Bundesliga Season Ticker 2016/2017

We received a lot of positive feedback last year on the season ticker. This is motivation enough to again offer it his year. This page will be regularly updated with the lastet prediction on how the Bundesliga season 2016/2017 will end.

This chart shows the development of the prediction. Further down you will find more detailed information on why the predictions changed. Newest information in on top. All predictions are calculated on the base assumption of no further transfers. For some clubs, we would expect more transfers and hence you should adjust for this if you utilize the numbers for games.

The x-axis denotes the time the prediction was made and the y-axis the number of points each team was AT THAT POINT in time expected to have in the final table that season. The strong narrowing of points in August 2016 is due to an update of the algorithm.


Detailed Updates:

18TH September 2016: Match day 3 completed. Matches were

  • 1. FC Köln vs SC Freiburg 3 : 0
  • Bayern München vs FC Ingolstadt 04 3 : 1
  • Borussia Dortmund vs SV Darmstadt 98 6 : 0
  • Hamburger SV vs RB Leipzig 0 : 4
  • 1899 Hoffenheim vs VfL Wolfsburg 0 : 0
  • Eintracht Frankfurt vs Bayer Leverkusen 2 : 1
  • Bor. Mönchengladbach vs Werder Bremen 4 : 1
  • FC Augsburg vs 1. FSV Mainz 05 1 : 3
  • Hertha BSC vs FC Schalke 04 2 : 0

Notable events

  • 1. FSV Mainz 05: André Ramalho got injured. Estimated return date 09.10.2016 and Jhon Córdoba returned from injury
  • 1899 Hoffenheim: Pirmin Schwegler got injured. Estimated return date 28.11.2016
  • Bayer Leverkusen: Chicharito returned from injury
  • Eintracht Frankfurt: Guillermo Varela: new injury return date 31.12.2016. Marco Russ extended contract until 30.06.2019. Slobodan Medojevic returned from injury
  • FC Augsburg: Caiuby got injured. Estimated return date 14.03.2017
  • RB Leipzig: Lukas Klostermann got injured. Estimated return date 28.04.2017
  • SC Freiburg: Janik Haberer returned from injury. Maximilian Philipp extended contract until 30.06.2019
  • VfL Wolfsburg: Daniel Didavi got injured. Estimated return date 16.03.2017. Luiz Gustavo got injured. Estimated return date 16.11.2016
  • Werder Bremen: Luca Caldirola: new injury return date 16.01.2017. Niklas Moisander returned from injury


11TH September 2016: Match day 2 completed. Matches were

  • FC Schalke 04 vs Bayern München 0 : 2
  • Bayer Leverkusen vs Hamburger SV 3 : 1
  • VfL Wolfsburg vs 1. FC Köln 0 : 0
  • FC Ingolstadt 04 vs Hertha BSC 0 : 2
  • SV Darmstadt 98 vs Eintracht Frankfurt 1 : 0
  • SC Freiburg vs Bor. Mönchengladbach 3 : 1
  • RB Leipzig vs Borussia Dortmund 1 : 0
  • Werder Bremen vs FC Augsburg 1 : 2
  • 1. FSV Mainz 05 vs 1899 Hoffenheim 4 : 4

The two main title opponents of Bayern Munich, Wolfsburg and Dortmund, both dropped points, while the Bavarians earned a narrow victory against Schalke. This increased their title odds to 70%.

Notable other events

  • Bayer Leverkusen: Kyriakos Papadopoulos loaned out until 30.06.2017. Remaining contract until 30.06.2020
  • Bor. Mönchengladbach: Patrick Herrmann got injured. Estimated return date 03.10.2016
  • FC Augsburg: Martin Hinteregger signed from 31.08.2016 until 30.06.2018
  • FC Schalke 04: Kaan Ayhan left the team.
  • FC Schalke 04: Yevhen Konoplyanka signed from 30.08.2016 until 30.06.2017
  • Hertha BSC: Ronny left the team.
  • RB Leipzig: Kyriakos Papadopoulos signed from 31.08.2016 until 30.06.2017
  • SC Freiburg: Philipp Zulechner left the team.
  • SV Darmstadt 98: Júnior Díaz left the team.
  • VfL Wolfsburg: Philipp Wollscheid signed from 31.08.2016 until 30.06.2017
  • Werder Bremen: Luca Caldirola got injured. Estimated return date 10.01.2017
  • Werder Bremen: Niklas Moisander got injured. Estimated return date 11.03.2017 (Conservative estimate. Injury details not known)
  • Werder Bremen: Serge Gnabry signed from 31.08.2016 until 30.06.2020.


28TH AUGUST 2016: Match day 1 completed. Matches were

  • 1. FC Köln vs SV Darmstadt 98 2 : 0
  • 1899 Hoffenheim vs RB Leipzig 2 : 2
  • Bayern München vs Werder Bremen 6 : 0
  • Bor. Mönchengladbach vs Bayer Leverkusen 2 : 1
  • Borussia Dortmund vs 1. FSV Mainz 05 2 : 1
  • Eintracht Frankfurt vs FC Schalke 04 1 : 0
  • FC Augsburg vs VfL Wolfsburg 0 : 2
  • Hamburger SV vs FC Ingolstadt 04 1 : 1
  • Hertha BSC vs SC Freiburg 2 : 1

Other changes due to

  • 1. FC Köln
    • Dominic Maroh got injured. Estimated return date 20.09.2016
  • 1. FSV Mainz 05
    • Devante Parker got injured. Estimated return date 09.09.2016
    • Levin Öztunali signed from 25.08.2016 until 30.06.2021
  • 1899 Hoffenheim
    • Jonathan Schmid left the team.
    • Tarik Elyounoussi left the team.
  • Bayer Leverkusen
    • Karim Bellarabi extended contract until 30.06.2021
    • Levin Öztunali left the team.
    • Wendell extended contract until 30.06.2021
  • Borussia Dortmund:
    • Mario Götze returned from injury
  • Eintracht Frankfurt
    • Ante Rebic got injured. Estimated return date 14.10.2017
    • Daniel Dejanovic signed from 26.08.2016. Contract end unknown.
  • FC Augsburg
    • Alexander Esswein left the team.
    • Dominik Reinhardt returned from injury
    • Jonathan Schmid signed from 26.08.2016 until 30.06.2020
  • FC Schalke 04
    • Benjamin Stambouli signed from 26.08.2016 until 30.06.2020
    • Nabil Bentaleb signed from 25.08.2016 until 30.06.2017
  • Hamburger SV
    • Gideon Jung got injured. Estimated return date 19.09.2016
    • Lewis Holtby returned from injury
  • Hertha BSC
    • Alexander Esswein signed from 26.08.2016 until 30.06.2020
    • Mitchell Weiser extended contract until 30.06.2020
    • Ondrej Duda: new injury return date 20.10.2016. Was 27.08.2016
  • RB Leipzig
    • Bernardo signed from 28.08.2016 until 30.06.2021
    • Diego Demme returned from injury
    • Oliver Burke signed from 28.08.2016 until 30.06.2021
  • VfL Wolfsburg
    • Bas Dost left the team.
    • Bruno Henrique returned from injury
    • Diego Benaglio extended contract until 30.06.2019
    • Julian Draxler returned from injury
    • Maximilian Arnold returned from injury
  • Werder Bremen
    • Aron Jóhannsson returned from injury
    • Zlatko Junuzovic got injured. Estimated return date 26.09.2016


23RD AUGUST 2016: Post vacation catch-up of all mayor changes. Among them an update of the algorithm. This update narrowed the predictions and hence implying to be less sure about the differences in team quality. This was necessary due to upsets happening such as Leicester City's title win that had so low odds that with hindsight weren't realistic. But apart from the algorithm, also the teams changed.

