Its incredible to think we are already approaching the halfway stage of the 2022-23 season with a very interesting narrative developing in the second tier. The battle for the top two is intensifying and the opposite end of the table also has more than a few talking points. Here’s a preview of the weekend action as matchday 14 is upon us.
Greuther Fürth v Arminia Bielefeld
Who would have believed that on matchday 14 both of the relegated sides from last season’s Bundesliga would occupy the bottom two slots in the 2. Bundesliga? Last season saw both Schalke and Werder Bremen make an instant return to the top division, but for Fürth and Bielefeld it looks like they are going to do very well just to avoid dropping into the third tier of German football.
Friday kicks off with the Kleeblätter hosting die Arminen with the main aim to escape the drop zone for a night. Fürth will have new trainer Alexander Zorniger on the bench for his first game in and he’ll want to see a positive start.
Magdeburg v Heidenheim
Magdeburg coach Christian Titz made a winning return to former club HSV last weekend and will be looking to build upon the surprise three points with another positive display against Heidenheim. Frank Schmitt will however want to see his side pushing into the top three again following their win last week against Fürth. That had come on the back of consecutive losses to Kiel and Union Berlin the cup.
Holstein Kiel v Fortuna Düsseldorf
Kiel and Düsseldorf both sit on 20 points and can take a step towards the top three with a win at the Holstein Stadion on Saturday. With five goals in his last three league matches Kiel’s Steven Skrzybski has hit a rich vein of form of late and is the league’s top scorer overall with nine goals.
Having beaten Heidenheim and drawn with Darmstadt in their last two games, Kiel are showing they can mix it with the top teams in the division. Düsseldorf have now won two on the trot without conceding after losing their previous two without scoring.
Jahn Regensburg v Hansa Rostock
Regensburg coach Mersad Selimbegovic will want to celebrate his contract extension with a win at home to Rostock this weekend. One win in their last eight games has seen Hansa slipping down the table and the hosts will be confident to adding to this poor record. Consistency is the key for Jahn this season with no two results (win, lose, or draw) coming in succession.
Kaiserslautern v Nürnberg
Whereas in the past this would have been a top game in the Bundesliga, these two fallen giants go head-to-head at the Betzenberg on Saturday in second division mid-table.
Markus Weinzierl has stabilised Nürnberg with clean sheets kept in the last three matches- it’s not pretty, but then neither is being in the bottom three. FCK have lost just one of their last nine games, but six of those have been draws. Is anyone expecting a goal-fest between these two?
St. Pauli v Darmstadt
Despite their draw with Kiel last weekend Darmstadt remained in top spot in the table but know that Paderborn and Hamburg are hot on their tails so any further slip ups will see them usurped as leaders.
Travelling to Hamburg to face St. Pauli on Saturday will give die Lilien a chance to lay down a marker ahead of Paderborn and HSV’s clash the following day. Anything less than a win will give the chasers extra incentive for their Sunday encounter.
Paderborn v Hamburg
The big game this weekend sees second place Paderborn hosting third place HSV with both sides looking to go back to the top of the 2. Bundesliga table. After leading the way at the start of the season, Hamburg have taken just one point from their last three games and coach Tim Walter has admitted that it’s ‘shit at the moment’.
It might get worse for the Rothosen before it gets better (and Walter’s mood improves) with Paderborn the league’s top scoring team with 32 goals already this season.
Hannover v Karlsruher SC
Karlsruhe had won four in a row, but their recent form has gone in complete reverse with three consecutive defeats. A trip to face Hannover is not the easiest for a team desperate to curtail a dip in form which has seen them slip to tenth. Die Roten on the other hand are still hovering just outside the top places and know that a decent run of wins will put them in the mix for the top three.
Sandhausen v Eintracht Braunschweig
The home side face the prospect of dropping into the bottom two with Fürth and Bielefeld playing each other on Friday, before Sandhausen take on Braunschweig on Sunday. The visitors are the league’s form team right now with fifteen points from their last seven games (four wins, three draws).