The first weekend of the 2.Bundesliga season more than lived up to expectations with a host of fascinating matches. Hamburg and Schalke served up a classic to open the new season, but now attention moves to the second matchday as the 18 second tier sides go head-to-head. Here’s what the upcoming weekend has to offer…
Hertha Berlin v Wehen Wiesbaden
If Hertha thought that life in the 2.Bundesliga was going to go a little easier on them, they were given a rude awakening on matchday one as they went down 1-0 at Fortuna Düsseldorf. Without a raft of their key men from last season, Pal Dardai’s side lacked the attacking bite to take a share of the spoils and will be looking to start their home campaign at the Olympiastadion off with a win.
Promoted Wiesbaden took a point at home to FC Magdeburg, but know that their trip to the capital will prove a much tougher assignment. Aleksandar Vukotic will be missing after his sending-off last weekend.
Paderborn v VfL Osnabrück
The opening weekend provided quite the shock for Paderborn as they went down to a shock 5-0 defeat at Greuther Fürth. Last season’s promotion contenders will be desperate to get a first three points before attention turns to the DFB Pokal next weekend and a later trip to Düsseldorf. Trainer Lukas Kwasniok will be without the suspended Visar Musliu after the central defender was sent-off in the opening minutes last week.
Newly promoted Osnabrück were beaten at home by Karlsruhe last weekend with an 87th minute goal denying them a share of the spoils. They showed a certain nervousness and didn’t play to their full potential- something which will need to improve quickly if they are not to start the season with a negative series.
St. Pauli v Fortuna Düsseldorf
The Kiezkicker grabbed the headlines last season with their impressive winning streak in the Rückrunde and they got off to the perfect start last week with a 2-1 win away at Kaiserslautern. Fabain Hürzeler’s side were on the front foot from the start against the Red Devils and were worthy winners. An unchanged line-up is likely for their first home game of the season.
Düsseldorf began well with a 1-0 win at home to Hertha. Daniel Ginczek’s goal was enough to take all three points and coach Daniel Thiouane will want to see a repeat performance at the Millerntor on Saturday.
Holstein Kiel v Greuther Fürth
Both side secured opening weekend victories and will be looking to maintain a100% start to the new campaign this weekend. Kiel grabbed a 1-0 away win at Braunschweig last Sunday thanks to a 92nd minute winner from Icelandic striker Holmbert Aron Fridjonsson.
The Kleeblätter grabbed the result of the weekend with their trouncing of Paderborn. They were helped by an early red card, but took their chances when they came with Branimir Hrgota helping himself to a brace.
Elversberg v Hansa Rostock
Elversberg acquitted themselves well on the 2.Liga debut with a 2-2 away draw at Hannover. They showed no nerves as they took a 2-0 lead only to conceded two to settle for a point. Their first home game at their 10,500 capacity Ursapharm-Arena an der Kaiserlinde will give them a chance to use their home support and gain a first three points in the 2.Bundesliga.
Rostock will want to avoid that and after taking all three points at home to Nürnberg could go two from two and top the table at the end of this weekend.
Schalke v Kaiserslautern
The fact that they contributed to a spectacular match last Friday against HSV will count for nothing after the Königsblauen left the Volksparkstadion with no points. They remain one of the favourites this season, but face another tough test with the arrival of Kaiserslautern to the Veltins Arena. The Red Devils went down to a 2-1 loss at home to St. Pauli, so not losing here will be the minimum requirement.
Karlsruhe v Hamburg
KSC opened with a win over Osnabrück but left it late to secure all three points against the newcomers. Lars Stindl will make his first home appearance at his old home as he faces a Hamburg side coming off their spectacular win over Schalke.
The Rothosen will once again be one of the top favourites for promotion, but as the past few seasons have shown, the transition from potential to actual promotion is one that has proved difficult to make. Staring win two wins from two will be just the start to give them confidence that this could finally be their year.
Magdeburg v Eintracht Braunschweig
The East German side came from a goal down and a man down to claim a point last weekend at Wiesbaden and will be looking to get their first three points against a Braunschweig side that struggled last season and open the new campaign with a defeat. Eintracht’s home loss to Kiel wasn’t the ideal start and they will be hoping that it wasn’t a sign of things to come (meaning another long, hard slog to avoid relegation).
Nürnberg v Hannover
The doom and gloom from last season was supposed to have been overcome with Nürnberg bringing in new Spanish coach Christian Fiel for a new start, but it was a case of same old, same old as der Klub lost their opener away at Hansa Rostock. The Niedersachsener opened with a 2-2 draw at home to Elversberg so will want to get their first three-pointer at the Max Morlock Stadion to kick start their season.