  • Bayern Munich
    • Arjen Robben: new injury return date 05.09.2016. Was 29.08.2016
    • Douglas Costa got injured. Estimated return date 20.02.2017. This is an automatically generated conservative estimate because Bayern doesn't state his injury.
    • Gianluca Gaudino returned from injury
    • Holger Badstuber got injured. Estimated return date 31.08.2016
    • Jérôme Boateng got injured. Estimated return date 22.11.2016
    • Kingsley Coman got injured. Estimated return date 05.09.2016
    • Renato Sanches got injured. Estimated return date 05.09.2016
  • Borussia Dortmund
    • Erik Durm got injured. Estimated return date 24.10.2017
    • Marco Reus got injured. Estimated return date 29.08.2016
    • Moritz Leitner left the team.
  • Bayer Leverkusen
    • Aleksandar Dragovic signed from 23.08.2016 until 30.06.2021
    • Chicharito got injured. Estimated return date 05.09.2016
    •  Kyriakos Papadopoulos returned from injury
    • Lars Bender got injured. Estimated return date 04.09.2016
    • Stefan Kießling got injured. Estimated return date 31.10.2016
  • Wolfsburg
    • Bruno Henrique: new injury return date 05.09.2016. Was 15.08.2016
    • Dante left the team.
    • Julian Draxler got injured. Estimated return date 29.10.2016
    • Mario Gómez signed from 17.08.2016 until 30.06.2019
    • Maximilian Arnold: new injury return date 05.09.2016. Was 15.08.2016
    • Vieirinha got injured. Estimated return date 07.02.2017
  • Borussia Mönchengladbach
    • Alper Arslan extended contract until 30.06.2019
    • Álvaro Domínguez got injured. Estimated return date 04.09.2016
    •  Marvin Schulz: new injury return date 05.09.2016. Was 15.08.2016
    • Patrick Herrmann returned from injury
  • FC Schalke 04
    • Abdul Rahman Baba signed from 02.08.2016 until 30.06.2017
    • Atsuto Uchida got injured. Estimated return date 05.09.2016
    •  Coke got injured. Estimated return date 20.03.2017
    • Donis Avdijaj: new injury return date 05.09.2016. Was 24.08.2016
    • Leon Goretzka got injured. Estimated return date 22.09.2016
    • Leroy Sané left the team.
  • Hertha BSC
    • Allan signed from 05.08.2016 until 30.06.2017
    • Ronny returned from injury
    • Tolga Cigerci left the team.
  • TSG 1899 Hoffenheim had no news
  • RB Leipzig
    • Anthony Jung loaned out until 30.06.2017. Remaining contract until 30.06.2019
    • Diego Demme: new injury return date 05.09.2016. Was 15.08.2016
    • Omer Damari loaned out until 31.12.2016. Remaining contract until 30.06.2018
  • FC Augsburg
    • Erik Thommy got injured. Estimated return date 09.02.2017
    • Flemming Niemann returned from injury
    • Jan-Ingwer Callsen-Bracker: new injury return date 05.09.2016. Was 08.08.2016
    • Shawn Parker extended contract until 30.06.2019 and loaned out until 30.06.2017
    • Tobias Werner left the team.
  • Hamburger SV
    • Albin Ekdal got injured. Estimated return date 08.09.2016
    • Andreas Hirzel returned from injury
    • Arianit Ferati: new injury return date 05.09.2016. Was 08.08.2016
    • Ashton Götz returned from injury
    • Sven Schipplock loaned out until 30.06.2017. Remaining contract until 30.06.2018
    • Zoltán Stieber left the team.
  • FSV Mainz 05
    • Danny Latza: new injury return date 05.09.2016. Was 22.08.2016
    • Gianluca Curci got injured. Estimated return date 02.02.2017
    • Jairo Samperio got injured. Estimated return date 07.10.2016
  • 1. FC Köln
    • Jonas Hector extended contract until 30.06.2021
    • Leonardo Bittencourt extended contract until 30.06.2021
    • Robert Voloder signed from 01.07.2016 until 30.06.2019
    • Leon Augusto extended contract until 30.06.2018
  • Werder Bremen
    • Alejandro Gálvez left the team.
    • Aron Jóhannsson: new injury return date 05.09.2016. Was 08.08.2016
    • Claudio Pizarro got injured. Estimated return date 15.10.2016
    • Florian Grillitsch returned from injury
    • Lamine Sané signed from 04.08.2016 until 30.06.2019
    • László Kleinheisler loaned out until 30.06.2017. Remaining contract until 30.06.2019
    • Max Kruse signed from 02.08.2016 until 30.06.2019 and got injured. Estimated return date 07.09.2016.
    • Niklas Moisander returned from injury
    • Philipp Bargfrede: new injury return date 05.09.2016. Was 08.08.2016
    • Robert Bauer signed from 23.08.2016 until 30.06.2020
    • Santiago García: new injury return date 05.09.2016. Was 08.08.2016
  • SC Freiburg
    • Havard Nielsen got injured. Estimated return date 31.08.2016
    • Marc Torrejón got injured. Estimated return date 30.09.2016
    • Marc-Oliver Kempf got injured. Estimated return date 28.11.2016
    • Rafal Gikiewicz signed from 05.08.2016 until 30.06.2019
    • Sebastian Kerk got injured. Estimated return date 31.08.2016
  • Eintracht Frankfurt
    • Ahmed Diack: new injury return date 05.09.2016. Was 08.08.2016
    • Bamba Anderson: new injury return date 05.09.2016. Was 08.08.2016
    • Haris Seferovic got injured. Estimated return date 27.08.2016
    • Marco Russ: new injury return date 01.02.2017. Was 14.11.2016
    • Michael Hector signed from 14.08.2016 until 30.06.2017
    • Slobodan Medojevic: new injury return date 26.09.2016. Was 08.08.2016
  • SV Darmstadt 98 signs like last season late in the window.
    • Marvin Anastasi signed from 01.07.2016 until 30.06.2018
    • Änis Ben-Hatira signed from 22.08.2016 until 30.06.2017
    • Denys Oliynyk signed from 09.08.2016 until 30.06.2018
    • Felix Platte: new injury return date 05.09.2016. Was 08.08.2016
    • Igor Berezovsky signed from 19.08.2016. Contract end unknown.
    • László Kleinheisler signed from 13.08.2016 until 30.06.2017
    • Marvin Anastasi signed from 01.07.2016 until 30.06.2018
    • Sven Schipplock signed from 16.08.2016 until 30.06.2017
    • Victor Obinna signed from 05.08.2016 until 30.06.2018
    • Yannick Stark loaned out until 30.06.2017. Remaining contract until 30.06.2018
  • FC Ingolstadt
    • Amar Suljic signed from 01.07.2016. Contract end unknown.
    • Anthony Jung signed from 04.08.2016 until 30.06.2017
    • Dennis Vogel  signed from 11.08.2016. Contract end unknown.
    • Florent Hadergjonaj signed from 08.08.2016 until 30.06.2020
    • Jens Förtsch signed from 01.07.2016 until 30.06.2018
    • Korbinian Becker signed from 01.07.2016 until 30.06.2018
    • Lars Gindorf signed from 23.08.2016. Contract end unknown.
    • Max Ahammer signed from 01.07.2016 until 30.06.2018
    • Patrick Sussek extended contract until 30.06.2019
    • Robert Bauer left the team.
    • Sam Buchmann left the team.
    • Sonny Kittel got injured. Estimated return date 05.09.2016
    • Yanick Tobias signed from 01.07.2016 until 30.06.2018


1ST AUGUST 2016: Some movement on the transfer market, so a quick update here.

  • FC Schalke 04: Fabian Reese returned from injury and Coke signed from 31.07.2016 until 30.06.2019. Coke, while a big name is already past his peak. But he remain good enough to bring the team forward and maybe is also seen as experienced player that can lead and teach the Knappen also in training.
  • VfL Wolfsburg: Josuha Guilavogui got injured and is expected to be out until 20.10.2016. Jakub Blaszczykowski signed from 01.08.2016 until 30.06.2019. Kuba comes from rival BVB. For this season, this is a significant transfer that improves Wolfburg more than it hurts Dortmund. Hence it makes sense for both sides. For Kuba himself, also the timing seems ideal, because he is aging and risked to be sidelined in Dortmund, while he can be still first team in Wolfsburg,
  • Borussia Dortmund: Jakub Blaszczykowski left the team. As said above, this costs a bit, roughly 0.5 expected points this season. However, as Kuba is already aging while the young players are improving, the impact on future seasons is lower and from the perspective of team planning this makes absolutely sense for Dortmund.
  • FC Ingolstadt 04: Moritz Hartmann extended contract until 30.06.2018. The impact on this season is obviously zero, but for 2017/2018 it improves expected points.
  • FC Augsburg: Paul Verhaegh returned from injury
  • Bayer Leverkusen: Malcolm Cacutalua left the team. He was unlikely to get regular playing time, so it is probably a good move for him. Impact on B04 expected points is minor.


