bundesliga, yet are on course to qualify for European competition for the third time in a row. Two years ago, they took part in the Europa Conference League, this year in the Europa League – and next year in the Champions League? The team, coached by Urs Fischer, look likely to do just that, having also picked up 45 points, with a goal record of 36:28.

FCU’s remaining fixtures:

Frankfurt (H, 2-0 defeat in the previous game), Stuttgart (H, 1-0 win), Dortmund (A, 2-0 win), Bochum (H, 2-1 loss), Gladbach (A, 2-1 win), Leverkusen (H, 5-0 loss), Augsburg (A, 2-2 draw), Freiburg (H, 4-1 loss), Hoffenheim (A, 3-1 win), Bremen (H, 2-1 win)

In the first half of the season, Union collected 16 points from a possible 30 in their last 10 games. If FCU repeat this in the second half of the season, they will end up with 61 points, enough for Champions League qualification four times in the last five seasons. However, Union are currently four games without a league win (3 draws, 1 defeat).

SC Freiburg

SCF have developed into one of the top teams in the Bundesliga under head coach Christian Streich. After finishing sixth last season, Freiburg are once again in the running for European competition in 2022/23. With 45 points, and a goal record of 37:33, Freiburg are in a good position ahead of the run-in.

SCF’s remaining fixtures:

Mainz (A, 2-1 win in the previous game), Hertha (H, 2-2 draw), Bayern (H, 5-0 loss), Bremen (A, 2-0 win), Schalke (H, 2-0 win), Köln (A, 2-0 win), Leipzig (H, 3-1 loss), Union (A, 4-1 win), Wolfsburg (H, 6-0 loss), Frankfurt (A, 1-1 draw) 

In the first half of the season, Freiburg collected 17 points from a possible 30 in their last 10 games. If FCU repeat this in the second half of the season, they will end up with 62 points. However, with remaining games against Bayern, Union and Leipzig, Streich’s side don’t have the easiest of run-ins.

Eintracht Frankfurt

Frankfurt are also still in the running for the Champions League, and currently have 40 points and a goal record of 46:34. The reigning Europa League winners were second after matchday 16, but have added just ten points to the 30 they had at that point in the following eight games.

SGE’s remaining fixtures:

Union (A, 2-0-win the previous game), Bochum (H, 3-0 loss), Leverkusen (A, 5-1 win), Gladbach (H, 3-1 win), Dortmund (A, 2-1 loss), Augsburg (H, 2-1 win), Hoffenheim (A, 4-2 win), Mainz (H, 1-1 draw), Schalke (A, 3-0 win), Freiburg (H, 1-1 draw)

Finishing in the top four is still possible for Oliver Glasner’s men, who picked up 20 from a possible 30 points from the last 10 games of the first half of the season. However, with games against UnionDortmund and Freiburg still to come, it will be no mean feat.

Bayern and BVB

Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund have the two best records so far in the race for Champions League qualification. The record champions sit table of the table with 52 points, with BVB breathing down their necks only two points behind.

Bayern’s remaining fixtures: 

Leverkusen (A, 4-0 win in the previous game), Dortmund (H, 2-2 draw), Freiburg (A, 5-0 win), Hoffenheim (H, 2-0 win), Mainz (A, 6-2 win), Hertha (H, 3-2 win), Bremen (A, 6-1 win), Schalke (H, 2-0 win), Leipzig (H, 1-1 draw), Köln (A, 1-1 draw) 

Bayern picked up 24 from a possible 30 points in the last ten games of the first half of the season and currently sit top the table, most likely to both qualify for the Champions League and to win the title race.

BVB’s remaining fixtures: 

Köln (H, 3-2 loss in the previous game), Bayern (A, 2-2 draw), Union (H, 2-0 loss), Stuttgart (A, 5-0 win), Frankfurt (H, 2-1 win), Bochum (A, 3-0 win), Wolfsburg (H, 2-0 loss), Gladbach (H, 4-2 loss), Augsburg (A, 4-3 win), Mainz (H, 2-1 win) 

BVB only picked up 16 points from a possible 30 in the last ten games of the first half of the season, the least of the top six teams currently fighting for the Champions League.

That the Black-Yellows will repeat this in the second half of the season seems unlikely, with Edin Terzić’s side still unbeaten in the Bundesliga in 2023 (6 wins, 1 draw).

Bundesliga run-ins: The race for the Champions League

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