2014-15 Bundesliga Power Rankings: Match Day 6

We are back with the 2014-15 Bundesliga Power Rankings – the post-Match Day 6 edition. Since our last edition, we have a number Nummer Eins and a new Nummer Achtzehn (uh oh!). And some good shuffling.

Reminder: the Power Rankings do not necessarily reflect the current table standings, since they account both for form and expectations, all the while acknowledging the fluctuation and random effects riddled through a single match day weekend, yet also acknowledging that the weekly randomness  does something like work itself out over the long run.

Thus, we proudly present our Match Day 4 Power Rankings. Debate. Discuss. Rinse and repeat. Huzzah!

Key: RH = Randall Hauk, TT = Travis Timmons.

Match Day 6 Power Rankings

RANK CLUB  RECORD COMMENTS
1

FC Bayern München

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4-2-0 There they are. Back atop the league and barely breaking a sweat, despite playing multiple matches each week for what seems like forever, counting the World Cup in which most of their squad participated. They’re confident and cruising and don’t even appear to have reached their full powers yet. (RH)It was inevitable. Now they’re here. Who were we kidding the past five weeks? It’s Oktober Fest, which means Bayern is beginning to reach a top-ish gear. Already, Bayern has a +9 GD and Mario Götze’s emerged as the early top goal-scorer. Naturally, with all that possession and completed passes, Bayern lead the league in shots and shots on target per match – they have the Bundesliga’s lowest % of shots taken outside the box. The metrics are looking champion-like already. (TT)
2

Borussia Mönchengladbach

Borussia Monchengladbach

3-3-0 The Foals have played ten matches in three competitions, losing exactly zero of them. They haven’t always looked like world-beaters, but you cannot deny their persistence. They deserve the second spot for now, and there isn’t another club consistently grabbing points despite fluctuations in form. Once all the newcomers are fully comfortable in their new surroundings . . . watch out. (RH)Back-to-back wins against Paderborn and HSV boosted confidence, even if the Foals won both matches narrowly. Nonetheless, Favre’s Gladbach have demonstrated just how versatile – short passing, yet capable of absorbing pressure and countering – and deep they are. The attack looks mighty, but the defense is still conceding a relatively high clip of shots. (TT)
3

Bayer Leverkusen

Bayer Leverkusen

3-2-1 You can’t really be too blown away by the 4:1 loss at Wolfsburg, nor the 0:0 at Freiburg, even if B04 down to ten men by the 28th minute, thanks to the magic of Emir Spahic. Yet this side is dangerous even when sputtering, living up to their ‘Vizekusen’ nickname, but they have a chance to go on a decent run, which they sparked with home win against Benefica in UCL play this week. (RH)We’re making up our minds: B04 belong here (up from 7th last time). They’re balanced. And fun to watch. Now it’s stability and consistency they seek, especially with the gift of BVB and Schalke sputtering around. (TT)
4

1899 Hoffenheim

1899 Hoffenheim

2-4-0 The defense appears, by and large, to be recovered from last season’s disastrous performance that would have gotten sides with less-productive offenses relegated directly. Unfortunately, the offense seems to have largely disappeared with the stouter defensive efforts. Score three and surrender three or score zero and surrender zero, neither style is going to get yoy better than mid-table, if that. Where is Kevin Volland? (RH)
5

1. FSV Mainz 05

FSV Mainz 05

2-4-0 One of three undefeateds left (Bayern and Hoffenheim). Shinji Okazaki leads the Bundesliga with 5 goals. Their 2-2 draw against Eintracht was followed by a 0-0 puzzler against Hoffenheim. For now, M05 is riding the table’s upper reaches. However, some metrics are troubling: Mainz ranks toward the bottom in shots per match (and their 4.2 shots on target per match seems unsustainable, given their broader shots rate), as well as in shots conceded per match (they’re leaky!). Is a table drop looming? (TT)
6

VfL Wolfsburg

VfL Wolfsburg

2-2-2 Wolfsburg’s roster is not a mid-table collection of personnel, so I don’t get why I’m struggling to put VfL this high in the rankings … except I’ve never been a fan of Dieter Hecking. After the mid-week loss in Berlin and an unconvincing 2:1 win over a Werder side that looked a disaster, is mid-table too high? Eventually, VfL’s talent will win out, just as it did last year, but someone needs to start asking what’s wrong with this side. (RH)A club better than their record. The sample size of matches is still small enough for random stuff to over-determine our evaluations of clubs. Sure, losing to Hertha is embarrassing, but odd losses like this happen to top 7 sides like VfL. On the bright side, Ricardo Rodriguez is on fire. And, speaking of over-determined evaluations, that de Brunye-to-Rodriguez assist and goal was sumptuous. (TT)
7

Schalke 04

Schalke 04

2-2-2 Jens Keller is already announcing his candidacy for the “great escape” of the season. Just like last autumn, the betting on which day Keller would be fired was hot and heavy – then things turned around. Consecutive victories, including the all-important home leg of the Revierderby with BVB, certainly reduces the heat for now. Although the home draw against UCL underdog NK Maribor was disappointing, S04 is strengthening their stride in Bundesliga play. (RH)
8

FC Augsburg

FC Augsburg

3-0-3 Thus far, this current FCA side certainly lacks last season squad’s impressive defensive unity nor do they have the same surprising attacking sting (farewell, Andre Hahn!). Daniel Baier looks tired. Sascha Mölders is an injured ghost. Toby Werner is looking for love. And Kevin Vogt is missed. Nonetheless, Weinzerl’s boys continually find a way to chug along, especially as man-tank Raul Bobadilla emerges as a kult-klassic in the making. (TT)
9