30TH JULY 2016: The Bundesliga Season Ticker is back. Like last year we expect a tight relegation race. Many teams face the risk of leaving the league. Oddly, this year not the newly promoted teams are in the biggest risk of relegation. It's last years promotions again: Ingolstadt and Darmstadt. RB Leipzig is not expected to reach Europa League, but has a fair chance. Werder Bremen continues to ride on the edge.

  • RB Leipzig: Eric Berger left the team.
  • RB Leipzig: Nicolas Kühn left the team.
  • SV Darmstadt 98: Manassé Eshele signed from 01.07.2016
  • Hamburger SV: Emir Spahic got injured. Estimated return date 01.09.2016
  • Hertha BSC: John Anthony Brooks returned from injury
  • Hertha BSC: Peter Pekarík returned from injury
  • VfL Wolfsburg: Robin Ziegele returned from injury
  • VfL Wolfsburg: Marcel Reichwein returned from injury
  • Eintracht Frankfurt: Stefan Aigner left the team.



Bayern Munich vs. Bundesliga

Without any doubt, Bayern Munich is the best team in the Bundesliga. One of the best, possibly even the best, in the world. "But are they better than the rest of the Bundeslga combined?", asks @Halbraumrandale.

So what happens if we pick the best XI from all non-Bayern Bundesliga players and let them play against Munich? Would they be able to compete? Obviously, this is only a though experiment, because in practice we know they aren't used to play with each other and maybe the combination makes little sense from a tactical point of view. But we can use this as a baseline. If Bayern is better than the rest of the Bundesliga combined in this thought experiment, than in practice they will be way better than them.

Let's start with the Bayern XI, ignoring injuries and tactical constraints.

Player Team Goalimpact Player Age PeakGI
Thomas Müller Bayern München 211.97 26.08 212.07
Mario Götze Bayern München 200.77 23.33 205.91
Robert Lewandowski Bayern München 198.27 27.08 200.64
Manuel Neuer Bayern München 195.47 29.50 199.66
Arturo Vidal Bayern München 178.75 28.33 183.30
Arjen Robben Bayern München 175.90 31.67 190.26
David Alaba Bayern München 174.24 23.25 179.55
Jérôme Boateng Bayern München 170.79 27.08 173.09
Rafinha Bayern München 166.11 30.08 172.28
Xabi Alonso Bayern München 160.79 33.83 183.29
Philipp Lahm Bayern München 160.50 31.92 175.86

This is an average Goalimpact of 181. It even seems to make remotely sense in that they have all positions covered to actually play like this. Opponents should thank god that they never did.

So who are the best of the rest? Again just a selection without tactical considerations and injuries. Just one edit: We forced a goalkeeper in the team (there was no in the top 11) and chose one that is actually playing. Heinz Lindner has a slightly higher Goalimpact than Oliver Baumann, but is only reserve at Frankfurt after Timo Hildebrand.

Player Team Goalimpact Player Age PeakGI
Luiz Gustavo VfL Wolfsburg 183.18 28.17 187.59
Mats Hummels Borussia Dortmund 182.31 26.75 183.99
Kevin Kampl Bayer Leverkusen 176.99 25.00 178.59
Henrikh Mkhitaryan Borussia Dortmund 175.62 26.67 177.09
Tony Jantschke Bor. Mönchengladbach 173.26 25.50 174.06
Salomon Kalou Hertha BSC 167.94 30.17 174.56
André Schürrle VfL Wolfsburg 167.70 24.92 169.42
Nuri Şahin Borussia Dortmund 166.00 27.08 168.28
Łukasz Piszczek Borussia Dortmund 163.68 30.33 171.17
Gonzalo Castro Borussia Dortmund 163.10 28.33 167.61
Oliver Baumann 1899 Hoffenheim 144.94 25.33 157.73

The average of the best players of the rest of Bundesliga is only 169.5. Clearly lower than Bayern Munich's. But what is more striking: Only two players of the rest have a Goalimpact above of Bayern Munich's average, Luiz Gustavo and Mats Hummels. And only narrowly so.


Even if all other teams cooperate and let a best-of team play Bayern Munich, Pep Guardiola's team is expected to win. Even if we look only at the Goalimpact of the players, ignoring that other factors are likely to side with Munich, too. Yes, they dominate the league.

@Halbraumrandale made this nice pricture from the XI.

Bundesliga: Season-Ticker 2015/16

We try a new format here. This post will be regularly updated throughout the season presenting current expectations of the final season standings. Until the season starts, transfers will be the biggest driver of  change in expectations. Injuries during the season preparations might be a factor, too. After the transfer window ends, movements will be driven by games results, suspensions and injuries alone.


And here a zoom of the populated chart area.


07.05.2016 - Match Day 33

The last but one match day. Bayern München became the deserved champion and Dortmund and Leverkusen qualified to the Champions League. Three great teams and I look already today forward to watching them in next season's UCL. Gladbach needs to get there via a qualification game.

Europa League places are settled, too, but on the last match day it will be decided who needs to have their season preparation interrupted by not only the Euro 2016 but also a qualifier game.

On the other end of the table, Frankfurt and Werder will battle for the save spot and against the relegation play-offs. Stuttgart is all but relegated, but certainly will fight for their theoretical chance.


24.04.2016 - Match Day 31

The relegation battle narrowed down to Frankfurt, Werder and Stuttgart. The latter managed to stumble downwards again despite being next to save three weeks ago. Darmstadt and Hoffenheim are still in danger, but have a head start to the others.

On the upper end of the table, Bayern kept on winning and is all but champion with Dortmund the sure second. Nearly as save is rank three for Leverkusen. Due to the dismal performance of Wolfsburg, this was predicted mid December for the first time. Especially many Leverkusen fans were skeptical and indeed they had a weak period with Kampl injured end of February, but could recover. Now with Aranguiz also playing, Leverkusen excels in the way Roger Schmidt probably had planned originally.

Hertha had some bad results recently, but continues to be the favorite for rank for, but Gladbach is getting dangerously close. Schalke and Mainz are in a fight for rank 6 and 7. Both should qualify for the Europa League because the cup winner is playing Champions League. Wolfsburg lost one game too many.

03.04.2016 - Match Day 28

Hertha lost 5:0 in Mönchengladbach. Losing was expected, but the deteriorated goal difference may turn out important. Leverkusen now expected to finish third despite lower expected points.

Relegation battle: Hannover is down and out. Hoffenheim missed the chance to escape to relative safety. Werder's strong negative goal difference reduces their chances.

20.03.2016 - Match Day 27

Only drawing against Mainz at home increased the relegation danger for Bremen again. Fortunately for them, Darmstadt drew, too, and Augsburg lost at home against Dortmund. This renders Nagelmann's Hoffenheim (3:1 victory in Hamburg) in the pole position for safety. But they still have significant relegation risk.

The batlle for Champions League spots 3 and 4 is also still open. Because Wolfsburg lost against Hoffenheim on match day 26 and drew against Darmstadt on match day 27, they basically dropped out and even risk to miss to qualify for Europa League.

06.03.2016 - Match Day 25

Werder's victory over Hanover made them the winner of this match day's relegation battle. Hanover now only with marginal changes to stay in Bundesliga. Darmstadt keeping itself just above the bar and Frankfurt dropped uncomfortably deep. Hoffenheim's season target will be the relegation spot by now. HSV is unlikely to defend their relegation play-off series. They are currently the "best of the rest".

Dortmund's draw against Bayern means we don't have a title race this season. But the fight for the UCL spots No. 3 and 4 is open as ever with six teams still competing.


29.02.2016 - Match Day 24

Sorry for some break in updating the ticker. Here we are back again.

Bayern and Dortmund continue their lonely journey. Some journals wrote that the distance from Bayern to Dortmund is as large as the distance between Dortmund and rank three. This is actually untrue. The distance between Dortmund and rank three is nearly twice as large.

Wolfsburg continued their under-performance that started beginning of December. Levekusen lost a few expected points and Hertha gained some, making the battle for three too close to call again.

Mainz sneaked up from the lower bulk of the teams and joined the fight for Europe, albeit as non-favorite.

Ob the other end the relegation battle starts its decisive phase. Werder Bremen's draw against Darmstadt was better for the latter and Hoffenheim now has a narrow lead ahead of the Hanse-city in the fight for the play-off spot. Hannover 96's victory may prove too late to rescue them.


22.01.2016 - Winter break

Rückrunden start with quite some upsets.


