Bremen was one of the form teams of the German Bundesliga in the second half of last season so one is keen to be on the right side of the River Islanders in the upcoming campaign.
Alexander Nouri got the call to manage Bremen after just three German Bundesliga rounds last term and, while the River Islanders were inconsistent under his leadership for the first five months of his tenure, they came really good in the middle of February and ended the season as one of Germany’s most improved sides. Bremen went on an 11-game German Bundesliga run featuring nine wins and two draws before the River Islanders scored three goals in losing high-scoring matches versus Koln, Hoffenheim and Dortmund.
Eighth on the German Bundesliga ladder was a remarkable finishing position for a Bremen team that was a relegation candidate under its outgoing coach, Viktor Skrypnyk. Nouri did not fix Bremen’s creaky defence – the River Islanders managed only six clean sheets in their 34 German Bundesliga games – but he did inspire his players to score 61 goals, firing just two blanks. Bremen had the misfortune to run into three German Bundesliga sides with something for which to play in the final three rounds – Koln, Hoffenheim and Dortmund – otherwise the River Islanders may have bounced back from being 0-0-4 to qualify for the UEFA Europa League.
BetStars is offering odds of +138 about Bremen finishing the German Bundesliga tournament that will kick off on Friday 18 August with a spot in the top nine, which equates to ending up on the top half of the ladder. At the time of writing, Bremen has lost Serge Gnabry and Florian Grillitsch to Hoffenheim – the former via a loan from Bayern Munchen and the latter via a direct transfer – but the River Islanders are holding on to Max Kruse and their other key players.
According to BetStars, Bayern Munchen, Dortmund and Leipzig are no offers to make the German Bundesliga top nine, with Hoffenheim, Leverkusen, Schalke, Monchengladbach, Wolfsburg and Koln favoured to round out the list ahead of Bremen, Frankfurt, Hertha, Stuttgart, Hannover, Freiburg, Mainz, Hamburg and Augsburg. One is far from convinced that the likes of Leverkusen, Schalke, Monchengladbach and Wolfsburg have what it takes to overtake Bremen after ending the last German Bundesliga competition below the River Islanders.
BetStars has Leverkusen pegged as the German Bundesliga’s fifth strongest contender even though it posted a record of 11-8-15 last season and it has not been sufficiently active in the transfer market to expect miracles this term. It is a similar story for Schalke, which was 10th in the German Bundesliga last season, Monchengladbach, which will be attempting to improve on ninth, and Wolfsburg, which had to beat Braunschweig in the promotion/relegation play-off.
Put a pen through the opening couple months of last term’s German Bundesliga and Bremen was one of the division’s top performers – the River Islanders ranked 10th over the final five rounds, fourth over the final 10 rounds, third over the final 15 rounds, fifth over the final 20 rounds, fifth over the final 25 rounds and fifth over the final 30 rounds.
One accepts that Bremen will find it really tough to break into the German Bundesliga top four this season but the River Islanders are more likely to finish on the top half of the ladder than below halfway and, consequently, BetStars should not be quoting them at odds of +138 for the top nine.
Werder Bremen to finish in the top half