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Looking Around the League: FC Köln Show Some Fight in Rhine Derby

The relegation battle is starting to take some shape, and there’s some unlikely contenders currently in the mix.

1. FC Köln v Borussia Mönchengladbach - Bundesliga Photo by Ralf Ibing - firo sportphoto/Getty Images

As we approach the halfway point of the Hinrunde, the Bundesliga table is starting to take some shape. Having spent the early stages of the season focusing on the emerging contenders at the top of the table, now seems as good a time as any to take a look at how things are going at the other end.

Right now, there are eight teams that are within three points of the relegation zone (including those currently in it). Although some of the teams in this group are those that were widely predicted to be there at the beginning of the season, there are also a few surprises too. Union Berlin sitting in 15th on just six points certainly qualifies as a surprise, while I’d argue that Gladbach being within touching distance is also a little unexpected.

So far, however, I would argue the biggest shock of all has been Mainz rooted at the bottom of the table on just two points! On Saturday, they were a little unlucky to come away from Munich with nothing, having put in a solid performance against the champions.

I doubt Mainz will be bottom of the league for long, as I expect results to pick up soon enough, but these roundups are weekly so we’ve got to talk about something!

Here are the results from Matchday eight:


Borussia Dortmund 1-0 Werder Bremen

SV Darmstadt 1-3 RB Leipzig

Freiburg 2-1 VfL Bochum

Hoffenheim 1-3 Eintracht Frankfurt

Union Berlin 0-3 VfB Stuttgart

Wolfsburg 1-2 Bayer Leverkusen

Mainz 1-3 Bayern Munich

FC Köln 3-1 Borussia Mönchengladbach

FC Heidenheim 2-5 Augsburg

League Table

Signs of Life from FC Köln?

Going into the weekend, FC Köln were bottom of the table with a single point, which they picked up in a 1-1 draw with Eintracht Frankfurt in early September. Köln have otherwise had a very tough time so far this season.

On Sunday, Die Geißböcke faced Borussia Mönchengladbach, who have also been struggling so far (though quite a bit less), in the Rhine Derby. Köln came away from that game with three whole points, helping them climb outside the automatic relegation zone.

Admittedly two of Köln’s goals came from penalties, but even so, they probably deserved to win, which is something that can’t be said for any other performance they’ve managed this season!

The underlying numbers don’t have Köln down as the worst team in the league (Heidenheim and Bochum are below them), but they’re certainly not good. Perhaps this win will serve as a much-needed confidence boost that will give them some momentum.

Interestingly, Opta sees Mainz, Bochum, and Werder Bremen as the three Bundesliga teams that are most likely to be relegated right now.

Your Thoughts?

What do you make of the scrap going on at the bottom of the Bundesliga table right now? Which teams do you see as the three most likely candidates for relegation?