Eintracht Frankfurt

EIntracht Frankfurt

2-3-1 An extra-time free kick is the difference between a draw in Hamburg landing Eintracht in 11th place and their actual rise to 7th in the table with a 1:2 victory. They’re still the only side to concede a goal to HSV, so there’s that. They’ve taken points off some decent clubs so far, as well. Thomas Schaaf’s side began a run of three matches against clubs currently in the table’s lower half with the victory in Hamburg, so Frankfurt has a chance to skyrocket up the charts soon. (RH)
10

Borussia Dortmund

Borussia Dortmund

2-3-1 Things are not great in Dortmund right now. Since the thrill of beating Arsenal in Champions League, Dortmund’s lone point from three domestic matches required a comeback-effort against VfB when BVB spotted their scoring challenged guests a 2-0 lead. However, a loss to Schalke in the Revierderby is the coarsest salt in the wounds. Yet nobody writes Dortmund off and for good reason. For now, though, they’re a middling league side. (RH)BVB have temporarily forgotten how to win. Blame the injuries (yes, things got worse). Blame the poor shot-selection. Blame the dearth of any quality play-making. Blame schedule congestion. Blame random effect / bad luck. Blame the stars and deities. It’s blame time in Dortmund. Luckily, BVB enters a stretch of scheduling balm (HSV, Köln, and H96). And Illy G. is back! (TT)
11

Hannover 96

Hannover 96

3-1-2  I don’t care if they’re in a European spot. I don’t care if Tayfun Korkut does seem to get value from his side. I look at the list of results and the way they’re playing and see disaster on the horizon. I’m just out in front of it. Don’t be shocked if there is a huge fluctuation in their goal differential in the coming three-match stretch. Ron-Robert Zieler is good, but one man can do only so much. You’ve been warned. (RH)
12

Paderborn 07

SC Paderborn 07

2-2-2

Reality is here. And Paderborn registered back-to-back losses, albeit to league giants Bayern and Gladbach. The Bayern loss was rough, but expected. However, the loss in M’Gbach looks something like a moral victory: P07 stormed out in attacking formation from the beginning, tempering the dangerous attacking Foals. P07 lost, but kept its “spirit” intact. The question is how long can the debutants keep up the plucky attitude? (TT)

13

1. FC Köln

FC Koln

1-3-2 Surrendering just three goals in six matches is great! Especially when one of those matches was against the galactic all-star squad that is Bayern München. But scoring just two goals and in only one of the six matches … that’s not going to keep a side in the Bundesliga. You can easily lose 1:0 in a match you dominate if you can’t score, which is what happened in Hannover mid-week. Peter Stöger needs to get his offense clicking soon to avoid dropping into the table’s danger zone. (RH)
14

Hertha Berlin

Hertha Berlin

1-2-3 Boy, where to start? On the surface, things might not appear too bad. However, this club looks severely challenged offensively from the run of play, ranking close to last in shots created per match. Hello, set pieces. Swiss starlet Valentine Stocker can’t get in form quickly enough for HSC. Defensively, Hertha is stingy, but plays on a knife’s edge, leading the league in fouls committed and is among the leaders in cards accumulated. Risky business. (TT)
15

VfB Stuttgart

VfB Stuttgart

1-2-3 Armin Veh was rewarded for keeper switch with a clean sheet and Stuttgart’s first win of the season, downing Hannover 1:0. Or was this match a reward for the firing of sporting director Fredi Bobic? Whichever, Stuttgart has finally escaped the ranks of the winless. You still wouldn’t say they showed much that would make any of their upcoming matches obvious opportunities for points, but a win is progress. Take what you get with this side until they show better. (RH)
16

SC Frieburg

SC Freiburg

0-4-2 A frustrating team to watch, simply because you can catch glimpses of potential here and there (Sorg, Günter, Schuster, Philipp, Darida, Frantz, and Klaus). Meanwhile, Bürki has emerged as a super exciting new keeper. The results just haven’t followed. SCF look disorganized in attack and simply over-matched defensively against the better league sides (e.g. BVB). However, I can’t imagine this club not hitting their stride eventually as they meld into a unit. I’m counting on it. (TT)
17

Werder Bremen

Werder Bremen

0-3-3 Ugh … remember what I said about the defense-on-roller-skates not showing so far? Well, cancel that. Werder is plummeting toward the second division, currently on a run of three losses. Their next four opponents are Freiburg, Köln, Stuttgart, and Paderborn. Can Robin Dutt use a good home stretch to turn things back toward safety? (RH)Werder already look like a relegated side. They just simply cannot score goals and, making matters worse, have what’s probably the league’s worst defense (leaking shots – most in the league – poor movement, etc). Alas, take a look at the squad sheet and see if you can figure out who leads this proud and storied club out of the wilderness this season. Nobody. (TT)
18

 Hamburger SV

Hamburg SV

0-2-4 Well, they scored. Finally. It’s still a pretty rough looking bunch that let a point slip from their grasp Sunday, but they may be trending toward improvement with the new attitude being infused by Joe Zinnbauer. Theoretically, there’s enough here to keep this team from being in the cellar. Then again, you’d have said the same of last year’s relegation-worthy side. We’ll wait to see something tangible before delivering too much credit. (RH)Yay for a goal! But HSV don’t even look close to winning a match yet. And they can’t blame Mr. Crossbar, like Hinrunde-win challenged FC Nürnberg from a season ago. The dinosaur is definitely cruising toward relegation at this pace – and looking like a club who could benefit from such a fall from grace. (TT)

What do you think about our latest Power Rankings? Share your adoration or vent your angry-troll-steam in the comments below. 

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