Bundesliga relegation odds 2023/24 – Are Hoffenheim vulnerable?
BUNDESLIGA RELEGATION ODDS – ARE HOFFENHEIM VULNERABLE? – In part four of this team-by-team 2023/34 Bundesliga preview, we have a total turnaround from last week.
Following my opening duo, I kicked off July by looking at three bona fide Champions League contenders. Here though, none of the teams featured will harbor anything near top-four ambitions.
And who better to start with than the second newcomer to the top-flight fold…
Heidenheim pipped fellow promoted side Darmstadt to the 2. Bundesliga title on goal difference, after two goals in stoppage time on the final day:
However, that won’t stop them being identified as an odds-on favorite alongside the Lilies in Bundesliga relegation odds markets.
On an interesting side note, the men from Baden-Württemberg are the first Bundesliga debutants in four years. The last debuting team before them was Union Berlin.
Far from drop instantly, they climbed the league over several years to reach the giddy heights of fourth place in 2022/23.
But just how much of a miracle will it take for Heidenheim to become ‘the next Union Berlin’?
- Founded: 1846
- Stadium: Voith-Arena
- Capacity: 15,000
- Notable honors: 2. Bundesliga (2023)
- Nickname: FCH
- Last season: 1st in 2. Bundesliga
- Heidenheim title odds: +100,000
Many newly-promoted sides have found themselves relying on the form and fitness of one particular player. In the case of Heidenheim, Tim Kleindienst will be the difference maker.
He netted an impressive 25 times last term. In doing so, he beat second-placed Robert Glatzel by six whole goals, despite playing 164 minutes fewer than the Hamburg man.
Predicted finish: 18th (Relegated)
With a pretty obvious candidate to save Heidenheim from an instant drop, why are they the call to finish bottom? Well, as any wise old head would agree, having a talisman is a two-sided coin.
There’s no doubting Kleindienst’s consistency. But the fact that he netted over a third of Heidenheim’s goals in 2022/23 makes him a prime target for opposition defenders.
If FCH can’t find ways to get around situations where he is marked out of the game, then it’s curtains.
Augsburg and Darmstadt filled in the expected bottom three during earlier parts of this series. So by deduction, there are no more teams slated for relegation issues. That said, anyone who thinks Hoffenheim will waltz towards safety is delusional.
The Kraichgauer only gained safety at the end of matchday 33, with a 4-2 victory over high fliers Union Berlin. But to give credit where due, that was their fourth win in five home games. And going further back, they’ve blanked just once in nine home league games played since the start of 2023.
Sadly, though, Hoffenheim’s away form remains an issue despite the late surge in fortunes when travelling. Worst of all, they failed to pick up a single away point between November and March.
And even after breaking the curse on April 2 against Bremen, Hoffenheim finished 2022/23 winless in four road trips. This puts Hoffenheim firmly in the vulnerable category, even if they are not endangered in the Bundesliga relegation odds equation.
- Founded: 1899
- Stadium: PreZero Arena
- Capacity: 30,150
- Notable honors: None
- Nickname: Die Kraichgauer
- Last season: 12th
- Hoffenheim title odds: +25,000
There’s something of a ‘one-man army’ theme emerging this week, with Hoffenheim’s potential reliance on Andrej Kramarić once more a talking point.
For starters, the Croatian has been the club’s top gun in five of the previous seven campaigns. And as anyone might guess, his talisman status is an especially hot topic during periods of bad form.
Perhaps the biggest example of that was Hoffenheim’s miserable start to 2019/20. It coincided with the tail end of his longest injury layoff (84 days), but his return that October sparked a five-game winning run.
Rest assured he’s taking the spotlight yet again.
Predicted finish: 13th
A one-place dip for Hoffenheim if this turns out to be accurate. They certainly need more clean sheets to get anything much better than mid-table mediocrity, having recorded just one shutout in their last 24 league battles.
If you looked up ‘erratic’ in the dictionary, you would see Mainz’s unmistakable red and white ‘05’ logo next to it. Seriously, don’t even think about trying to call their games. Just don’t.
Mainz’s Jekyll and Hyde nature was particularly well encapsulated in the final two matchdays. The 05ers lost 4-1 at home to relegation-battling Stuttgart, but then inexplicably played like the Harlem Globetrotters a week later to get a 2-2 draw with free-scoring Dortmund.
As well as utterly mocking the moneyline markets, both of Mainz’s last two results also contributed to an interesting trend. Mainz saw eight of their last nine games produce over 2.5 total goals, and we can expect more of the same next season.
- Founded: 1905
- Stadium: MEWA Arena
- Capacity: 34,034
- Notable honors: None
- Nickname: The 05ers
- Last season: 9th
- Mainz title odds: +25,000
It’s fair to say Ludovic Ajorque has made quite the impact since arriving in January. Notably, despite being a newcomer to the side, he entered the final week of April ranked as Mainz’s top performer.
With no goals for the French striker beyond week 29, his Bundesliga stats shown are still valid. But it’s just a matter of time before he ends his drought, as he’ll be well-backed up front by the other names shown above, even with Marcus Ingvartsen leaving for Nordsjaelland recently.
Predicted finish: 11th
Mainz basically fear nobody, and there is definitely a core of very talented players with every chance of improving on 2022/23.
They could easily get into the Europa League if they can time their shifts between attacking and defending with greater consistency.
But the competition will be tougher than ever in the top half.
All key players featured were on the active roster at their respective clubs as of July 9, 2023.