20.12.2015 - Winter break

The last match day of the "Hinrunde" brought another victory for Bayern. Because Dortmund was defeated by Köln, Bayern's title is more secured then ever. Stuttgart defeated Wolfsburg to leave the relegation ranks, but unfortunately only in the real table. The expected final standings still lists them 17th. 18th now is Werder that lost in Frankfurt despite a 1:0 lead. Additionally, to the points won against Werder, Frankfurt gained 1.1 expected points by signing Marco Fabian. They look pretty secure at the moment. Darmstadt, in contrast, slowly approaches where everybody expected them to start with, the bottom.



Augsburg continues its raise from the bottom and reached with a 2:1 victory over Schalke pre-season levels again. Same is true for Frankfurt but for them it is rater bad news. Leverkusen's 5:0 smash of Mönchengladbach made them be on the level again that is expected since their signing of Kampl.  For Gladbach it meant to lose important points in the battle for the Champions League qualification spot.


Gladbach proved that Bayern Munich is defeatable. Dortmund used the hour and won the drama in Wolfsburg reducing the gap to the Bavarians. Still this is only a simulation of a title race with odds clearly favoring Munich. Gladbach is now favorite on rank four pushing Leverkusen to Europa League ranks. Hertha took the other spot and at current standings, Schalke would miss the European income next season.

Stuttgart lost more points in the relegation battle by drawing against Werder. The one point didn't help Bremen either. Augsburg won important points and now ranks close to Werder and Hoffenheim.


Hannover with a win that brings it closer to safety. Werder's losing streak gets worse by a home defeat in the Nordderby. Leverkusen could keep Schalke at distance, but lost ground on Wolfsburg and Gladbach in the battle for the Champions League ranks.


Augsburg with a vital victory over Stuttgart. It may also turn out to be lethal for the VfB. Ingolstadt secured the place in the first league next year. Bayern with a victory on Schalke secured the title as Dortmund lost in Hamburg. Speaking of Hamburg, no they should not talk about Europe. But Hertha could. Don't get fooled by the table. It is still Leverkusen expected to take the fourth Champions League spot, not Gladbach.


Leverkusen lost many points due to a defeat by Köln at home in the Rhine Derby. On the other end of the scale, a huge victory of Werder Bremen against Augsburg in the relegation battle.


Bayern lost first points by drawing against Frankfurt, so Dortmund could narrow the gap. Still this is not really opening up the title fight. Gladbach is continuing its recovery and back with some chances on Champions League. At lows it has been just over 2% and now it is 18%.

On the other end things went bad for Werder and Augsburg. Both lost whilst Stuttgart and Hanover won.


Gladbach continues its recovery ride and nearly reached pre-season expectation levels again. Beating Schalke, a direct rival for Europe, further increases chances to play international next season, too. Werder with a big victory against Mainz leaving the last rank.


Stuttgart with his first win, but this was likely and thus didn't win so many new points. Hannover and Darmstadt gained most in the expected final standings. Gladbach is reproaching the Europa League qualification spots.


Big win by Bayern over Dortmund. However the title odds didn't change too much. Goalimpact didn't expect Dortmund to win anyway.


Two match days in seven days saw Bayern München as big winner. Dortmund lost many points especially with a suprise draw against relegation favorite Darmstadt.


Match day five saw Gladbach and Stuttgart still be without any points. Favre stepped down from the position as head coach of Gladbach despite the club wanting to keep him. Goalimpact sees the club still not in huge relegation risk, but certainly things can get strange dynamics if this the performance stays that bad. 

Stuttgart had so far quite good performances but has been very unlucky in converting chances.


Some upsets on match day 4. Leverkusen lost at home against Darmstadt and Werder won in Hoffenheim. Gladbach's journey to hell is continuing with a 0:3 at home against Hamburg.


The international break saw some injuries (Gladbach's Herrmann) and the Pizarro's move from Bayern to Werder. Signing Pizzaro gained Werder only one expected point. But then again, one point in the relegation battle can be decisive.


The transfer window closed in Germany. We saw some last minute transfers that had impact

Draxler and Dante to Wolfsburg brought the club closer to Dortmund's expected pointsChicharito to Leverkusen ensured that the club keeps pace with Wolfsburg's improvement. There now is a wide gap between the Top-4 and the rest. And sorry, Schalke, you are not Top-4.


Big win for Werder in the relegation battle. Eintracht passed Hertha and Gladbach now and will enjoy the international break on an expected Europa League rank. Gladbach's worst league start in history already makes them play Champions League next season too very unlikely. Their official season target "single digit rank" seems still realistic, though. Even Europa League may work.

Basically only Dortmund has still a realistic chance to spoil Bayern's title win. However, 12% isn't particularly high.


Despite a 3:0 win over Schalke the expected points of Wolfsburg drop this day. Selling Ivan Perišić and Kevin De Bruyne was too much of a blood loss. Leverkusen with strong improvement due to signing Dortmund's Kampl. Dortmund's expected points too a small hit. Stuttgart fell because some players were removed from the team that there by mistake.


Update after Matchday one and two. We also updated the latest transfers and injury news. Given it was so many and the influence of the games is stronger, we don't list then now.


Werder Bremen

- Aron Jóhannsson joins until 2019

- Unlike prior estimations, Raphael Wolf is fir on matchday 1.

Schalke 04

- Pascal Itter leaves Bundesliga for SV Grödig

- Benedikt Höwedes recovers slower than expected. We moved expected return to 3rd of September.

FC Ingolstadt

- Almog Cohen suffers from a Mygdalitis. According to @fbinjuries on average a player will miss a week from this. Given it is a bad one, we assume him to miss match day one.


- André Hahn is back in training and hence not going to miss match day one as expected


- Oliver Kirch out three weeks on the back of a rupture of a muscle fibre

- Marvin Ducksch's return is delayed until ca. mid of September.


- Philipp Max from Karlsruher SC joins until 2017


- Peter Niemeyer from Hertha Berlin joins. He trained with Hertha's second team already and was asked to leave.


Hannover 96

Allan Saint-Maximin is loaned from AS Monaco for the next seasonJimmy Briand leaves after only one seasonUffe Bech suffered a rupture of a muscle fibre and will be out until 25th Aug


A few days after joining, Piotr Trochowski had a meniscus injury and is expected to be 60 days out

Hertha Berlin

Änis Ben-Hatira's conservative treatment didn't work and he had to be operated. Now he is expected to be out until Mid October.


Tin Jedvaj's expected return moved backwards one week to 24th AugÖmer Toprak suffered from a rupture of a filament in a test game. Expected to be 90 days out.


Dominic Maroh's return from injury isn't expected before end of August


Antonio Rüdiger's return from injury isn't expected before August 27th


Carlos Zambrano rejoins the team. His contract finished June 30th, but he now signed a new contract until 2019. Important.


Mathew Leckie injured and out for three weeks




  • Marcelo Diaz will miss match day one due to lack of training

Bayern München

  • Holger Badstuber is expected back end of August. This is one week later than our previous expectation.
  • Arturo Vidal's contract lasts only until 2019 with option to prolong until 2020


  • Free agent Henrique Sereno signed a 2-year contract


  • Free agent Júnior Díaz joins until 2017. Strong support.

Werder Bremen

  • Raphael Wolf is still injured and expected to miss match day one




  • Sven Schipplock from Hoffenheim joins
  • Michael Gregoritsch joins the team until 2019. He previously played in Bochum in the second 
  • devision.
  • Matti Steinmann leaves on loan
  • Frankfurt
  • Luc Castaignos suffered from a rupture of a muscle fibre and will be out approx. three weeks. We assume him to miss the first match day.


  • Sascha Riether from relegated Freiburg joins the team
  • Striker Franco Di Santo joins from Bremen
  • Jefferson Farfán leaves. A big loss.
  • Sascha Riether joins from Freiburg.


