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Bundesliga 2020-2021: Which teams will finish in the top six?

The first two spots are wrapped up by Bayern and Leipzig; who will round up the rest of the top six?

Hertha BSC - FC Augsburg
There are nine soccer balls in this picture but there are only six European slots in the Bundesliga.
Photo by Soeren Stache/picture alliance via Getty Images

Four of the top six spots are as good as determined — Bayern Munich, RB Leipzig, Wolfsburg and Eintracht Frankfurt in no particular order should be there. However, who will take the Champions League spots and who will take the Europa League spots? Who will win the title?

The Title

I am going to be bold here and state that Bayern will win the title. Despite the lapses at the back, they are the best side in the league; Bayern has beaten each of the top six aside from Leipzig at least once. They beat Frankfurt and Dortmund (aside from the first ten minutes) convincingly; they also thoroughly deserved wins over Leverkusen and Wolfsburg by a single goal margin.

Leipzig should finish second; there is no doubting the fact that they are the most consistent side in the league; they only lost to Borussia Mönchengladbach and Borussia Dortmund with the other defeat being a shocking loss against Mainz. Considering that Mainz was 2-0 up against Bayern and they could have been 3-0 up and despite the fact that Bayern would inevitably stage an incredibly comeback, losing against Mainz is nothing to be ashamed of.

Third and Fourth

These two spots are the biggest prizes up for grabs. Currently, Wolfsburg, Eintracht Frankfurt and Borussia Dortmund are fighting for them. I would throw in Bayer Leverkusen; unfortunately, considering the manner in which Leverkusen’s season has nosedived ever since a defeat to Bayern in December, which, at the time, was their first domestic defeat of the season.

SV Werder Bremen v VfL Wolfsburg - Bundesliga
Maximilian Arnold has been a driving force for Wolfsburg.
Photo by Max Maiwald/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Wolfsburg has been a model of consistency and has lost only thrice in the current campaign. Losing Wout Weghorst could, however, spell the end of their great run. Nonetheless, 26 games into the season, on the back of a strong defense and a clever midfield consisting of the likes of the underrated Maximilian Arnold and Xaver Schlager, Wolfsburg should hold on to a top four slot till the end.

Fourth place, however, will come down to the wire. Frankfurt and Dortmund, separated by four points, face each other when the Bundesliga resumes after the international break. If Dortmund wins that game, things might get very interesting. If Frankfurt wins it, they are almost guaranteed a fourth place finish.

Dortmund has performed against top opposition not named Bayern this season; I think they have enough firepower to beat an excellent Frankfurt side; Dortmund tends to struggle against teams which defend with their lives against them and Frankfurt is not such a side. The back-line of Frankfurt is solid, but has lost an experienced head in the form of David Abraham. While everyone remembers the slick nature of the Eagles’ goals against Bayern, nobody remembers the clear scoring opportunities Bayern missed, in the Bavarians’ defeat to Frankfurt.

While Dortmund’s offense is not as dynamic as Bayern’s (Bayern has scored 24 more goals than Dortmund in the league), they are quite potent. However, Frankfurt also has a potent offense and this game might come down to an Erling Haaland special as so many Dortmund games tend to. I give Dortmund the edge and I believe that, when all is said and done, Dortmund will finish fourth with Frankfurt right behind them.

Fifth and Sixth

Frankfurt will take fifth as explained above. Sixth is a battle between a plethora of teams including Leverkusen (40 points), Union Berlin (38 points), SC Freiburg (37 points), Stuttgart (36 points) and Borussia Mönchengladbach (36 points).

While Gladbach beat Schalke in their last match and has been somewhat unlucky to not pick up more points (they outshot Augsburg 26 - 10 in a game they lost 3-1 for example), I still believe the downward slide since Marco Rose’s departure was announced has not been halted. They still have to play VfB Stuttgart, Bayern (a team they have a good track record against), Frankfurt and Freiburg among others. I can see Gladbach possibly losing all of those matches and finishing outside the top six. The loss of Jonas Hofmann to a positive COVID-19 test during international duty, also, does not help their case at all.

FC Schalke 04 v Borussia Moenchengladbach - Bundesliga
Could Jonas Hofmann’s COVID-19 induced absence hurt Borussia Mönchengladbach’s chances for a top six position?
Photo by Christian Verheyen/Borussia Moenchengladbach via Getty Images

Union Berlin also has an incredibly tough run-in with games against Bayern, Dortmund, Wolfsburg and Leipzig still to come. I think this team, as brilliant as it has been, has nothing more to play for, having more or less guaranteed themselves survival (40 points is usually enough and they are close). They will give everyone a tough time but too many draws might see them miss out.

This leaves Leverkusen, Freiburg and Stuttgart. Leverkusen has to play Bayern, Dortmund, and Frankfurt. I would usually give Die Werkself the benefit of the doubt; however, I am not so sure the firing of Peter Bosz will lead to an immediate turnaround in fortunes for them. Their performances have grown more lackluster by the day.

Stuttgart meanwhile, aside from the recent meltdown against Bayern (4-0 defeat) and another meltdown a few weeks ago against Leverkusen (5-2 defeat), has looked quite solid. They have to play Leipzig, Dortmund and Wolfsburg before the end of the season; however, their performances suggest they could give these sides a hard time.

And finally, let us focus on a fan favorite in Freiburg. A hardworking outfit with a wily manager in Christian Streich, they consistently outperform expectations. They have to play Bayern and Frankurt before the end of the season; nonetheless, the remainder of the fixtures seem manageable. If Freiburg manages to beat Gladbach in their next game, they can set their sights on a top six finish.

Overall, if Leverkusen gets themselves together after the firing of their manager, they are probably the side most capable of taking the sixth spot. With how things are looking currently, though, I predict a close fight between Freiburg, Stuttgart and Union with Freiburg edging the other two out.

Thus, my predictions for the top six in order are as follows: Bayern, Leipzig, Wolfsburg, Dortmund, Frankfurt, Freiburg. Let us know what you think and, as always, thank you for reading!

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