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Tuesday Hoddle of Coffee, Soccer News and Links, February 14, 2017

What’s going on in the Bundesliga?

Real Madrid CF v Borussia Dortmund - UEFA Champions League Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

While I suspect that most of us have spent the majority of our time obsessing over the race for top four in England, the German race for the same places may be even crazier:

bundesliga table

The top of the table is predictable enough. Everything after it is crazy:

  • The second-placed team is in their first ever season in the top flight.
  • Third-place Entracht has been a yoyo club for 20 years and has only finished in the top half of the table in the top flight three times in the past 20 campaigns.
  • Fourth-placed Dortmund was expected to give Bayern a run for the title and was even favored by many in the pre-season given Carlo Ancelotti’s poor domestic record.
  • Fifth-place through eight-place are all more yoyo clubs and fifth-placed Hoffenheim is managed by a 29-year-old.
  • 9th-placed Bayer were thought to be third-favorites for the title in preseason while 10th-placed ‘Gladbach and 11th-placed Schalke are traditionally Champions League staples.

If you go further down the table, you see that Wolfsburg, Werder Bremen, and Hamburg, all traditional giants, are all in danger of falling into the second division where another traditional power and former Bundesliga champion, Stuttgart, is currently playing.

To be sure, German football (after Bayern, at least) is usually more combustible and unpredictable than Spain, England, or even Italy, although Italy is veering more and more German with the Milan sides struggling and Juventus becoming their Bayern. Even so, that is a crazy table. Indeed, it is entirely possible that the four Champions League teams could end up being Bayern plus three relatively minor clubs, historically speaking. (Just watch the purists lose their minds if the top four includes Bayern, RBL, and Hoffenheim.)

On to the Links:

The Philadelphia Union are hiring a chief tattoo officer.

Speaking of the BuLi, what exactly happened this weekend to Dortmund?

Will Monaco manager Leonardo Jardim jump to a major club soon?

LigaMX is going to start streaming matches in English in the United States via Facebook Live starting this weekend which includes a Super Clasico on Saturday night.