Visualising the 2015/16 Bundesliga fixtures

There’s been a lot of interest in the German versions of my scatter graphics, so I thought it was only fair to repay that enthusiasm with a version of my fixture difficulty visualisation to coincide with the release of the Bundesliga schedule today.

If you haven’t seen this before, what I’ve done is taken an average of eight leading bookies’ title odds (as a proxy for each club’s “strength”) and then divided the clubs four categories based on the bookies’ implied ranking. I’ve done something slightly different to previous versions, where the clubs were divided into equal-sized categories, and instead grouped clubs based on the range of odds they have been given to win the title.

This allows the fixtures of each club to be colour-coded as per the graphic below, which can be clicked to bring up a full-sized version:

Bundesliga fixture map 2015-16

The point of this is to help identify easy and tricky runs of fixtures which could cause clubs to surge or fall in the league table. Here are some observations to give you the idea:

  • Schalke have two nasty runs where they play three title rivals sequentially – in November and April – the latter of which could see any title or European qualification challenge fade.
  • At similar points in the schedule, life is much more straightforward for Borussia Mönchengladbach as they face three of the four least-fancied teams in a row.
  • Newly-promoted Darmstadt have a tough introduction to the Bundesliga, facing five of the six strongest-looking sides in their first ten matches. They have a similarly tough run from late January.
How the clubs are grouped

The four groups of clubs, based on current odds and in descending order, are:

  • Under 50/1 (6 clubs): Bayern, Dortmund, Wolfsburg, Leverkusen, Mönchengladbach and Schalke
  • 300/1 to 500/1 (4 clubs): Hoffenheim, Augsburg, Mainz and Frankfurt
  • 501/1 to 650/1 (4 clubs): Hamburg, Stuttgart, Werder Bremen and Köln
  • Over 650/1 (4 clubs): Hannover, Hertha, Ingolstadt and Darmstadt

I’ll aim to revisit this nearer the start of the season when the odds will hopefully have moved to reflect each club’s activity in the transfer market and the categorisations can be revisited.