  • 19 years old talent Francisco Rodríguez from FC Zürich signed a three years contract. Good signing, but no direct improvement for this season
  • Midfielder Carlos Ascues signed a contract until 2018. He is not expected to be regular starter


  • Former national striker Kevin Kurányi returns to Bundesliga for the next season
  • Sven Schipplock moves to Hamburg
  • Sandro Wieser leaves Bundesliga to play in Switzerland


  • Due to a calf injury Dominic Maroh is expected to miss match day one
  • Köln announced they are no more going to perform transfer unless some mayor injuries occur

Hertha Berlin

  • Mitchell Weiser is injured at the knee and out for approx. five weeks
  • Goal keeper Sascha Burchert loaned to Oslo until Winter


  • Striker Franco Di Santo leaves the club and moves to Schalke


  • André Hahn suffered from a rupture of a muscle fibre and will be out ~20 days




Piotr Trochowski joins for at least next season. Big signingRaúl Bobadilla can play the first matches of the season as the suspension due to a red card has been reduced following an appeal

Hannover 96

Hiroshi Kiyotake's broken foot is expected to heal faster. Reduced the expected comeback time to 30.08.2015




- Marwin Hitz extends contract until 2018

Hertha Berlin

- Sandro Wagner and Peter Niemeyer are removed from the first team.

- Florian Kohls from the second team is promoted to the first team

- Änis Ben-Hatira injury didn't improve and he requires an operation. According to coach Dardai he will stay injured "a long, long time". We asume him to return in October


- Nico Elvedi is injured and out for four weeks. He will miss match day one




- Vladimir Darida from relegated Freiburg improves the team quality


-  Albin Ekdal, a Swedish player from Cagliari Calcio, signs a four-year contract. No big impact expected.


- Tin Jedvaj is injured an will miss the beginning of the season. We registered him injured for match day one.


- Striker Mevlüt Erdinç from AS Saint-Étienne joines


- Nikola Đurđić loaned to Malmö FF until year end


- We missed by mistake to register Elkin Soto as injured. Now we estimated his return early next year.




- Stefanos Kapino leaves after one year and will play at Olympiakos Piräus

- Dani Schahin loaned to FSV Frankfurt for one season


- Xizhe Zhang


- Antonio Rüdiger needed an operation and will miss out training for four weeks


- Center-back talent Jonathan Tah moves to Leverkusen


- Jonathan Tah from HSV joins


- Leonardo Bittencourt from Hannover joins


- Leonardo Bittencourt


- Amin Younes is transferred to Ajax


- Nelson Valdez's contract is cancelled


- Franck Ribéry still didn't recovered from his knee injury and is expected to miss the first match of the season

Hertha Berlin

- Sami Allagui is injured and will miss the first match day




- Ciro Immobile loaned to FC Sevilla 


- Besar Halimi joins from thrird tear club Stuttgarter Kickers. Mainz thinks he can adopt to Bundesliga level. Goalimpact agrees.

- Pablo de Blasis injured himself and is expected to be out four weeks. We registered him to miss the first match day


- Valon Behrami will play next season for Premier League Club Watford FC. Big loss.




- Olivier Occéan leaves


- Mathias Fetsch joined Dresden. He played there last season already on loan basis


- Benedikt Höwedes will miss the first 2 matchdays due to injury


- Andreas Christensen of Chelsea FC will play two seasons at Gladbach on a loan spell


- Junior Ponce loaned to CD Universidad San Martin de Porres in Braszil next season


- Bastian Schweinsteiger joins Manchester United


- Frederik Sørensen joins form Juventus Turin. He played last season at Hellas Verona




- Konstantin Rausch from Stuttgart joins for one season


- Konstantin Rausch leaves for Darmstadt

- Mitchell Langerak is injured ans expected to miss the first match day


- Patrick Drewes is loaned to Switzerland next season


- Bruno Nazário stays on loan in Poland


- Jan Kirchhoff expected to need time until mid September to return from his operation


- Uffe Bech from FC Nordsjælland joins


- Kevin Trapp leaves for Paris SG. No big impact, because Heinz Lindner is excellent




- Emir Spahic joins for the next season.

- Gojko Kačar extended his contract for another season


- Fabian Holland who played already last season on loan basis for Darmstadt now joined no a permament contract until 2017


- Milos Jojic from Dortmund signed a contract until 2018


- Andreas Beck will play in Istanbul from now on. Another quality drain for the club.



Apart from the following changes, the prediction now was updated to the new Goalimpact values calculated on all games including the 30th of June.


- David Abraham leaves to join Frankfurt. Following Goalimpact that is a huge loss.


- Center-back David Abraham joins. Big signing.


- Sebastian Polter leaves to join QPR.


- Maurice Exslager is requested to leave. We removed him from the team.


- Atsuto Uchida isn't expect to return from injury this year. We registered him as injured until year end. Big loss.


- Gōtoku Sakai joins for 3 years


- Gōtoku Sakai leaves to join HSV




- Lewis Holtby joins the club. Last season he played only on loan basis. Big addition

- Ivo Iličević plays another year for the club


- goalkeeper Örjan Nyland join until 2019. He is expected to become number one keeper by Goalimpact

Werder Bremen

- Werder announced they plan without Ludovic Obraniak and Eljero Elia. We removed them from the team.


- Michael Gspurning, keeper in Schalke's second team, joins the first team.


- Douglas Costa de Souza from Shakhtar Donetsk joins. He isn't rated particularly high and made the expected points of Bayern actually drop by one on the back of the assumption that he will get some playing time.


- Luc Castaignos from Twente joins until 2019


- Robin Yalcin will play next season in the Süper Lig

Hannover 96

- Felix Klaus from relegated Freiburg will play until 2019 for Hannover




- Maximilian Beister leaves and joins Mainz

- Ashton Götz's return from injury is delayed until mid August, so he will miss the first match day


- Maximilian Beister from HSV joins

Werder Bremen

- Nils Petersen left to join Freiburg in the 2. Liga.


- Keeper Thorsten Kirschbaum will play in future for Nürnberg in 2. Liga

- Czech U21 national player Jan Kliment signed a contract until 2019

- Keeper Mitchell Langerak joins from Dortmund


- Danilo Soares' injury seems to take longer than previously anticipated. He us now listed as injured until end September


- Maurice Multhaup and Thilo Kehrer joins the first team from Schalke's own youth team



I forgot to remove the home field advantage part of the schedule randomization code. So from now on it really uses the actual schedule. Other changes are


- Maximilian Beister leaves and joins Mainz. A loss of 0.9 points.


- Maximilian Beister from HSV joins adding 0.6 points.

Werder Bremen

- Nils Petersen left to join Freiburg in the 2. Liga. No big impact.



The forecasts now use the real schedule instead of a random one. This had only little influence.


- Shinji Okazaki left to join Leicester. Big loss of 0.8 points.

Werder Bremen

- Goalkeeper Richard Strebinger left the club.




added left back Michael Stegmayer that was missing in the listJan Rosenthal joined the club. He played last season already for them on loan basisMario Vrancic joins. He is rated highly and hence a big supportSandro Sirigu prelonged his contract until 2017


Timon Wellenreuther plays next season at Mallorca on loan basisFabian Giefer is reported injured another three monthsJunior Caicara joins as left backJohannes Geis from Mainz joins until 2019


John Heitinga moves to Ajax Amsterdam. He is rated still high despite not playing much last season. This is a major loss


Danilo Soares has been operated and is expected to miss the season start. Listed as injured until end AugustMarkus Suttner from austria Wien joins as left back. Excellent signing.Elias Kachunga is the new forward of the team


Marvin Ducksch is still injured and not expected to return before end of August


Przemyslaw Tyton signs until 2017. He has much impact because he will be #1 keeper replacing UlreichLukas Rupp signs until 2018


Roberto Firmino leaves for Liverpool.


Pepe Reina leaves


Fabian Frei gets a contract until 2019


Enis Bunjaki from the own youth is joining the first team


Philipp Hosiner joins on loan bassi for one season



1. FC Köln

  • Hoffenheim's Anthony Modeste joins until 2019. He isn't rated high so not many points added by this transfer
  • Daniel Halfar leaves the club heading for Kaiserslautern in 2. Liga. That's a loss of 0.7 points bringing Köln closer to relegation battle.


  • Marko Maric joins next Summer after being signed and loaned for next season.


  • Leon Balogun joins without transfer fee as his contracted with Darmstadt ended this summer. No big impact expected though.


  • Dominik Kohr from Levekusen joins the team. He already played for them on loan basis last season. Strong signing expcted to add 0.8 points in the final standings


  • Mitchell Weiser from Bayern Munich joins until 2018. He will certainly make the team better and adds 0.4 points.




  • Mark Uth from sc Heerenveen joins
  • Czech national player Pavel Kadeřábek from Sparta Praha signs a contract until 2019. Kadeřábek currently has a Goalimpact of 121.6 and is a strong addition increasing Hoffenheim's number of expected points by 0.4


  • Josip Drmic from Leverkusen joins until 2019


  • Keeper Heinz Lindner from Austria Wien joins until 2017. He has an excellent Goalimpact and raises Frankfurt's expected points by a substantial 1.5. However, it is unclear if he will replace Kevin Trapp should Trapp stay.




