2014-15 Bundesliga Power Rankings: Matchday 31

We are back with the 2014-15 Bundesliga Power Rankings – the post-Match Day 31 edition. Since our last edition, the Foals remain #1 as Bayern try to weather ungodly injuries, winning the title, and clinging on for dear life in the Champions League. Leverkusen surge on and past die Roten, while Paderborn make – perhaps – one last climb this season. Finally, HSV leave the cellar and Hannover settle into last place.

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 31 Power Rankings. Debate. Discuss. Rinse and repeat!

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

Rank Movement Form Club Comments



 4-1-0  ‘Gladbach

Borussia Monchengladbach

The unbeaten streak of die Fohlen has now run to eleven matches, including eight victories, which has helped Mönchengladbach climb to within two points of second place. Saturday’s match with visiting Leverkusen presents a huge opportunity for Lucien Favre’s crew to take firmer grip of a group-stage berth in Champions League. Nobody in the Bundesliga is playing better than these guys right now. (RH)


(up 1)

 4-1-0 Bayer Leverkusen

Bayer Leverkusen

Die Werkself are arguably as hot as Gladbach and unbeaten in ten straight matches. Their latest achievement was blanking champs Bayern 2-0 at home last Saturday. The result wasn’t a fluke: Leverkusen were easily better than Bayern’s “B” Team. Only 2 points separate Leverkusen and Gladbach (3rd place), while only 4 points separate B04 and VfL (2nd place). Leverkusen are smelling lovely right now. (TT)


(down 1)


 Bayern Munich


Bayern has won all but two of their last twelve matches in the Bundesliga, dropping an 0:2 at home to Mönchengladbach several weeks ago and then a 2:0 in Leverkusen last weekend. But let’s face it, as much as Leverkusen earned that victory on the field, Bayern was playing that match with the league title in their pocket and an eye toward keeping their squad healthy and rested for the upcoming Champions League semifinal against FC Barcelona. Even with all the injuries, a determined Bayern would be formidable enough to have given Leverkusen a tougher fight. That said, you get judged here on actual performance and not theoretical. Otherwise, there is even less point to the concept of these rankings. (RH)




 VfL Wolfsburg

VfL Wolfsburg

Meh. After drawing H96 (!) 2-2 last week, VfL have gone winless in three matches now, losing at surging Gladbach and drawing at feckless Schalke along the way. Uninspiring. However, the Wolves are in the Pokal final and still sit in 2nd place in the table. Besides, no one else in the Bundesliga has won more than 2 of their last 5 matches. Yes, VfL are ugly at #4 in our rankings, but someone’s gotta sit here as a sort of “first among colleagues of form.” Hold your nose, if need be. (TT)


(up 3)


Werder Bremen

Werder Bremen

Considering Werder’s start to 2015, they might have expected more from their recent road schedule, but considering how the season started, a loss at Stuttgart and a draw at Paderborn were never completely out of the question. The current gap to a Europa League spot is just one point. Should Werder ultimately fail to close it, they’ll look back on those dropped points as big opportunities missed. This weekend’s trip to Hannover is another big test for Werder’s resolve. (RH)


(up 4)

 2-1-2 Borussia Dortmund

Borussia Dortmund


Back-t0-back wins and a huge penalty shootout win against Bayern in the Pokal semi-finals. A wild run in recent weeks for BVB, as Kloppo’s final campaign almost enters its laudatory conclusion. However, a Europa League slot still it not secured and two battles against VfL loom ahead. At least almost the squad is looking healthier and has only one match a week from here on out. Sunny-side up is the mood on the Borsigplatz. (TT)


(up 2)


Mainz 05

FSV Mainz 05

Mainz’s two-match winning streak came to a screeching halt via a home loss to the HSV, but that shouldn’t detract too much from the fact that a season that seemed headed for disaster has been largely steered away from a wreck by coach Martin Schmidt. A win this weekend in Stuttgart would clinch their spot in next year’s Bundesliga. Mainz will likely be happy with that, all things considered. (RH)


(down 1)

 1-3-1  FC Köln

FC Koln

The biggest recent news has happened off the pitch: Ujah signing for Werder next season and Hennes’ most unholy and goaty image profaning the Hoover Dam. On the pitch, Effzeh have drawn 3 in a row after trading a loss (to SCF) and a win (to Hoffenheim). Mostly, the Billy Goats are an unpleasant defensive chore for opponents. But it’s working. FCK looks solidly set for returning to the top flight next season.  (TT)


(up 7!)


