Bundesliga Season Preview: Infogol tips for title, top 4 and relegation

Using expected goals (xG) data from Infogol as his guide, Tom Victor looks at the likely finishing positions in the 2020/21 Bundesliga and picks out a selection of outright bets...

Bayern Munich were unstoppable at the end of last season, and have strengthened over the summer, so can anyone stop Hansi Flick's team going back to back?

The German title race is just one of the stories of the upcoming season, of course, and there's plenty to be interested in at both ends of the table.

With big transfers and new teams to look forward to, here's what's in store for the 2020/21 Bundesliga campaign.



The title

If any challenging team begins to think 'this could be our year', they can just look at Bayern's finish to the season to remind them of the size of their task.

Nine games after Flick was given the permanent reins as manager brought nine wins, and that's not even including the four wins and 16 goals scored in their four Champions League games in August.

Bayern have a 76.2% chance (1.31) of retaining their title, according to Infogol's model, set against odds of 1.16., which reflects their dominance at the end of last season and the expensive addition of Leroy Sané.

Borussia Dortmund ran them closer than anyone else last season, and their challenge may rest with their ability to hang on to Jadon Sancho and get the most of the Englishman and striker Erling Haaland in the final third.

Dortmund are the closest to Bayern, at 11.6% (8.62), but it's RB Leipzig (8.7%, or 11.5) who have a better shot than their odds of 16.5 suggest. The big challenge for them, of course, will be coping with the loss of last season's top scorer Timo Werner.

Top four

Just six points separated the teams in second and fifth last season, which points to another tight-fought battle for Champions League football this time around.

Bayer Leverkusen were the odd ones out last season, and Peter Bosz's side will need to cope with the loss of Kai Havertz and Kevin Volland, hence Infogol giving them only a 13.8% chance (7.25).

With this in mind, Gladbach's 17/10 odds could represent value, with Infogol's model putting their chances of a repeat top four run at 66.8 (1.50).

Wolfsburg are also worth keeping an eye on, though: while they finished outside the top six last season, their performances in Infogol's xG table warranted better. Oliver Glasner has kept his squad together, and their 24.4% (4.10) chance makes actual odds of 5/1 look tantalising.

Top six

While a top four finish may be a stretch for Eintracht Frankfurt, Adi Hütter's side finished last season strongly and no longer face the immediate upheaval caused by losing Luka Jović, Ante Rebić and Sebasten Haller in the same window.

Infogol gives Hütter's men a 31.2% chance of making the top six, and their run of five wins from seven at the end of last season tells us they're capable of it.

Hertha Berlin have also had a lot of noise around them after some big spending, but Infogol's model isn't convinced they're ready to step up immediately, giving Bruno Labbadia's side just a 9.6% chance of a top six finish. However, the recent addition of Jhon Cordoba from Köln ought to boost their chances.

Relegation

Arminia Bielefeld were comfortable winners of last season's 2. Bundesliga, but the top flight will provide a different sort of test for a team which hasn't played at this level since 2009.

They are 47.4% (2.11) to finish in the bottom two, while VfB Stuttgart - who joined them in the top two after a hard-fought promotion race - are just 14.2% (7.04) to do the same. Pellegrino Matarazzo's team have been busy in the transfer market, though, and will hope their new defensive recruits can help a team which had little trouble scoring goals last season but found it tougher to keep them out.

As for those who struggled in the Bundesliga, Werder Bremen will hope for a less nervy end to the season than last time out but will have to cope without the huge influence of now-retired club legend Claudio Pizarro, while Milot Rashica has also been linked with an exit. They're 29.3% to go down according to Infogol's model, while Freiburg (25.2%) could also be worth a look after losing Robin Koch and Luca Waldschmidt over the summer. Both are priced at 11/2, which may represent value.

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