The Bundesliga has already taken shape this season, with the title race seemingly all but over already thanks to the tremendous form of Bayern Munich. If you remember my post from earlier this year, I gave my prediction as to where each team would finish, how many points they would accrue, including W/D/L and goals for and against. My prediction was a bit of fun, as season long bets can be tricky at the best of times. However, I am quietly pleased with how it appears to be panning out. I have correctly got the top 6 in the top 6, with 4 in the right place (Dortmund are 3rd, with Leverkusen 2nd). I also went with Braunschweig to be bottom...
To analyse it a little more, I decided to look at the current points per game (PPG) each team has achieved, and compare it with my season-long predictions to see who I got close and who I am out on. There are 8 of the 18 teams that have a PPG differential of 0.21 or less:
Werder Bremen +0.09
I never expected to get it spot on at all, and there are ultimately a few teams that I have got massively wrong...
Hertha Berlin (+0.76 PPG Differential)
Hertha have been the biggest overachievers from my prediction, by quite a long way too. The main reason for this is the value I put on points in the second tier, and the fact that it is always tough to know how a promoted team will cope in a higher division. They’ve performed very well and competed with the top sides – often making light work of the weaker sides in the league.
They have a real chance of European qualification now, and it would be great to see them continue their form to get there too.
Mainz (+0.65 PPG Differential)
I expected Mainz to struggle this season, but they have managed to grind out 9 wins from 20 already (I predicted 7 wins and 8 draws). They’ve only drawn three, which is low, so this partly explains their over achieving points per game total. I expected them to be scrapping for survival at the bottom of the Bundesliga table, but my prediction was wrong and they seem more likely to finish in the top half.
Recent form of 9 points from their last 4 games has skewed this slightly (after 16 games, they had a -0.19 PPG differential!). The form of their Asian players has contributed to this, especially Shinji Okazaki who has popped up with 9 goals so far this season.
Hamburg (-0.58 PPG Differential)
Hamburg, well... There is not much to say about them. They have been pretty woeful throughout the season and are by far the biggest under achievers. They’re on their second manager, and he (Bert van Marwijk) is under pressure having not been able to improve results. They’ve lost their last 6 at the time of writing this post, and don’t really look like pulling themselves out of this slump.
If they manage to avoid relegation, they will have done well from this position, at this stage of the season when confidence must be at a real rock bottom.
(To view the full league prediction image just CLICK HERE)