With the 2.Bundesliga now five games into the new season, its time to take a look at the runners and riders in Germany’s second tier and see how they are settling in. Who is inching ahead? Who already looks in trouble? Who has impressed/ disappointed?
It is Paderborn and Darmstadt who lead the way at this early stage with both side having won four and lost one of their opening fixtures. Paderborn have certainly been amongst the goals after beating Karlsruher SC 5-0 on the opening day, hitting ten against FC Einheit Wernigerode in the DFB Pokal and beating Hannover 4-2 and Holstein Kiel 7-2. Their only blip came on matchday 2 with a 2-1 loss at Fortuna Düsseldorf. Felix Platte already has six goals and has scored in every league game so far.
Darmstadt lost their opener against Jahn Regensburg, but have since gone on a four match winning streak. The last of those wins was a 2-1 away win at Hamburg. Midfielder Manu Braydon has been a standout performer thus far for Torsten Lieberknecht’s side.
FC Heidenheim and promoted 1FC Kaiserslautern are just behind the top two with ten points. Heidenheim have conceded just two goals with their one loss coming at Hamburg. Midfielders Kevin Sessa and Jan-Niklas Beste have begun the season in fine form and trainer Frank Schmidt takes his side to leaders Darmstadt next weekend. The Red Devils lost in the DFB Pokal to Freiburg, but have adjusted well to life in the second tier after promotion. Their only loss so far came at home to Paderborn (1-0) and will be interesting to see how long they can mix it at the top end of the table.
The other end of the table sees both last seasons side relegated from the Bundesliga in early trouble. Arminia Bielefeld started with four defeats on the trot and that cost trainer Uli Forte his job. Having only replaced Frank Kramer in the summer, he became the first coaching casualty of the season. Daniel Scherning from Osnabrück has been brought in to replace him.
Greuther Fürth are yet to win a game but have collected three points. Matchday 2 saw them lose the ‘huge’ Frankenderby to 1FC Nürnberg. Unlike Kaiserslautern fellow promoted side Eintracht Braunschweig are rock bottom with just one point on the board so far.
Having missed out on promotion via the play-off last season, Hamburger SV are fifth, but already have two home defeats (Hansa Rostock and Darmstadt) from their three games at the Volksparkstadion. They have also had two players sent off already this season- Ransford-Yeboah Königsdörffer and Aaron Opuku (both against Darmstadt).
Hannover are another ‘big’ side hoping for a tilt at promotion this season, but Stefan Leitl’s side are already showing the inconsistencies that will end up costing them. Fortuna Düsseldorf are another club determined to return to the top flight and they have taken eight points from a possible fifteen thus far. They have however dropped silly points in their last two games to strugglers Fürth and Braunschweig.
We cannot finish the round-up with mentioning THAT howler. Hansa Rostock keeper Markus Kolke will be hard pressed to be beaten for blooper of the season following his nightmare against Darmstadt. Words don’t do it justice, just watch and laugh/ despair/ rub your eyes.
There’s howlers and there’s this!
Hansa Rostock goalkeeper Markus Kolke… no words 🤦♂️#2Bundesliga 🇩🇪
— Sacha Pisani (@Sachk0) August 14, 2022
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