We mainly talked about the good stories of the season so far but obviously – there are quite a few bad stories. Today we will focus on 4 teams that are facing relegation. Köln will not be one of those four clubs, simply because the chances that they could be saved from relegation at this point are very slim. So let’s start with Hamburg:
Aaah, Hamburg. If you follow the Bundesliga for long enough you will still remember the days when Hamburg used to be a club that qualified for the old UEFA-Cup and the Champions League on a regular basis. In the early 2010s however Hamburg were caught in a downward spiral and even though their squad has been above the level of the ones their competitors down the table have had, they haven’t been able to find a way out of the yearly relegation battle. Nicolai Müller tearing his cruciate ligament while celebrating in the first game of the season was a very bad sign and with them dropping to 17th on the last matchday of the Hinrunde, the Rückrunde promises to be quite some ride with a possible Happy End – like always.
Another team that has a big history and used to qualify for european competitions all the plan is Bremen. But they have also been in a constant relegation battle for the last years and the only reason that didn’t happen last year is that they won 31 points from 11 games in the Rückrunde. A run like that is exactly what Bremen needs right now but it’s not very likely to happen because whilst they are good when it comes to the whole defending thing (20 goals conceded), the attacking side of things has left a lot to be desired with only 13 goals scored so far. Bremen fans are hoping that new manager Florian Kohfeldt has used the time in the winter break to work on these things because if they don’t start scoring more goals soon this could very well be the year where Bremen has to say “Good Bye!” to the Bundesliga. Bremen players have done their best to reassure the fans that we are going to see the Bremen everyone loves in the Rückrunde
When it comes to teams that are always expected to be at the tail end of the table, Mainz is one of the first names on the list. Being the poorest Bundesliga team is never easy and it can lead to thinking that a 33-year-old Nigel de Jong is a player that will help you stay in the league instead of being a player that gets sent off twice and never plays again. Right now the Mainz squad looks like a random assembly of players that could play on a Bundesliga level and Mainz being 15th reflects that. This Rückrunde will be all about Sandro Schwarz getting that 2 or 3% more out of his players but it’s likely to be close until the final matchday in May.
Stuttgart started the season very well and out of the two promoted team they were the one everyone expected to be in mid-table but after their biggest win of the season so far – a 2-1 against Dortmund – things just haven’t worked out at all for Hannes Wolf and his men. They are able to do the basic things that make you a decent Bundesliga teams like man-marking in midfield and the high man-oriented Pressing but against some teams that really isn’t enough and Stuttgart have beaten themselves on more than one occasion and in a league that is so tight you just can’t afford that. However out of the teams I talked about they are the one that will most likely find a way out of the relegation battle before May.