Bundesliga relegation odds and tips: Miracles needed from the bottom three

There are only eight league games left to play for the teams fighting at both ends of the Bundesliga table. Before the winter break, it looked as though there could be a fierce relegation battle in Germany, however, that certainly hasn't played out.

Having qualified for the Champions League last season, Union Berlin found themselves amid a relegation scrap before the break but since then and a January transfer window, they've now manoeuvred their way out of danger.

The bottom three is more than likely set to remain the same from here until the end of the season, but there's still plenty to fight for between the trio of Darmstadt, Cologne and Mainz. Mainly, regarding who will be taking up the relegation play-off spot and handing themselves one final lifeline.

Bundesliga relegation odds
Mainz picked up a huge three points vs Bochum on Saturday – Photo by Icon Sport

Bundesliga relegation odds and tips – Latest news

Mainz picking up late-season form

An atrocious start to the season saw Mainz go nine games without a victory in the Bundesliga and that is the crux of why they're in the bottom three so late in the campaign. It was only last month when Mainz managed to pick up their second win of the campaign so they have been anything but consistently good.

However, they have now picked up seven points from their last five league meetings – sandwiched either side of an 8-1 defeat – which has seen them close the gap to those sitting outside the dreaded drop zone. Mainz are now just six points behind Bochum who they beat 2-0 on Saturday and this could well be what kickstarts their survival push.

Cologne have their faith in their own hands

Despite sitting second from bottom in the Bundesliga, Cologne have a huge upper hand on some of the teams around them in this nervous run-in. Cologne still have to play Darmstadt who are bottom, Mainz just one point and place above them and Bochum, who occupy the much-craved safety spot.

So, if Cologne can do the business and win those three games their odds of staying in the Bundesliga will improve drastically. But with just three wins in the league all season, the likelihood of them picking up another nine points before the end of the campaign looks rather unlikely.

Darmstadt in Bundesliga action
Darmstadt are 12 points from safety in the Bundesliga – Photo by Icon Sport

Bundesliga relegation battle odds and tips – Current outrights

Darmstadt – 1/50

After being promoted from 2. Bundesliga last season finishing in second spot, it’s hardly gone well for Darmstadt, having occupied the bottom spot in the Bundesliga for the majority of the season and won just two matches.

Darmstadt appear to be going straight back down to 2. Bundesliga after just one season in Germany's top flight. They won back-to-back league matches at the beginning of October but haven't been able to win another league game since. It looks to have been one step too far for Darmstadt having conceded at least three goals on 11 separate occasions and been the whipping boys this term.

Cologne celebrating in the Bundesliga
Cologne have slight hopes of staying in Germany's top division – Photo by Icon Sport

Cologne – 5/11

Cologne are a very inconsistent team right now having gone on a run of losing and drawing for six straight games and while picking up points will help, they need wins more than just a draw every other week.

The second-bottom side still have to play all the teams around them but given they've drawn the second-most matches in the Bundesliga this season, it's difficult to see them coming out victorious on enough occasions to save their status.

Mainz – 7/11

As mentioned above, Mainz find themselves in the best possible spot out of the three teams favoured to drop down a division this summer. If the season was to finish right now, then Mainz would have a chance of staying up due to the relegation play-off being in effect in Germany.

While this has given them a last lifeline to ave their Bundesliga status, Mainz have aspirations to take care of business and leapfrog Bochum, despite there being a six-point gap. Mainz just beat Bochum at home on Saturday and still have Cologne and Darmstadt to come to the Mewa Arena, which will see them as favourites in both games.

How does the Bundesliga relegation playoff work?

In the Bundesliga, the bottom two sides are automatically relegated to the second tier but unlike some of Europe’s other leagues, the side who finish third bottom of the standings have to take part in a relegation play-off.

In Germany, that consists of a two-legged match facing the side who finish third in 2. Bundesliga in the same campaign. As of last season, only three sides have ever been promoted via the promotion play-off from the country’s second division since the current system came into place in 2008/2009 – 1.FC Nürnberg in 2009, Fortuna Düsseldorf in 2012 and, the latest club, Union Berlin in 2019.

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Aaron is a multi-skilled sports content writer and media professional. He is a specialist in both Men's and Women's football, along with golf.