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Bundesliga After Four Games

by Olaf Goldbecker

The German Bundesliga is four games old and none of the teams are really showing a sovereign march on top. Take a look at what has happened so far:

Top Ranks

#1 Turbine Potsdam, 10pts

A little surprised to be on top is Turbine Potsdam, but the team has not convinced so far. The reason why they are on top can be seen in the easy starting program. Jena, Sindelfingen, Duisburg and Hoffenheim – they will barely have easier games. They lost points against Jena, and nearly blew a 3-0 lead at Hoffenheim, something they similarly did in the cup competition at Essen the week before when they gave up a 2-0 lead to lose 2-3 and drop out early. In this shape the current number one is far from being a top team contender.

#2 Bayern München, 10pts

The team with the best showings so far is Bayern Munich. They took a point from triple winner Wolfsburg on the first match day and were unlucky to lose two in that draw. Munich is the only team to survive the first two home games with a clean sheet, although the last one against Cloppenburg (5-2) was hard work. Still, Bayern has left the best impression in this young season and would be the number one in a power ranking.

#3 VfL Wolfsburg, 8pts

The title defender is slowly rising again. They did not only lose points against Munich but also surprisingly at Jena before Sindelfingen and Duisburg were opponents to gain self-confidence. The Wolves had to find their way into the season after all the successes from the last campaign. In Wolfsburg it certainly is not a question of quality but rather a question of how to keep the massive quality entertained if they want to repeat their success. They are on a good track right now.

#4 1.FFC Frankfurt, 8pts

It was expected that Frankfurt would find their way back to old form but they still show surprising results in both ways, especially at home where they are having their problems. The road games at Freiburg (2-0) and Cloppenburg (4-0) were won but at home they were stunned with a 1-1 draw against Essen and a 2-2 draw vs Leverkusen after giving up a secure 2-0 lead. They have the potential to be farther up in the standings but are not consistent enough yet.

Mid-Table

#5 SC Freiburg, 6pts

Back to normal for Freiburg after a strong previous season. SCF started with two losses but their opponents were Munich and Frankfurt, so points from those games were not expected. Jena and Sindelfingen were opponents that lifted Freiburg to where they belong – in the midfield right after the top quartet.

#6 Bayer Leverkusen, 6pts

The team with numerous German youth national team players can surprise in many ways, so consequently are in mid-table spot. They still haven’t lost a single game this season but also only won one when they were the first top seed after the first match day following a 3-0 win over Duisburg. They could not defeat two newly promoted teams from Hoffenheim and Cloppenburg, but the 2-2 draw at Frankfurt was a positive result.

#7 FF USV Jena, 5pts

Actually, you could call Jena relegation-endangered as they are just three points away from relegation but at this early stage this is to be expected. Also, Jena had a remarkably good start into the season and the term “mid-table”  is deserved for this. The university club played against Potsdam and Wolfsburg and came away with a point each, then lost at Freiburg before they defeated Essen. Five points from two of the top teams played is a good outcome. The only problem is that Jena likes to sit back and react to the opponent, so playing against lower-placed teams is not to their strength.

Bottom Teams

#8 TSG Hoffenheim, 4pts

Hoffenheim is hard to evaluate at this stage. They are promoted and thus four points is absolutely alright so far, but they are no “normal” promoted team. A lucky stoppage time win against Sindelfingen makes an alarm bell ring. Since then they are without a win. A surprisingly big loss at Duisburg was followed by a draw at Leverkusen. Last weekend they were not expected to get a point against Potsdam but almost tied after being down 0-3. All in all, a normal record but the team makes it hard to evaluate where they will be landing.

#9 FCR Duisburg, 3pts

Another team that is tough to evaluate is FCR Duisburg. Starting with a 0-3 loss at Leverkusen was not promising but a big win over Hoffenheim followed. They lost the last two games, but given the opponents were Potsdam and Wolfsburg, it’s hard to draw conclusions. Duisburg will need to gain the points from their direct competition but will be in the relegation fight for a long time.

#10 SGS Essen, 2pts

Very dangerous situation for Essen: lots of praise and respectable results but barely any points might get them into trouble. The team started with a draw against Cloppenburg and then surprised with a draw at Frankfurt. Also surprising draws only give you one point they are stuck at the bottom. The loss against Munich was expected but a 0-2 loss at Jena puts Essen into a situation they don’t want to be in.

#11 BV Cloppenburg, 2pts

Lots of investments but so far not a matching result. Three goals allowed per game is Cloppenburg’s big problem in Bundesliga: 3-3 against Essen, 0-0 to Leverkusen are somewhat okay when you are midtable, but Cloppenburg can beat both teams — and maybe must defeat given their investments. The games against Frankfurt (0-4) and Munich (2-5) can be lost but the number of allowed goals was too high. The team has quality but the outcome so far has not been good enough.

#12 VfL Sindelfingen, 0pts

Expectedly Sindelfingen is not competitive in the league. On the first match day, they nearly got one point at Hoffenheim (0-1 in stoppage time), but afterward got slaughtered: 0-7 to Potsdam, 1-8 to Wolfsburg, 0-5 to Freiburg. The season will be rather interesting to see how long players stay motivated when they suffer big losses.

Olaf Goldbecker

Olaf covers the Frauen-Bundesliga, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Women’s EUROS and player signings.

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