BFW’s own Jack Laushway laid down his fearless forecast for the 2023/24 season...drop your thoughts in the comments below!
It would be foolish not to pick Bayern Munich as the Bundesliga winners for the 2023/24 season. Yes, Borussia Dortmund came as close as it gets last season but they have taken some serious steps back this offseason losing major talent. The same goes for RB Leipzig. While they have made some investments coming in, none of them are absolute certainties. Honestly, Leverkusen might be the next closest team behind Bayern Munich. I’m not saying Bayern winning is a guarantee, but they are the clear favorites.
Bayern Munich will qualify for Champions League, alongside Bayer Leverkusen, Borussia Dortmund, and RB Leipzig. Dortmund and Leipzig have appeared to take steps in the wrong direction but are still good enough to hear the Champions League anthem this fall. Bayer Leverkusen should have an edge over Freiburg and Union Berlin who will qualify for Europa League. Lastly, Eintracht Frankfurt will slide into the Europa Conference League.
Yes, I know this is virtually identical to last year’s final table but we’ve seen the exact same top six teams for back-to-back seasons now and there isn’t much to indicate that lower teams will take those spots away.
Augsburg will be relegated at the bottom of the table. They have simply been poor for too long and relegation has been an inevitability they have managed to escape for what seems like ages. Sorry Augsburg, your time has come.
Many will be quick to have Darmstadt to fall into automatic relegation, but I’m not so sure. Heidenheim seems like a perfect candidate to be sent back where they were last season. Darmstadt have been here before, and while I can’t doubt Frank Schmidt’s abilities as a manager, a manager can only take you so far. But Heidenheim — feel free to prove me wrong!
Lastly, this is will be the first season since 2018/19 where a team in 16th place, fails to stay up in the relegation match. I predict it will be SV Darmstadt who slips up and falls short in the fixture. They haven’t made enough moves to stay up in the Bundesliga compared to other relegation candidates such as VfL Bochum.
As much as many fans would love to see Hamburg be punished for entirety falling narrowly short of promotion every season, it is time for HSV to finally be back in the top flight. They’ve got plenty of quality and several players who are worthy of being a Bundesliga player.
Schalke 04 will fall just short of winning the second division title, but all their weaknesses will be canceled out by one man himself, Simon Terodde. There has never been a bigger star in the 2. Bundesliga and there never will be. He has gotten the Golden Boot and virtually every club he’s played on in the league, and there is no reason he can’t do it again for Schalke. The guy is a legend.
If you’ll remember from earlier, I predicted this to be the year and second league team is promoted from the promotion match and this year it will be FC St. Pauli. It only seems right that when Hamburg is finally promoted once again, their bitter rivals will follow them up. As weird as seeing the Olympiastadion in the 2. Bundesliga is, that will have to remain for at least one more season.
This is a real toss up, as last year there were 10 names that scored at least 12 goals, and the most goals scored was 16. It was anyone’s year, but someone is certain to crack at least 20 this season. The big question is whether or not Harry Kane joins Bayern Munich. If so, he becomes the instant far favorite. However, if Bayern aren’t to make a big striker signing this summer, it might just be Mathys Tel’s year. I know it sounds crazy, but he earns the starting striker role early in the season, there is no reason why he couldn’t do it. Don’t be surprised if you see Sebastian Haller’s name at the top come May though, he played exceptional in his limited appearances for Borussia Dortmund last season.
It’s going to be Harry Kane, duh.
The clear choice to me is Gregor Kobel. A young goalkeeper with a strong defense who is only going to get better. This likely won’t go to anyone at Bayern Munich, since there will be starts split between Manuel Neuer and another, undetermined goalkeeper. The big question that will be answered is just how much Jude Bellingham was helping in keeping goals out of Dortmund’s net.
Mathys Tel is my choice for most surprising. Tel is expected to have a back-up role but as I said, if that changes he will have all the opportunity to score goals for Bayern. If he has developed as Bayern hope, he will be a hard striker to stop. I think his Supercup performance really disappointed, but the Frenchman will have plenty more chances to prove himself. A 10 goal performance would be outstanding.
Bayer Leverkusen is my pick for most surprising simply because they narrowly grabbed a Europa League spot last season. While no one thinks they are poor, they could really take the league by surprise and end up just behind Bayern Munich when its all said and done this season. There is too much talent in this team for just another sixth place finish.
Randal Kolo Muani is an easy choice here, simply because of how strong of a season he had last year. He topped the league in total goal contributions and it won’t be easy to keep up those numbers if he is still on Eintracht Frankfurt next season.
As for my team selection, Werder Bremen is a good choice. They over-exceeded with two forwards who put up numbers that will be extremely difficult to repeat and still narrowly missed relegation.