Nico Brandenburger leaves for a season loan spell. Due to his low Goalimpact of 90, there is limited impact of the season expectation.

Hannover 96

Joselu leaves to Stoke City. Due to Joselu low Goalimpact of 87, there is limited impact on the season expectation.


Maximilian Wagener leaves on another loan spell. As his regular contract also ends next seasons, he basically leaves the club entirely.

Eintracht Frankfurt

Young keeper talent Yannick Zummack signed his first professional football player contract until 2016. Current Goalimpact is only 70, so he is not expected to make any appearance in the first team.

Bayern Munich

VfB Stuttgart keeper Sven Ulreich signs a contract until 2018 at the German champion. This is not improving Bayern, but weakening Stuttgart.

Because Stuttgart no longer has a goalkeeper under contract of Bundesliga level, their expectations dropped significantly. Here is action needed.



Updating the prediction for the following changes:


Mavraj injured. Assumed to return December 1stLukas Klünter added to the first teamDominique Heintz bought from 1. FC Kaiserslautern

Hannover 96

Hiroshi Kiyotake has broken feet. Assumed to return 18.09.2015Leon Andreasen extends contract one year until 2016


Admir Mehmedi from SC Freiburg joins.


Alexander Meier injured until October


Florian Niederlechner joined until 2019


both Felix Platte and Marvin Friedrich extend until 2018

1899 Hoffenheim

Tobias Weis doesn't return after the loan and leaves the clubJanik Haberer is sent on a one season loan spell


Roman Bürki signs at the clubThe overall impact of these changes were not very large.



Some more events need to be considered:Joelinton de Lira joined HoffenheimStefan Kutschke left Wolfsburg and joined Nürnberg in the 2. LigaSchalke's Atsuto Uchida underwent an operation. So far no indication that he will miss the season start so change due to this one.Julian Weigl joined DortmundMarcel Risse extended his contract at Köln until 2019. This has no influence as he was expected to play next season anywayOliver Sorg joined Hannover 96

Dortmund doesn't find much improvement in Weigl. Hoffenheim's signing of Joelinton is very good, but he's not expected to improve them much in his first season, but more impact may come thereafter.

Hannover, on the other hand, did an excellent job in getting Sorg onboard. He improved their expected points by 1.4 and by this they overtook Mainz and Frankfurt in the expected final standings.


The Champions League final 2014/15 is over with Barca being the deserved winner. This was the end point of the season. Time to look to the future.

To give you an impression of this, here are the expectations for the next seasons as of 4th of June.

These expectations assume that no further transfers are made. Of course this is not going to happen, so if your team scores low on this ranking: not all hope is lost. Especially Darmstadt will, and will need to, get more players of Bundesliga level on board.

In fact, since the 4th of June, some things changed already

Stefan Kutschke returns to Wolfsburg 

Papadopoulos moves to Leverkusen (he was on loan only last season)

As the following table shows, the arrival of Stefan Kutschke at Wolfsburg didn't really have an impact. He is unlikely to get much playing time. Leverkusen's signing of Papadopoulos, in contrast, increased their expected points by 0.8 given them an edge against Mönchengladbach. Schalke's expectations fell by 0.8 as they lost a capable player.

Let's see how this evolves. If you there are changes to the teams (injuries, transfers, ...) that we should consider, please drop us a comment and we will post an update.

Backtesting Bundesliga 2014/2015

This year's Bundesliga season was a special one. Not in the sense that we saw a surprise winner, but it had some features that made it feel unique. Most of all maybe Dormund's roller-coaster favorite on rank 2, to the rock bottom of the league ending rank 17 after the first season half and then rising to rank seven that allows for qualification round to UEFA Europa League.

A similar ride took Werder Bremen, that after replacing its trainer Robin Dutt by Victor Skripnik underwent a transformation from a sure relegation team to a team that nearly qualified to the Europa League. They actually played Dortmund on the last day and had still some chance to play in Europe next season, but lost it.

The season will also be remember for its close relegation battle, the closest since years. On the last match day, no team was relegated for sure and even the complete outsider SC Paderborn was only a victory away from staying in the league.

How does all this look in numbers? Let's start with the preseason probabilities of the teams. (Those numbers are according to the new version of the algorithm which didn't exist when the season started. Hence this is back calculated and not factual preseason)

The table shows the probability for each team to end on each rank. If a cell is empty, the team never finished on the rank in any of the 50,000 simulated season that we used to generate this. While the chance to end on that rank is not theoretically really zero, for practical reasons it is. The black squares indicate the rank the team actually did finish the season.

From the start, Bayern Munich was set to win the league. They are so much better than the other teams, that they even never finished below rank 11 in any of the 50,000 tries in the simulation.

More interesting is the rank of Borussia Dortmund. They ended up rank 7. Preseason we gave this only a 2.7% chance to happen. But this was only the second most surprising thing to happen: FC Augsburg to end up on rank 5 had only a 1.5% chance according to Goalimpact. Actually, they were expected more to be engaged in a battle against relegation than in a battle for Europe.

The bad performance of HSV was the next biggest surprise. Preseason, we had only a 3.3% chance that it would be that bad. Despite changing their trainer so often that you could on this HSV season's data alone conduct a study that changing has little impact, they ended on rank 16 and will fight in play-offs against relegation just like last season.

The opposite evidence was provided by Werder Bremen. After the change to Victor Skripnik Werder rose from acute relegation risk (as predicted preseason) to a final rank 10. This was the fourth most surprising outcome given the preseason estimates. But given that the first half of the season was to large parts really really bad, just how surprising was the rescue by Skripnik? The following table shows the predicted outcome half way through the season.

Given the performance in the first half, ending up on rank 10 had only a probability of 2.4%. This Bremen miracle wasn't a small one, albeit still not in the dimensions of Augsburg's qualification to Europa League. Borussia Dortmund's race to Europe wasn't that unexpected. Actually, despite being on the bottom of the table after half the season, rank seven and eight were the most probable ones for Dortmund to end on. Apart from Bremen's winning streak and Hanover falling apart, not really many surprising things happened in the second half of the season. Nearly all teams ended close to the likely ranks.

Let's move away from ranks and look at the predicted points.

Goalimpact explained the actial points this Bundesliga season with an R² of 60%.  Deviations are randomly distributed above and below. The overall calibration seems good indicated by a regression slope close to 1. After half of the games were played, things got more settled. At that time, the final results were explained already by 82%.

But this includes actual results from the first half of the season and hence part of the correlation stems from there. How good was the second half stand-alone explained?

The R² for the second half was 46%. Well beyond assuming the same number of points like in the first half which leads to a R² of only 27%. The dot at (31; 31) is Dortmund. They did earn exactly as many points in the second half as you would expect given their strong players. Hence the qualification to Europe is hardly a surprise. The extraordinary few points in the first half of the season were the real surprise. And there they were very unlucky.

If there is a team that seems to constantly outperform Goalimpact's predictions, it is the FC Augsburg. As shown above, them entering the Europa League was the most unexpected event in this Bundesliga season. However, all over-performance was in the first half of the season. The 22 points they earned in the 2nd half were close to the low expectations of 19.7. In the first half of the season they were expected to earn only 18.5 points, but earned 27. So we feel still undecided. Is Augsburg really that good in forming a team stronger than its parts, or were they as lucky in the first half of the season as Dortmund was unlucky? Maybe a bit of both.

Thank you for bearing us so long, only one more chart. If we look at the expected distribution per rank that were predicted pre-season, we have nearly no surprises whatsoever.

Predicting how many points one would need to stay in the league, turn's out to be very easy even preseason. We predicted rank 16 to have 34.5 points and it turned out to be 35. We predicted rank one to finish with 74.6 points and Bayern earned 79.

This is important when considering if in a particular game a draw might be sufficient or if a team should play for a win. If the point distribution is so predictable, this might matter even early in the season.


There have been quite some surprises in the Bundesliga, especially in the first half of the season. Dortmund having the fewest number of points after 17 matches was very very unlikely - as was Augsburg having 4th most points . Their both subsequent qualifications to Europe were, in contrast, expected. The resurrection of Werder Bremen was the biggest surprise in the second half.

