For those unfamiliar, this will serve as a quick breakdown of the layout and structure of club football (soccer) in Germany.
The top tier of German football is called the Bundesliga (18 teams). The next divisions below the Bundesliga are 2. Bundesliga (18 teams), and 3. Liga (20 teams). The Bundesliga features FC Bayern Munich, one of the world’s most popular club teams. The league currently has a television contract with FOX for viewers in the United States. Seasons typically begin in August and end in May with each team playing each other twice (once each on each other’s home pitch) for a total of 34 games for each team. At the end of each season, the bottom two or three teams are relegated down to 2. Bundesliga, while two or three other teams are promoted up from 2. Bundesliga for the following season.
DFB-Pokal (German Cup): 64 teams, including all teams from the Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga, compete in this season-long competition. Matches are played periodically throughout the club season intertwining with the Bundesliga schedule. The winner of the cup gets a berth in the following season’s Europa League competition as well as a spot in the German Supercup match.
DFL-Supercup (German Supercup): single match contest played in August at a neutral site between the winners of the Bundesliga and the DFB-Pokal from the previous season.
Notes from 2017-2018 season:
Bundesliga Champion – Bayern Munich
DFB-Pokal Champion – Eintracht Frankfurt
German Super Cup Winner – Bayern Munich
Bundesliga Promoted teams – Dusseldorf, Nurnberg
Bundesliga Relegated teams – Hambuger SV, FC Koln
Champions League ’18-’19 Qualifiers – Bayern Munich, Schalke, Hoffenheim, Dortmund
Europa League ’18-’19 Qualifiers – Bayer Leverkusen, Eintracht Frankfurt, Red Bull Leipzig
The 2018-2019 Bundesliga season kicks off August 24, 2018. The preseason odds to win the league are shown here: