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Frauen-Bundesliga mid-season review

As another calendar year starts and as the Frauen-Bundesliga season takes a mid-season break, now seems the right time to reflect on the first half of the season in the top flight of German women’s football.

The league includes 12 teams. The top three teams come the end of the season will qualify automatically for the Champions League for the following season, with the bottom two teams being relegated to the Frauen-Bundesliga 2.

Following a mid-season break the Frauen-Bundesliga will return to action on the 3rd of February when SGS Essen host Köln. 

1st – Wolfsburg

At the halfway point in the season league leaders, Wolfsburg look on track for their 8th league title.

Tommy Stroot’s side has started their league campaign strong winning all ten games, scoring 35 goals and only conceding 5 times. 

There have been many standout players in the Wolfsburg team this season, but Polish striker Ewa Pajor is rightfully getting the praise as she is the current joint top goal scorer in the league with 8 goals.

Wolfsburg will travel to Portugal in January to participate in three friendlies to help with preparation for the restart of the season. The restart will see Stroot and his team travel to SC Freiburg where they will hope to extend their winning run.

2nd – Bayern Munich

Alexander Schueur and his team started their league campaign back in September away to a packed Frankfurt stadium. A hard-fought 0-0 was watched in front of a record Frauen-Bundesliga crowd of 23,000.

After the opening day draw Bayern went on a three-game winning streak scoring 11 times and keeping three clean sheets.

The team's first loss came against Wolfsburg in which they lost 2-1. Bayern are five points behind the league leaders and will look to build ground on them when the two sides play each other again in March. 

There have been many standout players for Bayern this season, one of which is goalkeeper Maria-Lusia Grohs. The 21-year-old has the league’s most clean sheets (8) and has only conceded 3 times.

3rd – Eintracht Frankfurt

Currently, Frankfurt are in third place just 2 points behind Bayern Munich.

Niko Arnautis's side will be aiming for Champions League qualification. The club has a successful history in the Champions League winning it four times, most recently in the 2014/15 season. 

Frankfurt held Bayern Munich to a 0-0 draw earlier on in the season and the reverse fixture in February will likely prove to be massive as to which team looks to catch Wolfsburg. 

After an eight-game unbeaten run at the start of the season, Wolfsburg where the team to end this with Frankfurt suffering a 5-0 away loss.

23-year-old forward, Géraldine Reuteler has been impressive for Arnautis’s side contributing 2 goals and 3 assists so far this season. The Swiss international played at Euro 2022 just months after returning from an ACL injury. Reuteler impressed in Switzerland’s games proving her ability on the international stage, and she will hope to continue her form into 2023.

4th – Freiburg

Freiburg are in a favourable position of fourth and are only four points behind a Champions League spot. Freiburg’s first draw of the season came in their last game against Köln which ended 0-0.

Freiburg have a young squad and two players that have stood out this season are Janina Minge and Lisa Kolb.

Janina Minge is the league's joint top scorer with 8 goals. The German U20 international has been ever-present in the squad for several years after signing in 2015 at the age of 16. 

21-year-old Lisa Kolb has made a visible impact on the team this season. The Austrian international joined last season and has been one of the seasons for Freiburg’s attacking success. 

Manager Theresa Merk will hope her team can find some consistency as they look to push on in the second half of the season. Their next up against leaders Wolfsburg in what will be a challenging game as Wolfsburg are yet to drop points. 

5th – Hoffenheim

Hoffenheim are in 5th position just two points behind Freiburg in fourth. 

Hoffenheim haven’t had a problem scoring this season with 20 goals, but they have struggled to keep goals out, conceding 19 times.

After a difficult start to the season with two losses, Hoffenheim then went on a 5 game-winning run in the league which was ended by giants Bayern Munich. Hoffenheim’s last game was a 1-1 draw with Werder Bremen. They will hope to go on another winning run in 2023 starting against 10th-placed Duisburg early in February.

6th – Bayern Leverkusen 

Currently, in 6th place on goal difference, Leverkusen will hope to pull away from Meppen in the second half of the season as they look to break into the top five positions.

Leverkusen captain Elisa Sneb moved to the club in the summer following two years at Essen. The midfielder is known for her defensive strengths but also has attacking qualities. The 25-year-old has started every game this season for Leverkusen, scoring once with two assists, she has no doubt been crucial to her side. 

Robert de Pauw will hope his team has more discipline going into the second half of the season as his side has picked up the greatest number of yellow cards in the league this season, 20.

Bayern Leverkusen will play strugglers Werder Bremen when the league resumes. Bremen are placed second bottom and are in desperate need of points to help move them out of the relegation zone. Leverkusen will hope for victory as they look to hunt down the top five.

7th – SV Meppen

SV Meppen are currently in 7th position in the league table. The team are yet to draw a game after winning four and losing six.

Standout player Julia Pollak has played in all ten league games. The 20-year-old defender has played 900 minutes of football and has been crucial to her team’s defence, making the greatest number of blocks in the league, 21.

The last match Meppen played was against league leader Wolfsburg which needed in a 3-0 defeat. 

Meppen finished 2022 with a 3-0 defeat to league leaders Wolfsburg, they will hope for a better outcome as they travel to third-placed Frankfurt after the break.

8th – Köln

Köln currently sit in 8th position but are level on points with the two teams below them. Head coach Sascha Glass’s sides; last match was against Freiburg and needed in a 0-0 draw. 

Köln born Ally Gudford has been crucial for her side this season. The dynamic attacking right back is known for her work rate and she currently has made the most successful tackles in the league.

Köln will open 2023 with a trip to Essen as they take on the team directly below them on the table, with both teams on 10 points.

9th – SGS Essen

Currently sitting 9th in the table Essen are level on points with both the team above and below them. Essen avoided getting involved in the relegation zone just before the break with an empathic 6-0 victory over Duisburg.

Essen has the youngest squad in the league this season with an average age of 22.

One of these young players is 19-year-old English forward Maria Edwards. Edwards signed from Manchester United in the summer and has since made eight appearances for the German side.

Essen will take on Köln in their next league game. A game which is set up to be massive for both teams as they look to break away from one another. 

10th – MSV Duisburg

The club was promoted to the Frauen Bundesliga this season, after multiple promotions and relegations to and from the league they will hope to establish themselves as a top-division club. 

The team have picked up three wins and has created a six-point gap between them and the relegation zone, providing a platform for securing Faruen-Bundelsgua status in 2023.

Duisburg came into the break off the back of a heavy defeat to Essen losing 6-0. Walter Schneck’s side will hope to bounce back from this and pick up more crucial points against Hoffenheim in early February.

11th – Werder Bremen

Werder Bremen are still looking for their first three points of the season as they find themselves now six points behind 10th-placed Duisburg and in the relegation zone. The team have picked up four draws but are in the need of the all-important three points.

In October Werder Bremen pushed Wolfsburg all the way in a game which ended in a 3-2 defeat. Despite the result, that game gave the side hope and proved their attacking capabilities against a top side.

Werder Bremen played out a 1-1 draw with Hoffenheim in their last game of 2022. The German defender Michaela Brandenburg put her side ahead early on only for it to be cancelled out with an equaliser minutes later.

To kick off 2023 the team will travel to Leverkusen in search of three points.

12th – Turbine Potsdam

Potsdam have had a tricky start to the season as they find themselves bottom of the table and have yet to record a win this season. The only point that the team picked up was a 1-1 draw against Werder Bremen in September. 

Despite their current league form and position Potsdam are one of Germany’s most successful women’s sides winning the league title six times and the Champions League twice.

The chances of Potsdam avoiding relegation are looking slim, but they will hope to find some goal-scoring form in the restart, as they only managed to score four times in the first half of the season. 

Sebastian Middeke’s side won’t have an easy restart to the season as their first game in 2023 is against second-place Bayern Munich at the start of February.

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