Bundesliga’s unique relegation system explained – and who is involved

The Bundesliga is set to return this weekend.

The German league is made up of 18 teams, and apart from Eintracht Frankfurt and Werder Bremen who have 10 games left to play, all teams still have nine matches left this season.

One of the big battles still to be played out in the Bundesliga is the relegation battle.

However, the Bundesliga’s relegation system is slightly different from those used in other countries, including England’s Premier League.

English football fans are used to seeing three teams drop, with the top two in the tier below receiving automatic promotion and those that finish third to sixth battling for the third promotion place in the play-offs.

How Bundesliga relegation works

The bottom two teams are automatically relegated, switching leagues with the top two in 2. Bundesliga (the second division), who enjoy guaranteed promotion.

The team that finishes 16th in the top tier has one more chance to escape relegation as they enter a two-leg play-off against the third-place team in 2. Bundesliga.

The top flight side hosts the first leg, while the second tier team has home advantage in the second match.

If the play-off is tied after two legs then away goals come into play meaning those scored on the road count double.

If that can’t separate the teams, then extra-time and even penalties will be used to determine who gets that last remaining Bundesliga spot for the following season.

Bundesliga 2019/20

Currently the bottom three of the Bundesliga looks like this:

Fortuna Düsseldorf – 22 points

Werder Bremen – 18 points

Paderborn – 16 points

Just above them these three are Mainz (26 points), Augsburg (27 points), Augsburg and Eintracht Frankfurt (both 28 points).

In 2. Bundesliga, the top three going into the remaining fixtures post-lockdown are:

Bielefeld – 51 points

VfB Stuttgart – 45 points

Hamburg – 44 points

Just behind them, on 41 points, are Heidenheim.

As things stand Paderborn and 2004 Bundesliga champions Werder Bremen will be dropping down a division with Bielefeld and VfB Stuttgart – relegated last season via the play-offs – moving up.

Fortuna Düsseldorf and Hamburg would then enter the play-off.

However, with nine matches to go, there's still plenty of time for things to change before the season ends.

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