 SC Paderborn

SC Paderborn 07

Just when a promoted side appeared ready to zombie-stagger their way back to the second division, Paderborn has started scoring goals again, taking seven points from their last four matches and announcing they will at least not go quietly. Wolfsburg and Schalke are tough matches, as both are still fighting for their European fates. However the SCP emerges from those, expect a frantic atmosphere when they close the season in front of their own fans against Stuttgart, potentially with the fate of both participants hanging in the balance. (RH)


(up 1)



1899 Hoffenheim

Three losses? you complain. Yes, I know. But one was to Bayern and another was 2-3 to Effzeh. However, the Hoff’s last two matches – a win at Hannover and a home draw to Dortmund – bear the markings of a coming positive run. And why not? Volland, Firmino, and Modeste lead the attack ahead of what’s still a pretty darn good defense. My money’s on Hoffenheim’s form bearing good fruit in coming weeks. (TT)


(up 7)


Hamburger SV

Hamburg SV

Five goals scored in their last two matches is nearly 24% of their season total. Granted, one was an own goal, but own goals still can win points. Everyone gets a bit of good fortune here and there, and HSV seems to be getting some at precisely the best time. Consecutive victories under new coach Bruno Labbadia have Hamburg up to 14th in the table with head-to-heads against Freiburg and Stuttgart coming next. A little more good fortune and solid, if not overly impressive, play should be enough to let the dinosaur escape relegation yet again. Though, this side has not won more than twice consecutively all season, so don’t schedule the stadium clock for regular maintenance just yet. (RH)


(down 7)

 1-3-1 Schalke 04

Schalke 04

For neutrals and purists alike, S04 must be the league’s most maddening side. They promise so much each week – Huntelaar, Meyer, Draxler (he’s back!), Sane, KPB – but deliver so little. Easily the league’s most listless team. Their somewhat surprising 3-2 home win over VfB was long overdue. At to this match, Schalke has looked like it just doesn’t give a crap. Gawd, can you wonder what that locker room has been like lately? Yikes. Surely, the Gelsenkirchen faithful are meticulously counting down the days till di Matteo’s departure. (TT)


(down 2)


FC Augsburg

FC Augsburg

It seems like Augsburg can do nothign to sabotage what has been a remarkable season for them. Despite a poor Rückrunde, the FCA remain in a European spot, as they’ve done since match day 12. Whether they can continue to depend on the failings of their competition for three more weeks may come into play, as it’s trips to Bayern and Mönchengladbach on either side of a home visit from a desperate Hannover to finish the season. A win over Stuttgart and a pair of scoreless draws from their last seven matches does little to speak for Augsburg’s likelihood of getting to Europe under their own power. (RH)


(down 8)


Hertha Berlin

Hertha Berlin

Remember the not-so-distant days when BSC were #6 in our rankings (last time!) after stringing together an impressive string of results? Those look long gone. The capitol city club are winless in four matches, yet haven’t been blown out, even holding almighty Bayern to a 0-1 win. Perhaps it’s simply a run of bad luck for Hertha. Nonetheless, the Yellow Wall in Dortmund awaits on Saturday – and the home team is playing for Europe. It could get ugly. (TT)



 2-1-2  VfB Stuttgart

VfB Stuttgart

Huub Stevens’s crew has taken points in four consecutive home matches and play their next two at home against Mainz and Hamburg before finishing the season in Paderborn. Stuttgart will likely need at least one victory from those matches to avoid the direct drop, but after blowing a 2:0 lead to Freiburg and a 1:2 advantage in Schalke, the latter in spectacularly error-prone fashion, it’s not difficult to imagine this side crashing and burning their way into the second division. A sad departure for one of the few clubs other than Bayern or Dortmund to celebrate a league title in recent memory can still be avoided, but erroneous back passes, bumbled clearance attempts and own goals are not helping. (RH)


(down 3)

 1-2-2  SC Freiburg

SC Freiburg

After beating Köln 1-0, SC Freiburg have drawn Schalke (0-0) and VfB (2-2), while losing to Mainz (2-3) and Paderborn (1-2). Given the strength of their opponents and disappointing results, it’s no mistake that SCF sit down at #16 in our rankings and in the table. Their attack rarely has answers and their defensive inevitably commits the one mistake that tips a match. Tough luck. Reality bites, etc. Relegation’s deathly pall is visible. Come on, Herr Streich, turn the boat! (TT)


(down 3)


 Eintracht Frankfurt

EIntracht Frankfurt

Losing Alex Meier for the season has done nothing good for Eintracht Frankfurt. Having won just two points from their last five matches, the European finish that has been within reach all season can now be pretty much written off, and fans can instead look forward to having their Bundesliga 2015-16 spot clinched by the failings of others in the next weeks, whether their squad can scrape together a few more points or not. (RH)


(down 1)

 0-3-2  Hannover 96

Hannover 96

Holy cow. Betcha H96 couldn’t buy a win with all Martin Kind’s fortune right now. By this tragic point in the season, the Hannover boys equal part victims of hideously bad luck and psychology, as demonstrated by their -18 GD, certainly not the worst GD in the Bundesliga, but definitely very bad. Northern rivals Werder visit on Saturday – could this be H96’s final chance for a Rückrunde win? (TT)

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