Sunday, 17 August 2014

2014-15 Season Predictions

Bundesliga 2014-15 season predictions
Bundesliga 2014-15 Predictions
Bundesliga 2014–15 season will be the 52nd edition of Germany's top football competition with Bayern Munich as defending champions. It is really hard to predict anything else but Bayern as new champion, that would make third in a row, especially after last season, Bayern's 23rd title that came with a record seven match days before the end and 19 points in front of Dortmund in second place. Like him or not, we must say that Guardiola's first season in charge of Bayern has been impressive. The Spaniard won domestic double, only the 5-0 aggregate loss to Real Madrid was not a welcome sight. We predict Bayern as new champions but it will not be impressive as last season because they never looked so vulnerable. Toni Kroos and Mandžukić are off to Madrid teams, a lots of key players, Schweinsteiger, Muller, Neuer, Lahm, Goetze and Robben were involved in late stage of World Cup and will need additional time to recover, and there are injuries to Rafinha, Alcantara and Martinez. Lewandowski, Bundesliga's top scorer from last year, is reinforcement but even the best footballers need time to settle in a club like Bayern. The last time Bayern won three in a row was way back in 1998-2001, and it was Dortmund who ended that run. We predict they will push Bayern all the way in the title race, and we would not be that surprised if they manage to take over the throne. Dortmund will miss Lewandowski, but we are pretty sure that Immobile or Adrian Ramos will make a good job in replacing the Pole. Klopp is taking no chances this season, now he has two quality options for almost each position in team and they should be able to close big point gap and take the title race to Bayern.

Last season was the first time in 33 years that the same four teams (Bayern, Dortmund, Schalke, Leverkusen) finished in the top four and we do not expect much to change this time. Only Wolfsburg and Monchengladbach look well enough to upset the league’s Big Four. Sidney Sam and Choupo-Moting will be good additions to Schalke squad, but probably more important is they have retained the services of Julian Draxler. We predict 3rd place for Shalke. Leverkusen under ex-Salsburg coach Roger Schmidt, have brought two young prospects Calhanoglu and Drmić to replace Sam and Emre Can, while Wendell should be reinforcement to defense. Leverkusen will be challenged by Wolfsburg and Monchengladbach in fight for last Champions League place. Wolfsburg is strangely quiet this summer with only former Arsenal striker Bendtner and Aaron Hunt coming in on a free transfers. They have a quality to push one point gap from last season and take the third place from Leverkusen but playing Europa League might be distraction and remains to be seen how they will balance mid week games on a regular basis. Monchengladbach have lost two great players, Ter Stegen and Arango, but they did manage to bring in couple of good replacements; Sommer, Fabian Johnson, I.Traore, Andre Hahn and T.Hazard (young brother of Eden). Now they have even deeper squad and they could be very dangerous especially if they manage to find consistency and balance playing Europa League. 

Hoffenheim, Hamburger and Stuttgart are clubs that could join the fight for Europa League spots. Hoffenheim was super attractive team with average of 4 goals per game, scoring and receiving almost the same number of goals, ending the season with a spectacular 72:70 goal difference. They’ve managed to hold on to their top scorers, Firminho, Modeste, Volland, Salihović, and even add one more, Szalai from Schalke. They also brought in defensive reinforcements, goalkeeper Baumann, and two defenders Ermin Bičakčić and Jin-Su Kim, and that could be just what this team needed. Hamburg was a total disaster last season but they are one of the league’s dinosaurs and with some fresh blood they can only go up. Lasogga, Behrami and Djourou are reinforcements but what this team needs is a bit of players chemistry and if Slomka manage to create that, they could join the top fight. Without Huub Stevens one of Germany’s biggest clubs, Stuttgart, could’ve been playing in the 2.Bundesliga. Now Armin Veh took over and the last time he was at the club (2006-08) he did a great job, winning Bundesliga in season 2006-07. He will not be in title race but he probably can join the Euro spot fight. Ibrahima Traore and Arthur Boka left but there are some good players in like F.Kostić, Oriol Vidal and Florian Klein. As for the rest midfield table teams, Werder, Mainz, Hannover, Frankfurt and Augsburg should have more or less safe season. We expect them above relegation spots. 

Paderborn, Freiburg, Herta and FC Koln are our biggest candidates for relegation. Paderborn was a pleasant surprise in the 2.Bundesliga last season but they are a very small club, and it would take a miracle to stay up. We predict direct relegation. FC Koln won the 2.Bundesliga with the second youngest team and with a team like that it’s hard to predict exactly what will happen. They posses tremendous team spirit and enthusiastic coach but will this be enough? Koln constantly move up and down from the first to second league and back, and we expect to see them in relegation fight. Freiburg are one team that just keep over achieving, but last season showed some signs that side may start to crack. Several good players (Baumann, Ginter, Fernandes, Hanke) left the club, couple of good came in (Mehmedi, Mitrović) but they are still weaker than the last season. Herta is just like Koln, a yo-yo club, regularly promoted and relegated, and with the departure of some good players (Ramos, Lasogga, Skjelbred, Holland) they could end in unpleasant relegation fight.

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