Bundesliga 2021-22: Decoding the race for the top four
The Bundesliga 2021-22 season reached the halfway stage mark as things are heating up nicely. Champions Bayern Munich lead the proceedings and are aiming to win a 10th successive honor and 31st overall. However, the remaining three positions are up for grabs in the battle for the top four. Here we decode the race for the top four in Bundesliga 2021-22.
Bayern have a crucial lead atop
Bayern were stunned by Gladbach in gameweek 18 of the Bundesliga 2021-22 season. They suffered a 2-1 loss, despite Robert Lewandowski's 20th league goal. Bayern, who suffered their third loss of the campaign, have collected 43 points from 18 matches (W14 D1). The have hammered the most goals (57), besides conceding 18 (lowest). Besides Lewandowski's goal-scoring form, Thomas Muller has been superb (14 assists).
Why does it matter?
Bayern have what it takes to run away with the title this season. The shock defeat to Gladbach is a narrow blow as it gives Dortmund a chance to close the gap and put pressure. However, there are many sides in the reckoning for the third and fourth place respectively. This will make things interesting as the season progresses.
Can Dortmund challenge Bayern?
Second-placed Borussia Dortmund will look to cut Bayern's lead to six points by beating Frankfurt. They have amassed 34 points from 17 matches (W11 D1 L5). The issue with Dortmund of late has been an inability to produce the desired level of consistency. They often end up dropping crucial points. Dortmund will need to pick up wins and challenge Bayern.
Freiburg, Leverkusen, Hoffenheim are in the fray
Third-placed Freiburg have 29 points from 17 matches and after a promising first-half of the season, they will want to continue in the same vein and eye a Champions League berth. Bayer Leverkusen are a point behind at fourth and will be considered as one of the favorites to finish in the top four. Meanwhile, Hoffenheim (28 points) are in the reckoning as well.
What about Leipzig and Gladbach?
Despite languishing on 10th and 11th respectively, the likes of RB Leipzig and Gladbach cannot be ruled out. Both have 22 points each at the moment and are seven behind Freiburg. With so many games to go, both sides will be aiming to go up.