The Bundesliga 2022/23 season is almost upon us – and it promises to be an action-packed campaign like no other. Beginning in early August, the action will not be completed until the last weekend of May due to a long pause in November and December for the 2022 World Cup.
The Bundesliga title race has been more of a procession in recent years, with Bayern Munich having finished on top of the pile for 10 seasons in a row. The battle to avoid relegation promises to be much more exciting this term, with every team in the division desperate to avoid the bottom two places in the Bundesliga standings.
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Augsburg and Bochum are the joint favorites to suffer relegation from the top tier of German soccer in the 2022/23 campaign. The former finished just five points clear of the play-off place last time out, while Bochum were one place above Augsburg in the final Bundesliga standings.
One reason why the relegation battle could be extremely competitive this term is that the two promoted teams, Schalke and Werder Bremen, have significant experience at this level. They are joint-second in the betting charts but both will expect to stay up.
Hertha Berlin have struggled in recent years and contested the relegation play-off in 2021/22. The club from the capital, plus Koln, Stuttgart and Mainz are expected to be there or thereabouts by the sportsbooks covering German soccer.
As far as outsiders go, Union Berlin and Freiburg are both priced at +1100 before a ball has been kicked. Both had excellent seasons last time out but the size of their budgets compared to the rest of the division means at least one of them could be dragged into a relegation battle if things go wrong.
If you would like to hone your skills and learn more about how to bet on soccer ahead of the Bundesliga 2022/23 season, make sure you check out our guide.
At the time of writing, the 2022/23 campaign has not yet gone under way and the current Bundesliga standings are therefore ordered alphabetically. Take a look at last season’s final table before you make your predictions for what might lie ahead over the next 10 months.
|Bundesliga Standings 2021/22||Points|
|1. Bayern Munich||77|
|2. Borussia Dortmund||69|
|3. Bayer Leverkusen||64|
|4. RB Leipzig||58|
|5. Union Berlin||57|
|10. Borussia Monchengladbach||45|
|11. Eintracht Frankfurt||42|
|16. Hertha Berlin||33|
|17. Arminia Bielefeld||28|
|18. Greuther Furth||18|
France and Germany have a slightly different system to England, Spain and Italy. In the latter three countries, the three clubs that amass the fewest points over the course of the season (three points are awarded for a win and one for a tie) are automatically relegated.
In the Bundesliga standings, the bottom two are automatically relegated and the third-bottom side enters a two-legged play-off against the team that finishes third in the 2. Bundesliga. The winner of that tie participates in the top flight the following season.
Relegation ends a club’s participation in the Bundesliga. A team that is relegated will spend the following season in the 2. Bundesliga, the second tier of German soccer.
Relegation is an essential part of the German soccer system, as it is in almost every European country. This, of course, is a different system to the United States, where sides in MLS are immune from the threat of demotion.
There is no appetite for relegation to be abolished in the Bundesliga. The battle to avoid the drop is one of the most entertaining storylines of each season, while the fact that clubs anywhere in the pyramid can dream of a place in the top flight helps to sustain German soccer.
No club in the Bundesliga has taken part in every season of the competition. Bayern Munich have never been relegated in the Bundesliga era, although they did go down when the German top flight was split into regional championships. Bayer Leverkusen and Wolfsburg have also been demoted from a pre-Bundesliga top division, but not since 1963.
Hoffenheim won promotion to the Bundesliga in 2008 and have never been relegated from it. The same is true of RB Leipzig following their ascension to the top flight in 2017, as well as Augsburg in 2011 and Union Berlin in 2020.
Hamburg played continuously in the top flight of German soccer between 1919 and 2018 before losing their status as the only club to have played in every Bundesliga season.
Soccer fans based in the United States can watch the Bundesliga on ESPN. Kick-off times usually range from 9.30 AM to 2.30 PM (EDT).
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Greg Lea is a freelance soccer journalist from London. He is the former editor of The Set Pieces, and has contributed to the Guardian, FourFourTwo, and ESPN. A Crystal Palace fan, he is a long-time subscriber to the belief that it's the taking part that counts. Email: [email protected]More info on Greg Lea
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