An intriguing 2. Bundesliga season has entered the final stages, and whilst COVID has created an uneven schedule over the next few weeks, how the season is shaping up is starting to become clear.
Updated 9th May 2021
The permutations are becoming clear as we approach the final two weeks of the season. This article will updated over the next few weeks.
Promotion to the Bundesliga
The top two sides will be promoted to the Bundesliga, with the team in third playing the side that finishes third bottom in the Bundesliga in a two-legged play-off.
- VfL Bochum: 63 points, +25 goal difference, 32 played
GreutherFürth: 58 points, +22 goal difference, 32 played
- Holstein Kiel: 56 points, +22 goal difference, 30 played
- Fortuna Düsseldorf: 53 points, +7 goal difference, 32 played
- Hamburger SV: 52 points, +21 goal difference, 31 played
- 1. FC Heidenheim: 51 points, +5 goal difference, 32 played
Bochum look increasingly likely to be the first side to win promotion to the Bundesliga, ending a 12-year exile from the top flight. Following the 5-1 win against Jahn Regensburg, they need just two more points from their remaining two games to be certain of going up.
Fürth are second, two points behind Bochum, with Kiel, who still have two games in hand, two points further back in third. Should Kiel will those next two games, they would be second going into the final two matchdays. Should they lose both – unlikely on current form – that would hand promotion to Bochum as early as Thursday.
Hamburg’s challenge has fallen away, although a win against Nürnberg could at least be cause for hope. For now, Fortuna Düsseldorf have moved into fourth but would need one of the top three to choke from here to have a realistic shot at an immediate Bundesliga return.
Heidenheim have only a mathematical chance of promotion, whilst FC St. Pauli ‘s defeat to Kiel on Friday formally ended hopes of an unlikely late charge, with Karlsruher SC mathematically out of it as well.
Relegation to the 3. Liga
The bottom two will be relegated to the 3. Liga, with the side in 16th playing the third placed side in the third tier in a two-legged play-off.
- SSV Jahn Regensburg: 35 points, -13 goal difference, 31 played
- SV Sandhausen: 31 points, -19 goal difference, 32 played
- Eintracht Braunschweig: 31 points, -24 goal difference, 32 played
- VfL Osnabrück: 30 points, -23 goal difference, 32 played
- Würzburger Kickers: 21 points, -33 goal difference, 32 played (RELEGATED)
Würzburg’s seemingly inevitable relegation back to the 3. Liga was confirmed on Saturday as they lost 3-1 to Osnabrück. Braunschweig’s draw with Düsseldorf would have made any victory academic anyway.
It had been difficult to see where Osnabrück could find any more the points in their remaining games but are now just a point off 16th-placed Braunschweig following that victory. Braunschweig themselves are only behind Sandhausen, in 15th, on goal difference.
Sandhausen’s wins against Hamburg and Hannover lifted them out of the bottom three, and despite three defeats since then, they appear in the best shape of the bottom four. Jahn Regensburg could yet get dragged into the scrap although there is a four-point cushion for them at the moment.
Who could replace them?
FC Schalke 04’s inevitable relegation to the 2. Bundesliga was confirmed on the 20th April after defeat to Arminia Bielefeld. 1. FC Köln are now 17th again after Hertha BSC‘s strong return from quarantine, and are now two points from safety after Hertha and Bielefeld drew on Sunday.
SV Werder Bremen remain in a precarious position despite their draw with Leverkusen on Saturday, level on points with Hertha and Bielefeld and only above the latter in 16th on goal difference. FC Augsburg are far from safe still either but 1. FSV Mainz 05, despite their awful first half to the campaign, now look almost certain to stay in the Bundesliga.
In the 3. Liga, the top three of Dynamo Dresden are back top after replacing Markus Kauczinski with Alexander Schmidt, and were the only one of the top four to win on Saturday. They just need to beat Türkgücü München next week to seal promotion back to the 2. Bundesliga at the first attempt.
FC Hansa Rostock are second, two points behind Dresden, with FC Ingolstadt 04 and 1860 Munich two points further off. Hansa would go up next week if they win against already-relegated Unterhaching and the two below them both fail to win. Whatever is left at stake, the game between Ingolstadt and 1860 on the final day will be massive.