Werder Bremen's Demise

Werder Bremen is the second most successful team in the Bundesliga. In the table comprising all games ever, it holds the second place in front of its local rival Hamburger SV, despite the fact that HSV played one season more. In total it won 4 league titles and 6 times the DFB cup. Once they even won the UEFA Cup Winner's Cup. But the last season they ended on a single digit rank in the Bundesliga was 2011/2012. Two seasons before that, they even qualified for the UEFA Champions League, a competition they have been qualified to since their last German title 2003/2004.

We want so investigate how their player transfers influenced the performance and we will start the investigation at the time they qualified the last time for the Champions League. Due to the qualification, they had still the extra income that comes with the participation, money that will be amiss in the season thereafter. Not to get lost in too many details, we will look at the transfers position by position and summarize in the end.

The analysis is based on our Goalimpact methodology. You can read about the algorithm here and here.


2009/2010, when Werder qualified for the Champions League the last time, they had mainly two keepers in the team. Tim Wiese was national goal keeper and Vander was his replacement in case of injury or suspension. Whilst Werder preformed significantly worse when Vander was playing, this didn't cause a big problem because Wiese stayed fit.

Player 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Tim Wiese 116.6 113.3 112.6 0 €
Christian Vander 90.0 83.9 77.0 0 €
Sebastian Mielitz 96.8 101.3 104.6 103.4 104.3 0 €
Raphael Wolf 200 k€ 81.4 81.6 82.4
Richard Strebinger 0 € 81.1 85.4 95.9
Raif Husic 100 k€ 73.0

One season later, Vander was replaced by the talent Sebastian Mielitz as second keeper. A good move, because Mielitz was already batter than Vander and appeared to have a lot of talent. Wiese, along with the whole team, performed worse than expected and saw both GI and PeakGI drop.

After Wiese's contract ended in the summer 2012, Mielitz became the first keeper. Because as the same time Vander ended his career, Werder brought in two new young keepers, Raphael Wolf and Richard Strebinger. Apparently, Werder was unsatisfied with Mielitz' performance and they refused to prelong his contract and replaced him with Wolf after only one season as first keeper. According to Goalimpact, that was a rather bad choice. Wolf has a significantly lower Goalimpact.

To summarize, Bremen spent a net 300,000€ on keepers to lower their keeper performance 30 Goalimpact points. To be fair, both Stebinger and Husic are very talented and the investment may pay off in future. For Wolf, we don't see a future that bright. We suggest to make Streibinger the first keeper as short term improvement.

Center Back

At the time Werder qualified for the Champions League the last time, they had an excellent defense in the box. Mertesacker and Naldo were both next to world class and maybe the best center back duo in Bundesliga at that time.

Player 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Sebastian Prödl 105.8 101.0 100.9 97.8 94.8 94.3
Per Mertesacker 137.9 137.3 11,300 k€
Petri Pasanen 133.9 128.0 0 €
Naldo 130.5 129.4 124.4 4,800 k€
Mikaël Silvestre 0 € 99.6 89.3 0 €
Sokratis 4,100 k€ 102.2 100.4 9,900 k€
François Affolter 500 k€ 110.2 0 €
Mateo Pavlovic 650 k€ 89.9 88.5 92.9
Assani Lukimya 0 € 106.2 99.8 99.2
Luca Caldirola 2,250 k€ 93.9 94.2
Gálvez 0 € 99.7

At the end of the season 2010/2011, Mertesacker and Pasanen left. Mertesacker was sold for substantial amount of money, Pasanen without transfer income, because Werder and the player couldn't agree on the conditions for the new contract. Naldo was injured for more than one year and sold one year later for another few million Euros.

From its for center backs, Werder chose to keep only Prödl, the
weakest player. They were unlucky that he underperformed
expectations falling below Bundesliga minimum.
As replacements, Werder brought Sokratis and Affolter on Board. Affolter was hired on a loan basis and left after just one season and returned to Switzerland. Sokratis, despite a development that was less than expected, was sold at a premium two years later.

Then followed investments in Pavlovic, Lukimya, Caldirola and Galvez which, along with long-time Werder player Prödl, form today's center back. In the good old times, the average Goalimpact of the Werder central defense was 127.0. This is now down to 96.5. It is fair to say, that Werder sold their assets and hence had a net transfer income from CBs only of 18,500,000 €. But the players now in the team are hardly on the level you'd expect from a Bundesliga team, even as Caldirola is expected to improve a bit as he is only 23 years old.

Advise: If the team plans to stay in Bundesliga, we suggest going back to the drawing table for the central defense. For the short term, playing Lukimya and Galvez seems to be the best option. However, Galvez plays currently often as defensive midfielder.

Left/Righ Back

The defenders on the left and right back were never as good as the central defenders. But in back in summer 2010, they were more than just decent with Boenisch and Fritz. Werder didn't manage to keep Boenisch as he considered their offer as not sufficient and his contract expired. Fritz plays until today, but due to his age his performance decreased significantly.

Player 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Aymen Abdennour 104.0 0 €
Sebastian Boenisch 112.2 112.5 110.2 0 €
Clemens Fritz 112.7 108.8 103.4 96.3 90.0 90.1
Dominik Schmidt 93.3 93.5 0 €
Aleksandar Ignjovski 500 k€ 90.23 89.38 90.83 0 €
Florian Hartherz 200 k€ 95.1 150 k€
Lukas Schmitz 1,000 k€ 106.6 106.0 103.3 0 €
Theodor Gebre Selassie 1,800 k€ 108.8 102.5 101.6
Santiago García 2,000 k€ 93.7 93.1
Marnon Busch €0 94.0

2010, Clemens Fritz was a very good player, but he aged
as expected since then and can't deliver as good performance
for a full 90 minutes anymore.
Despite a net investment of 5,340,000€, the player quality for that position deteriorated. Currently, only Selassie has a Goalimpact above 100, the minimum level you'd expect from a Bundesliga player, also even his performance was below expectations from a few years ago.

In total the average Goalimpact of LBs/RBs dropped from 105.6 to a meager 94.7. Most of the loss in performance origins from the transfer policy, some is caused by aging and some by worse than expected player development.

On the upside, the young talent Marnon Busch is expected to reach that level soon and hence we'd suggest to play Bush and Selassie as the current best selection. That said, at least one additional player should be hired according to Goalimpact, because Fritz isn't fit enough anymore for 90 minutes and Garcia lacks the quality.

Defensive Midfield

For a long time, defensive midfield was synonym to Thorsten Frings in Bremen. Frings was a world class defensive midfielder and some say that Germany might have won the World Cup 2006 semifinals against Italy if it wasn't for his suspension. With his departure in Summer 2011, all that was left was below average Bundesliga level.

Player 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Peter Niemeyer 98.8 900 k€
Torsten Frings 137.6 120.4 0 €
Philipp Bargfrede 108.7 102.4 102.6 101.8 101.1 101.8
Daniel Jensen 113.3 100.4 0 €
Tom Trybull 200 k€ 91.0 99.6 100 k€
Felix Kroos 240 k€ 99.5 97.4 101.0 101.8 102.0

Werder didn't invest money into that position that many think is pivotal in modern football. They even hat a small net profit of 560,000€ in transfers. According to Goalimpact, Felxis Kroos was a good buy, but he failed to develop as expected after the transfer. Still he is now the best player available for that position.

Central/Offensive Midfield

According to Goalimpact, Werder's strength used to be the defensive players, but in the spot light used to be the offensive midfield. After years of glory with Johan Micoud and Diego, the last success is tight with the young Mesut Özil. Despite Özil's doubtless impact, Aaron Hunt and Tim Borowski also played an important role.

Player 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Tim Borowski 117.1 109.1 101.7 0 €
Said Husejinovic 96.4 96.9 0 €
Marko Marin 105.1 102.8 100.4 8,000 k€
Mesut Özil 120.2 18,000 k€
Aaron Hunt 115.4 111.9 110.3 105.4 98.9 0 €
Wesley 7,500 k€ 93.1 93.5 6,000 k€
Predrag Stevanovic 100 k€ 90.4 91.1 93.6 96.1 0 €
Florian Trinks 91.7 91.9 50 k€
Zlatko Junuzovic 800 k€ 100.0 98.4 93.6 92.1
Mehmet Ekici 5,000 k€ 109.8 110.8 111.0 1,500 k€
Aleksandar Stevanovic €0 91.0 98.3 110.0 0 €
Kevin De Bruyne 450 k€ 105.6 0 €
Cédric Makiadi 3,000 k€ 88.0 87.0
Ludovic Obraniak 1,500 k€ 98.4 97.8
Izet Hajrovic €0 96.8

With Özil's departure to Real Madrid, the fortune of signing excellent creative midfielder seemed to have left the team. They had already secured the service of "Germany's Messi", Marko Marin. A player that was never rated by Goalimpact as high as he was described by the media. Werder did a good deal in selling him for 8M€ as the market value halved shortly thereafter.

