Predicting the Bundesliga table of the 2020/2021 season

The first matchday of the Bundesliga season 2020/2021 is almost upon us and the anticipation is slowly rising. Dortmund have been doing well on the transfermarket this summer with new signings Thomas Meunier, Jude Bellingham and the loan of Reinier (see Even better, it looks like Borussia Dortmund may be allowed to let a reduced number of people into the stadium to watch the games live this season, starting on Saturday. While I am sure the atmosphere will be different than before COVID, it would be great to see and hear spectators at games again. Hopefully everybody in the stadium will comply with COVID regulations though and this won’t cause further outbreaks!

This season is ramping up to be again an uphill battle for Borussia Dortmund. While reinforcements in the squad should help them bridge the many games throughout the season, it will still be difficult to beat the bavarians. Bayern Munich have proven that they are the kings of European soccer at the moment. Their recent run to win the Champions League title has been incredible to watch and they don’t seem to be slowing down, with recent signing Leroy Sane poised to be one of the top attackers this season.

I do enjoy thinking about which position each club might find themselves at the end of the season and wanted to share my predictions here with you. I also compare my personal predictions with those from the FiveThirtyEight Bundesliga rankings and with ranks based on the market values from all teams. The market values have been taken from Team logos have been downloaded from the ESPN website and are the same as in the Bundesliga table by FiveThirtyEight. SD of rank is the standard deviation of all three rankings. A high value indicates strong diagreement between the rankings, while a low value indicates that all scores are in strong agreement. For example, all 3 rankings agree that Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund will likely place first and second respectively, as well as Arminia Bielefeld being demoted at the end of the season. Predicted positions for SC Freiburg and Schalke 04 however highly diverge, indicating that it is likely more difficult to properly place these sides in the final table.

Here are my predictions for the Bundesliga season 2020/2021. Scroll further to find my personal guesses for the Torjaegerkanone (Golden boot), most assists, player of the Season and youth player of the season. These predictions are not based on any formal statistical analysis but are just my views and opinions based on experience and some of the data presented here (and maybe hopes in the case of Dortmund!). The table has been created based on the demo for reactable for the Women’s world cup and the FiveThirtyEight Bundesliga table, although my version is way less beautiful than these two amazing tables.

Logos from: ESPN, FiveThirtyEight rankings: FiveThirtyEigth club soccer rankings , Market values rankings:

Obviously the chances of Bayern winning the league for a consecutive 9th time in a row are much higher (about 81% based on FiveThirtyEight) than Dortmund’s chances. However, as a fan, I have to make the bet on my team and hope that this will be the year. In the last two years, it has been close at times and Dortmund supporters can still hang on to hope, that this will be the season the Bavarians are finally kicked off the throne of the Bundesliga.

Here are my predictions for who will score the most goals, most assists and who will be the standout senior and youth player of the season.

Torjaegerkanone (Golden boot) : Erling Halaand (28 goals) Erling Halaand Image source:

Most assists : Thomas Mueller Thomas Mueller Image source:

Player of the season : Serge Gnabry Serge Gnabry Image source:

Youth player of the season : Jude Bellingham Serge Gnabry Image source:

It’s going to be an exciting season 2020/2021 !!!

Florian Wünnemann
Florian Wünnemann

Postdoc in Heidelberg working on spatial OMICS technologies and data analysis. I am also a big soccer fan and love using data analysis and visualization to gain a better understanding of the beautiful game.