Prior to Matchday 18, RB Leipzig, Dortmund & Monchengladbach All Heavy Favorites for Top 4 in Bundesliga

Timo Werner has scored 18 Bundesliga goals this season.
German international striker Timo Werner has spear-headed the Bundesliga challenge of Red Bull Leipzig and hopes to keep them on top of the table in the second half of the season. Photo by @RBLeipzig_EN (Twitter)
  • Red Bull lead after stunning eight-game streak before winter break
  • Dortmund add Norwegian goal-getter Haaland to their armory
  • Monchengladbach second while Bayern Munich have in-form Lewandowski

Germany’s Bundesliga returns to action after its winter break this weekend with Red Bull Leipzig leading the way with hopes of landing their first-ever top-flight title.

But the battle is tight with second-placed Borussia Moenchengladbach only two points behind and even fifth-placed Schalke 04 only five points adrift of Leipzig’s 37-point haul.

While the Bavarian giants Bayern Munich are not offered in the odds for a top-four finish after being placed first in each of the last seven seasons, the analysts make Red Bull -3333 favorites to end the season among the elite group.

Borussia Dortmund – the nation’s second most powerful club – are priced as second favorites at -500. They lie fourth as fixtures resume.

Bundesliga 2019-20 Top 4 Finish Odds

Team Odds
Red Bull Leipzig -3333
Borussia Dortmund -500
Borussia Monchengladbach -335
Schalke04 +250
Bayer Leverkusen +400
Hoffenheim +3300
Vfl Wolfsburg +4000
SC Freiburg +5000
Eintracht Frankfurt +6600
Augsburg +35,000
Hertha Berlin +40,000
FC Koln +75,000
FSV Mainz +100,000
Werder Bremen +100,000
Union Berlin +100,000

Odds taken Jan. 15. Excludes Bayern Munich

Sixteen Goals for Salzburg Ahead of Move to Germany

Dortmund have made the competition’s major winter signing by landing the Norwegian forward Erling Braut Haaland to boost their chances after he scored 16 times for Austria’s Red Bull Salzburg in the first half of the season.

Monchengladbach are third favorites for a top-four place at – 335 with Schalke at +250 and sixth-placed Bayer Leverkusen at +400.

Red Bull resumes the fight for the title having compiled a stunning run of seven wins and one draw during November and December before the seasonal shut-down.

They scored an impressive 33 goals during that run. And they have the Bundesliga’s second-leading scorer in German international Timo Werner, who has become a target for Real Madrid after hitting the net 18 times in the league.

They have led the table since mid-December and after resuming training on January 6, they scored a 2-0 friendly win over Osnabruck of Bundesliga 2 to get back in battling shape.

If Leipzig’s form continues, they will complete a remarkable rise to the top – having joined the Bundesliga only in 2016-17 after being formed in 2009.

They have lost only twice in 19 Bundesliga fixtures so far.

If Leipzig’s form continues, they will complete a remarkable rise to the top – having joined the Bundesliga only in 2016-17 after being formed in 2009.

In terms of a good outside bet, Schalke offers major value at +250 compared with the current top four contenders.

They narrowly escaped relegation last season and have only been in the top four positions for two weeks in December this season.

However, they have been revitalized under new coach David Wagner and a European qualifying position is their realistic hope.

They won once and drew twice before the break and if they continue in that vein, the top four could be in sight.

Table-Toppers for Two Months

Monchengladbach led the table for over two months from early October to mid-December. They have not been outside of the top four since mid-September.

But they faltered before the break – taking only four points from their final three fixtures in December.

They lost 2-1 away at Wolfsburg and were then held 0-0 at home by Jurgen Klinsmann’s Hertha Berlin following a 2-0 victory against Paderborn.

They have won 11 times, drawn twice and lost four times. They kick off the league’s resumption of action with a critical fixture away against Schalke on Friday.

Unusually, Bayern have led the table only once back in late September in a campaign in which they have been more impressive in the Champions League.

Monchengladbach have scored only 33 goals all season while Red Bull have hit 48. Bayern have scored 46 and Dortmund have struck 41 among Monchengladbach’s top-four rivals.

Unusually, Bayern have led the table only once back in late September in a campaign in which they have been more impressive in the Champions League.

Coach Kovac Shown the Door

Manager Niko Kovac was fired on November 3 and has been replaced in an interim capacity by Hans-Dieter Flick.

A run of three straight wins before the shut-down – including a 6-1 thrashing of Werder Bremen – saw them climb from fifth place into third spot.

They have the services of the in-form Polish striker Robert Lewandowski who has hit 30 goals for the club already this season – including 19 in the Bundesliga which puts him on top of the competition’s scoring charts ahead of Red Bull’s Werner.

Munich are so powerful they should never be discounted at this stage of the season; which is why they are excluded from the odds.

Their main focus will be on attempting to win the Champions League for the first time since 2013 but it is unthinkable that they will finish outside of the top four.

Dortmund led for the first two weeks of the season and have been in the top four for the last four rounds of fixtures. They lost their final match before the break when they succumbed 2-1 to Hoffenheim after a 3-3 draw against Leipzig.

They must hope that new arrival Haaland revives their fortunes.

Picks: Red Bull Leipzig (-3333); Borussia Dortmund (-500); Schalke 04 (+250)

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