The signing of Wesley was seen as way too expensive by Goalimpact. You don't want to pay 7.5M€ for a player that has only a Goalimpact of 93 and is expected to peak at 97. The team contained the damage by selling him at only a small discount again.

The signings of Ekici and Aleksandar Stevanovic, while both no new Özil, were actually quite good, but they were removed from the team at the beginning of the current season. Without them, there is no Bundesliga offensive midfield left to speak of. All of them are below the minimum level of 100 and they are not expected to improve much more, too. The sale of Ekici happened after our Bundesliga season prediction. Even with him on the team, we saw Bremen as the weakest team in the competition. Now we consider the team as even weaker.

Bremen earned a net 19,700,000€ from selling their assets in the offensive midfield, but it caused the average player Goalimpact on that position to drop from 110.8 to 93.4.


Werder's strikers weren't world-class back in 2010, but they were all above average. However, Werder chose not to prolong the contracts of Almeida and Rosenberg and build up a new attack from the scratch around Pizarro. The striker from Peru, however, was unwillingly to prolong his contract due to the little quality in Werder's team and moved to Bayern Munich.

Player 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Claudio Pizarro 112.5 106.6 103.0 0 €
Hugo Almeida 114.9 2,000 k€
Markus Rosenberg 114.9 750 k€ 106.9 0 €
Sandro Wagner 350 k€ 100.7 550 k€
Denni Avdic 2,200 k€ 100.7 95.0 1,050 k€
Marko Arnautovic 6,200 k€ 99.0 95.9 98.4 2,800 k€
Eljero Elia 5,500 k€ 97.8 90.6 91.5
Nils Petersen 500 k€ 103.9 102.1 102.0
Joseph Akpala 1,500 l€ 106.3 250 k€
Niclas Füllkrug €0 77.9 85.0 90.1 400 k€
Johannes Wurtz €0 106.1 300 k€
Franco Di Santo €0 86.1 85.3
Fin Bartels €0 90.3
Davie Selke €0 66.5 74.1 90.5 94.7

Davie Selke is going to be Werder's best striker soon. He
developed excellent and outperformed expectations so far.
Since then, Werder's attack is a construction site. Many investments have been made that didn't really pay off. Some players were sold again at a loss. Füllkrug, a promising talent from their youth teams, wasn't fully trusted. According to Goalimpact that might be a mistake. He was still young and didn't played constant on a top level, but had a good prognosis (Peak 120). He has a Goalimpact of 97 by now and is soon going to be above 100 also the PeakGI dropped to 110.

Instead Werder placed their hope on Elia whom they bought for 5.5M€. A high price for a player with a Goalimpact of only 98 and not upside (PeakGI 99). Currently, the best striker duo would be Petersen and Selke. The latter is a talent from the own youth and still plays inconsistent, but he has a good prognosis and is expected to peak at 122. In the long-run a second good striker would be needed.


Werder Bremen reduced the team quality on every single tactical position. The formerly strong defense now looks shaky, the midfield is weak and lacks creativity and the striker seem harmless. To make things worse, there is only few talent in the team that would let us expect future improvement.

Regular substantial transfer surpluses lead to a continuous decline in
the average team quality. The Goalimpact reduced every single year and
now is below the minimum level you'd expect for a Bundesliga team.
The decline is the result of a transfer policy that was aimed at extracting value from the team's assets (the players). Selling the good players resulted in a steady inflow of cash, but the replacement players weren't nearly as good and some also overpaid. However, to say Werder did a bad job in their signings isn't justified. It was more there overall strategy to make transfer profits that lead to the deterioration of team quality and not single signings. The signings didn't generate the upside that some signings in the past did, but they didn't destroy value, too as many were bought for low fees or even no fee at all.

Still, in total the Goalimpact reveals a reduction in team quality every single year since the last Champions League qualification and generated a net cash-in of 20M€. We hesitate to call this a profit, as the positive cash-flow was more than offset by the reduction of team market value. The Goalimpact used to be well above 110, the level needed to be a contender for Champions League qualification, down to below 100, the level that makes relegation likely.

Looking forward, it is difficult to see if the new trainer, Viktor Skripnik, can avoid the relegation. Given the weak team it is not obvious that the problems were caused by his predecessor Robin Dutt. It is more likely that the demise was caused by a short-sighted transfer policy and a few bad scoutings prior to Dutt's arrival in Bremen. You don't need a crystal ball to foresee that Werder will relegate unless they make a 180° turn-around in transfer spending. Rather than swapping player quality into cash, they need to build up a new team that has improved quality. The latest scoutings and signings were not promising in this respect. There are rumors that Werder is willing to spend on new players in the Winter break. Winter is not the best time for signings and given the bad start in the season, it may already be to late to turn-around then.

And there is more bad news, with the current team, Werder would also struggle to stay in the 2. Liga, in case they will get relegated. Certainly an immediate re-promotion is very unlikely. So our final advise is to start thinking in long-term. An  advise not easy to follow in times of trouble.

FC Schalke 04 - Borussia Dortmund: Goalimpact of Lineups

Dortmund has a much better starting XI, but the home field advantage gives Schalke a slight edge. Still, the probability of an draw is rather high. This is in contrast to the betting markets that see Dortmund as a 50% favorite.

It maybe is also a function of the much better bench of Dortmund. With Schmelzer, Kagawa and Jojic, they have three additional 110+ players to bring into play. Schalke only has Kaan Ayhan.

Odds based on starting XI: FC Schalke 04: 43.4% (Home), draw: 30.1%, Borussia Dortmund: 26.6%

FC Schalke 04

PlayerGoalimpactPeak GIAgeLast National TeamNo. GamesNo. Minutes
Dennis Aogo95.099.827.7Deutschland29923585
Sidney Sam121.5123.226.6Deutschland25017064
Joel Matip113.2121.323.1Kamerun22318325
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar140.9157.731.1Niederlande44235383
Marco Höger113.3115.724.914911695
Atsuto Uchida117.1118.426.4Japan23320211
Roman Neustädter129.8131.326.526421690
Ralf Fährmann101.1117.325.911810921
Maxim Choupo-Moting98.199.425.4Kamerun19511581
Kevin Prince Boateng106.8111.227.5Ghana29421404
Max Meyer107.8143.818.9Deutschland [U19]936314
Chinedu Obasi108.8114.928.3Nigeria16110922
Tranquillo Barnetta109.8116.829.3Schweiz34724404
Marcel Sobottka91.3113.220.3968515
Christian Wetklo98.298.534.718316799
Christian Clemens98.7106.823.1Deutschland [U21]16811712
Christian Fuchs105.6111.828.4Österreich38131156
Kaan Ayhan116.7142.919.8Türkei [U21]927718

Borussia Dortmund

PlayerGoalimpactPeak GIAgeLast National TeamNo. GamesNo. Minutes
Sven Bender122.0123.425.3Deutschland25517719
?ukasz Piszczek131.0138.029.3Polen27021691
Erik Durm105.1116.222.3Deutschland [U21]1249634
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang109.9111.725.2Gabun24017009
Matthias Ginter107.2127.620.6Deutschland [U21]13211967
Roman Weidenfeller142.5143.234.141538371
Adrián Ramos107.8114.228.6Kolumbien22117924
Kevin Großkreutz133.9134.226.1Deutschland [U21]31624589
Mats Hummels157.4158.025.7Deutschland30326560
Ciro Immobile105.2108.524.5Italien1439987
Neven Suboti?151.0151.625.8Serbien28626346
Joseph-Claude Gyau97.2109.721.9966261
Shinji Kagawa122.2123.425.5Japan17112794
Sokratis Papastathopoulos106.7107.426.3Griechenland25320876
Marcel Schmelzer141.9143.726.6Deutschland25121777
Mitsuru Maruoka78.0117.418.7171105
Mitchell Langerak109.9125.226.0605432
Miloš Jojic110.7121.222.4Serbien [U21]764965