The Bundesliga Top Four Race Intensifies

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DORTMUND, GERMANY - MAY 26: Players of both teams participate in a minute's silence to commemorate the victims of the Covid-19 pandemic prior to the Bundesliga match between Borussia Dortmund and FC Bayern Muenchen at Signal Iduna Park on May 26, 2020 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by Federico Gambarini/Pool via Getty Images)

The Bundesliga top-four race intensified after the midweek fixtures ended with just four points separating second-place Borussia Dortmund from fifth-place Bayer Leverkusen. Bayern Munich are in a strong position for the title, now leading Dortmund by seven points after winning Der Klassiker.

In addition, both Borussia Mönchengladbach and RB Leipzig drew, while Bayer Leverkusen suffered a shock, four-one defeat to Wolfsburg. Bayern are all but guaranteed a spot in the top four, but Dortmund, Leipzig, Gladbach, and Leverkusen are fighting for the remaining three spots. 

The Bundesliga Top Four Race Intensifies

Borussia Dortmund: 57 Points

Before the loss to Bayern, Dortmund were pushing for the title. That defeat now makes lifting the Meisterschalle look unlikely. Bayern have three difficult upcoming fixtures against Leverkusen, Gladbach, and Wolfsburg. It is difficult to see the reigning champions drop seven points in the six remaining matches. Dortmund fans will be hoping for six wins, but it will be a hard finish with matches against RB Leipzig, Hertha BSC, and relegation candidates Mainz 04 and Fortuna Düsseldorf. The title race is now essentially over, but Dortmund’s position within the top four is not yet guaranteed. 

RB Leipzig: 55 Points

Julian Nagelsmann’s squad began the rückrunde as league leaders, but have since dropped 17 points. Similarly to Dortmund, the title is out of reach with Bayern holding a nine-point lead over RB Leipzig. A top-four finish, however, is expected. A massive showdown with Dortmund on the 20th of June looms large, but the other five fixtures are all against lower table opposition. Düsseldorf and Augsburg will not be formalities, as both are in relegation battles, but with their quality, Leipzig are favourites to claim a top-four spot.

Borussia Mönchengladbach: 53 Points

The former German powerhouse could have the most difficult end to the season of the top four contenders. The next two fixtures are against the compact 1. FC Union Berlin and Europa League-chasing SC Freiburg. Then comes Bayern Munich and fifth place Wolfsburg. Gladbach’s last two matches have not instilled much confidence either. The Bundesliga’s restart began with a convincing win over Eintracht Frankfurt but was then followed by a loss to Leverkusen and a draw at relegation candidate Werder Bremen. Based on Gladbach’s current run of form, it would not be surprising if Die Fohlen were only to collect three or five points over the next four matches, possibly dropping into fifth place.

Bayer Leverkusen: 53 Points

Leverkusen also have 53 points, but Peter Bosz’s men have a goal difference of 17, two less than that of Gladbach’s 19. The league restart began with two Leverkusen victories, including a three to one win over Marco Rose’s men this past weekend. After six league matches without a loss, Wolfsburg won four to one at the BayArena. Just like Gladbach, Leverkusen have a difficult end to the season. The next three fixtures are SC Freiburg, Bayern Munich, and Schalke 04, followed by 1. FC Köln, Hertha BSC, and Mainz 04.

The Bundesliga Top Four Race Could Come Down to the Final Day

While the title race is essentially over, the Bundesliga top-four race could come down to the final day. In 2018, third place Hoffenheim, fourth place Dortmund, and fifth place Leverkusen were all tied on 55 points. Goal difference was the decider, and the same could be true this campaign.

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